I won’t go too far into the qualities of the monitor here. It’s a decent 22in TN panel inside a well-built and attractive piano black casing, though, as with many budget 22in models, it’s not particularly adjustable. You get a limited amount of tilt, and that’s it. There are additional compromises which, were it not for being 3D ready, would knock it out of most keen gamers’ consideration. The resolution, for starters, isn’t ideal at a time when 1,920 x 1,080 is fast becoming the minimum standard for monitors aimed at this target market, while the lack of any additional inputs bar DVI means it’s not a great choice for those of us who like to share a display between our PC and our games consoles. Luminance and contrast levels – 300cd/m2 and 20,000:1 respectively – are competitive, and the image overall is solid, bright and clean and, thanks to the matt finish screen, mercifully reflection free. The 5ms response time is also very respectable, and I certainly never noticed any smudging or ghosting during many long hours of hard gaming.
As with most TN panels viewing angles could be better, but the drop off and inversion of colours isn’t any more sudden or drastic than you would expect. I doubt most of us will see much benefit of the 120Hz refresh rate in normal 2D desktop use, but if you’re ludicrously sensitive to the merest hint of flicker, this might be something to bear in mind.
Setting up the kit is relatively easy. It’s best to charge the glasses for a few hours before use (via the mini-USB cable provided) then let nVidia’s driver installation routine take you through the steps of hooking up the transmitter, adjusting for viewing distance and lighting conditions, then altering the depth of the 3D view for your own personal comfort. You’ll also find a new window within the standard nVidia control panel that allows you to tweak further options and test that the kit is working properly. Provided your eyes can resolve stereoscopic 3D properly, you shouldn’t have any problems. nVidia actually includes a test to check this, and should you fail it’s probably time to admit defeat and take the whole shebang back to where you bought it.
In my case I could only get 3D Vision working with the glasses shoved on top of my own specs (which, to be fair, I should really be using on a daily basis anyway). The good news is that this doesn’t have any serious negative effects on comfort, and a couple of extra bridge pieces are provided should you need to raise the 3D specs further off your schnozzle. The glasses feel like a lightweight pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarer clones, and there’s surprisingly little about the frames or dark green lenses to cue you into the technology inside.
Even with 3D switched off the glasses have an impact on your view, mainly because the tint instantly cuts down on your monitor’s brightness, much as it would if were you to you sit there wearing normal sunglasses at your desk. Once the 3D effect kicks in, however, things grow darker still, and this is the closest 3D Vision comes to having a negative effect on your gaming experience. Prepare to switch brightness to maximum and fiddle with your in-game gamma settings, because with 3D Vision working, you will otherwise struggle to see what’s going on.
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