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ViewSonic VX2260wm review

Verdict:

The shape of things to come? A decent screen, but it doesn't reap any great benefits from 16:9.

Review Date: 30 Jan 2009

Price when reviewed: inc VAT

Reviewed By: David Bayon

Our Rating 3 stars out of 5

Widescreen monitors are now the norm, but a new battle is brewing between wide and wider.

TVs use a 16:9 ratio rather than the 16:10 of PC screens, and the 1080p HD format, the apotheosis of widescreen video, is an obvious target for monitor makers. While most 22 inch models have 1680x 1050 pixels, a few, like this one, are now squeezing in 1920x1080 to support full quality HD video, whether from Blu-ray drives or downloads.

Apart from being a tiny bit more detailed, your Windows Desktop becomes wider and less tall, a significant difference that will suit some users better than others. If you're designing a double page magazine spread and trying to fit a toolbox and palettes onto the screen, you may like it. Music and video editors will fit in a bit more timeline. For tasks like writing Word documents or surfing the web, the extra width is pointless and you just feel as if you've been cheated on height. You get more dots but fewer millimetres from top to bottom.

Aspect ratio aside, this monitor is generally pretty good. Although the stand is fairly bare, the overall design is sleek and attractive. We needed to tweak the screen quite a bit to get it looking its best, though, which wasn't easy given the well camouflaged control buttons on the front. Once we'd lowered the contrast a little and switched to the 6500K colour temperature, we were satisfied.

The VX's tone is neutral - or a bit washed out, you may think - rather than going for the enticing over-saturation of something like a Samsung, but the detail level is high. Games looked great, and photos were accurately coloured in darker areas. Our test videos didn't mind the relatively pale tone too much, looking clear and bright, if perhaps not quite as engaging and atmospheric as they could. Along with this, the awful integrated speakers compromise the ViewSonic's suitability for entertainment, though you'd probably want quality headphones or surround speakers in any case.

Until a truly great 1080p entertainment monitor arrives, we'll stick to our trusty 16:10.

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