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ViewSonic VA2231w review

Jim Martin
26 Jan 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
116
inc VAT

It uses more power than an LED monitor, but it's a decent budget monitor with good image quality.

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Specifications

21.5in screen size, 1,920x1,080 resolution, DVI: yes, VGA: yes, HDMI:

The 21.5in VA2231w is the epitome of a budget LCD monitor. It looks reasonably attractive thanks to its glossy black plastic bezel and stand, but has the bare minimum of features. There are VGA and DVI-D inputs, but no HDMI. You can convert DVI to HDMI (and there's HDCP support) but there are no built-in speakers for audio.

ViewSonic VA2231w Ports

You won't find any bonus features such as a USB hub or webcam, but you can wall-mount the VA2231w. The basic stand has neither height adjustment nor rotation to portrait mode - it only allows you to tilt the screen forward and backward slightly. At least the power supply is built in, which keeps things neat.

Confusingly, ViewSonic has released several identical-sounding, and identical-looking models: the VA2231w, the VA2231w-LED and the VA2231wa. All have the same 1,920x1,080 resolution but the latter lacks a DVI input, while the LED version replaces the fluorescent backlight with LEDs. The plain VA2231w on test here has the fluorescent backlight, and consumes around 40W.

Image quality will differ between this model and the LED version, so you can't use this review as a buying decision for all models. Surprisingly, the default quality settings were spot on, and we couldn't obtain a significantly better picture by adjusting brightness, contrast or colours. Menu options were fairly limited, although there are several colour temperature presets including sRGB, plus control over the red, green and blue levels.

Hidden away in the Manual Controls menu is dynamic contrast, plus the Eco mode. It's a shame the latter can't be accessed directly by one of the buttons on the front panel. In the maximum 'conserve' setting, power consumption was reduced to 21W, but the image (as you'd expect) was around half as bright. Still, it's good that ViewSonic has opted for physical buttons rather than the annoying touch-sensitive strips that have become popular.

ViewSonic VA2231w

The VA2231w didn't fare too well in our technical tests, exhibiting backlight bleed along the top and bottom edges of the screen. This means there are noticeable bright strips when looking at a black screen. Contrast can hardly be described as excellent either - dark greys blurred into each other, as did very light greys approaching white.

However, these problems aren't noticeable in normal use. Only the backlight bleed will be noticeable if you watch movies that leave black bars above and below. Colours are vibrant and accurate, including skin tones. We'd be happy to edit photos and video on the VA2231w. We saw no ghosting or blurring when playing games, so this is also a decent budget gaming monitor.

The main problem is that Iiyama's ProLite E2208HDD has slightly better image quality, with hardly any backlight bleed. It's also a few pounds cheaper, so unless you can find the VA2231w for even less, the E2208HDD is the marginally better choice.

Basic Specifications

Rating****

Physical

Viewable size21.5 in
Native resolution1,920x1,080
Contrast ratio1,000:1
Brightness300cd/m²
Horizontal viewing angle170°
Vertical viewing angle160°
Response time5ms
Response time typegrey-to-grey
Screen depth55mm
Base (WxD)250x190mm
Screen elevation98mm

Features

Portrait modeno
Wall mount optionyes
Height adjustableno
Internal speakersnone
Detachable cablesyes
USB hubnone
Integrated power supplyyes
Kensington lock lugyes
Display extrasnone
VGA inputyes
DVI inputyes
S-video inputno
Component inputno
Composite inputno
HDCP supportyes
Audio inputsnone

Environmental

Power consumption standby0W
Power consumption on40W

Buying Information

Price£116
Supplierhttp://www.it247.com
Detailswww.viewsoniceurope.com
Warrantythree years onsite

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