Accurate colours, excellent contrast and an incredibly low price make the VX2336s-LED a true bargain
23in screen size, 1,920×1,080 resolution, DVI: yes, VGA: yes, HDMI:
22in TN panels have only just become the norm for entry-level computer users, but the arrival of the £120 Viewsonic VX2336s-LED is a seminal moment, marking the point at which the previous generation of entry-level monitors suddenly became obsolete. IPS panel technology is no longer an expensive luxury.
Granted, it’s still a budget monitor, as demonstrated by its plastic design and the provision of VGA and DVI inputs only, but it supports HDCP over the DVI connection, which means you can still watch copy-protected content such as Blu-rays. It lacks the adjustable stand of its more business-oriented rivals, however, and it doesn’t even have a set of speakers.
What it does have is excellent image quality, and the best thing is that you don’t have to fiddle with menus and settings to achieve it. We switched it on, reset it to factory defaults, ran our calibration software and were astounded to find almost no difference between the calibrated and un-calibrated views. The software also reported a 97% match with the sRGB standard.
What this means in practice is that what you see on the screen is as close to the original source material as you can get for this price, or anything costing twice as much. This may have unexpected results. As an example, it soon became apparent that Casino Royale’s flesh tones have been tweaked to make them warmer in the Bahamian sunshine, but you only have to look at the lush green grass or the invitingly azure sea to fathom what’s real and what isn’t.
While improved contrast is one of IPS’s main attractions, it’s worth noting that the increased colour depth actually adds more to the image, and increases contrast in itself. With more shades of colour to use, the monitor can display finer detail in scenes that on other monitors would simply look saturated with a single colour.
One of IPS’s traditional weak spots is response times, but these have improved dramatically in the last couple of years and we didn’t notice any problems when playing Crysis. What we did notice was a dramatic improvement in the scenery. Deep shadows in the jungle areas were offset by the brilliant green of the foliage in the tropical sunshine. It’s better than upgrading your graphics card.
If you’re using a monitor smaller than 22in or over two years old, you should find any excuse you can to upgrade to an VX2336s-LED. At £120 each, why not make that two? Unless you absolutely need an adjustable stand, an HDMI input or 120Hz support, the VX2336s-LED should be the next upgrade you buy for your PC.
|Viewable size||23 in|
|Contrast ratio||1,000:1 (20,000,000:1 dynamic)|
|Horizontal viewing angle||178°|
|Vertical viewing angle||178°|
|Response time type||black-to-black|
|Wall mount option||yes|
|Integrated power supply||yes|
|Kensington lock lug||yes|
|Power consumption standby||1W|
|Power consumption on||34W|
|Warranty||three years RTB|