If you want to see which advances have been most significant in the flat-panels market over the past 12 months, you need only to look to the increasing correlation between PCs and home entertainment. And while ViewSonic has wisely eschewed the move towards kitting out new flat-panels with a multimedia-friendly HDMI port, it couldn’t resist jumping on to the dynamic contrast ratio (DCR) bandwagon with the ViewSonic VX2240W.
In essence this means users can experience a boost in contrast ratio (therefore creating sharper and deeper colours) where desired – when watching a movie, for instance, or playing a game.
The ViewSonic VX2240W’s claim of a 4,000:1 contrast ratio isn’t quite as eye-catching as the LG L226WTQ’s 5,000:1 boast, and the results are hardly as startling.
More problematic are the viewing angles. The ViewSonic VX2240W claims a 170-degree angle, but we found the picture colour becoming degraded with a minimum of head movement.
However, the ViewSonic VX2240W's excellent response rates (2ms grey-to-grey) are up to scratch, and games players should register smooth and flawless graphics.
The ViewSonic VX2240W’s biggest problem is that it’s up against some pretty stiff competition – in terms of both price and quality. Although it’s a very proficient screen, the quality (even without DCR) doesn’t quite match that of a number of the Samsung and LG models. Colours are pleasing, but lack that extra bit of vibrancy, and text is well defined but not quite as sharp as on its rivals.
You could certainly point to the ViewSonic VX2240W's price and note that it’s not as expensive a screen as the similarly specced Samsung SM2232BW, even if that extra £8 might not seem a significant difference to many users. The LG L226WTQ, however, is considerably cheaper. So if money’s an issue, the ViewSonic VX2240W loses out there, too.
Like many a recent ViewSonic, the VX2240w is a decent screen. But it’s not one that’s going to garner Gold Award status. The Samsung SM2232BW is better on quality, while the LG L226WTQ offers more value for money. All of which leaves the VX2240w with no real place to go. As a reserve choice, however, it won’t let you down.