Four silver buttons recessed slightly behind the V3D241wm’s bezel on the right let you navigate the monitor’s OSD with relative ease. Enter, Up, Down and Back intelligently double as Menu, brightness/contrast control, volume adjustment and input selection.
The OSD itself is basic but not unattractive, and certainly far easier to navigate than the prettier but more complex efforts found on many rival screens. It also gives access to a good selection of options, including the ability to turn dynamic contrast on or off and to adjust response time. Our only annoyance (and unfortunately it’s somewhat of a major one) is that there are no presets. So you can’t, for example, set the screen to full brightness for 3D gaming and its lowest brightness when switching to office productivity. Though you can compensate for this in software, if would have been nice to have a hardware selection.
Getting to the V3D241wm’s Full HD (1,920 x 1,080), 23.6in panel, in 2D it holds up rather well. Contrast is decent (though the claimed dynamic figure of 20,000,000:1 is a total farce), and while we couldn’t get both light and dark tones to show simultaneously, at the cost of white purity the screen at least displayed a good amount of dark detail and inky blacks. This was helped by even light distribution, except for some bleed along the bottom edge.
Horizontal viewing angles were also as impressive as TN tends to get (though IPS technology, as found in the NEC MultiSync EA231WMi, shows how it should be done). In other words, you should be able to watch a film with a few friends without issue. Inevitably, vertical viewing angles were a lot poorer, and you can get significant contrast shift if you don’t tilt the display just right.
Colours were well-saturated if not particularly accurate, but then this is a display aimed completely at entertainment anyway. In that regard, its 120Hz refresh rate doesn’t just benefit 3D but also helps when playing fast-paced games where it reduces ghosting. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the ViewSonic to run at 120Hz using the latest Catalyst drivers on a Radeon 6850, and at 60Hz, trailing was definitely visible. Other artefacts such as dithering and banding also made a minor appearance, but are hardly significant issues considering this ViewSonic’s target market.
Considering how poor integrated monitor speakers usually are, the V3D241wm’s 2W stereo speakers are somewhat above-average. They’re up- rather than down-firing and make good use of their SRS processing, while actually managing a modicum of bass. They’re not particularly clear or accomplished, but hooking up headphones or external speakers for superior audio isn’t a problem with the 3.5mm audio output.
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