Viewsonic V3D245 review
23.6in screen size, 1,920x1,080 resolution, DVI: yes, VGA: yes, HDMI:
We've seen 3D monitors that use Nvidia's 3D Vision technology before, but they've only been able to work in 3D when connected to a PC. With the Viewsonic V3D245 24in Full HD display, the active shutter transmitter, required to synchronise the glasses with the screen is integrated into the display, meaning it will work with standalone HDMI 1.4a 3D devices, such as Blu-ray players and the PlayStation 3.
For a monitor costing over £300, the V3D245 looks quite cheap, with the majority of the case and stand made from glossy black plastic that was prone to picking up scratches and greasy smudges. A row of labels under the right side highlights the touch-sensitive controls, which are a little fiddly to use.
The menu system and controls are rather crude. The menu itself uses a dull blue with white lettering which is reasonably clear, and the settings are logically laid out. However, you only get basic Contrast and Brightness controls, plus colour temperature controls that offer an odd choice of sRGB, Bluish, Cool, Native, Warm and User. You're best off picking the one you like the look of most and tweaking from there.
There is a Dynamic Contrast option as well as a response time boost option, but we left both of these alone as they tend to mess with image quality. Dynamic Contrast can lead to distracting transitions in brightness, while overdrive technology, designed to reduce response times, can introduce input lag.
Having said all that, image quality was actually pretty good. The LED backlight was bright and reasonably even, with a slight yellow cast that added a bit of warmth to images but made flesh tones a bit jaundiced. Vertical viewing angles aren't great, but as long as you tilt the monitor carefully, contrast stays true to the original image, and the matt finish helps to reduce reflections from background lighting.
Given that this display is designed primarily for gamers and most prefer to play in near-darkness, a glossy finish would have been preferable to bring out colours. As a result, we felt colours weren't as punchy as they could have been and contrast not as sharp. In games with high dynamic range (HDR) enabled, this results in less detail in areas of saturated light, for example, and in games which use stealth, such as the latest Deus Ex, you may need to turn up brightness to see more detail in dark areas.
It's the 3D that makes this monitor particularly interesting, but you need to be careful when you're setting it up. The HDMI 1.4a input only allows a 1080p picture at 24Hz (technically 48Hz, as it's 24Hz an eye), which is fine for movies running at 24fps, but a bit poor for games, which will look jerky. Dropping the resolution to 720p gives you 60Hz, but less detail and is really suitable for the PlayStation 3.
Getting high definition smooth gaming from a PC requires using the provided dual-link DVI cable connected to an Nvidia graphics card. With this in place you can run the screen at full resolution at 60Hz (120Hz with 60Hz for each eye).
Even then you need to be careful, as not all games work particularly well with 3D Vision. There's a list on Nvidia's website, which rates games by compatibility. Games with a five-star rating have an extra degree of immersion, but you'll need a powerful graphics card to cope with the extra detail that the card has to process.