Viewsonic VX2235wm ReviewMikey 25 comments
Far be it for me to whip out my e-penis, but I've got a big one. Twenty two inches big in fact. The first thing you notice about the Viewsonic VX2235wm is it's sheer size. The more surprising revelation is its relatively light weight considering said size.
If you had not already noticed, 4 x 3 is dead and widescreen is the new aspect ratio of choice. I have always been a reluctant widescreen desktop user simply because of how much smaller they look when compared to their 4 x 3 counterparts. It is an illusion I know, but an illusion no amount of therapy can change.
Viewsonic have clearly aimed this panel at the budget conscious cheap skate that must have everything big. But that doesn't mean to say they have skimped on features. Although a higher resolution would have been nicer (if only for design and development work), 22" panels at higher resolutions jack up the price by hundreds of dollars and often past the 1k mark.
What's in the box?
- Viewsonic VX2235wm 22 inch plat panel LCD monitor
- DVI cable
- D-Sub cable
- Australian standard mains cord
- American standard mains cord
- Monitor base stand
- Stereo Audio cable
- Quickstart guide
- Viewsonic Wizard CD
At its native resolution of 1680x1050 and dot pitch of 0.282 mm the picture is clear and crisp. Text is sharp even with Clear Type enabled. Image quality bears no problems when viewing digital photos or even when Photoshopping.
Optional DVI and D-Sub inputs are a pleasant bonus, allowing it to work on older video cards albeit without the goodness that a DVI signal provides.
The 5ms response time is noticeable over my other LCD panels, which are all 8ms. This makes gaming look great and although I never noticed ghosting on the 8ms panels, the -3ms difference does seem to improve the gaming experience.
The speakers although nice to have, are as tinny as you might expect and surprisingly lacking in volume during quiet scenes when watching movies. They might replace your old $10 cheapies but are hardly competition for any x.1 surround configuration.
It's surprising to see some monitor manufacturers still taking on the responsibility of providing sound output by building speakers into the bezel. For one thing, people who need sound on their PC typically have speakers already. And people who don't need sound (in a business environment for example) won't have a need for built-in speakers.
Speaking of movies, image quality is as good as expected without ghosting on fast action scenes, and High Definition content looks superb (but doesn't it always?).
The controls are a little difficult to activate, almost as if they were designed for infants. I have to use my fingernails to press the buttons, and I have average sized hands. It is perplexing to understand how this interface managed to get passed quality control, unless that was done by the same people who pass microscopic mobile phone interfaces.
Viewsonic's 30 day no dead pixel warranty also makes the purchase more reassuring and less of a gamble. With even just one dead or stuck pixel, I can swap the unit immediately for another within 30 days. I am happy to report I have no pixel issues, which makes a pleasant change from one of my previous monitors.
My testing was done on a Windows XP machine at my office, but when I took the monitor home and hooked it up to my Vista box it was a different story. The native resolution of 1680x0150 is not supported on the latest nvidia drivers, (which are still beta). So after a lot of searching I stumbled on an obscure post claiming unofficial forceware drivers have been released for Vista which support the native resolution. I can confirm they do. Go to guru3d.com and download the latest Foreware Drivers for Vista if you are looking for them as well.
When I made the decision to buy this monitor last week, the best price I could find was $528inc. When I finally got around to making the purchase, I was pleasantly surprised to see it had dropped to a measly $498inc. By the time you read this it may have fallen even further.
For the price, the Viewsonic VX2235wm is a winner on all counts. Multiple inputs, speakers, 5ms response time, 1680x1050 widescreen and 22 inches of digital pleasure makes it hard to look past. If you are in the market for a larger screen you could do a lot worse (and pay more) elsewhere.