ViewSonic VX1962wm - 19in Premium LCD

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Product: ViewSonic VX1962wm 19" LCD
Provided By: ViewSonic
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Introduction:

When I first heard about the ViewSonic VX1962wm LCD I was pretty interested as most 19" widescreen LCD monitors have a nasty resolution of 1440x900.  At this resolution a 19" widescreen LCD has shorter vertical resolution than a 17" LCD and if you're concerned about desktop real-estate then you'll appreciate my sentiments.  There are several things that set the VX1962wm apart from other LCDs in its size range.  First, the resolution of 1680x1050 is not very common in 19" widescreen units and I'm pretty happy about that, but there are also extras like the premium panel, integrated speakers and 6000:1 contrast ratio as well as the 2ms response time.  This unit comes spec'd pretty high and we're going to see if it holds up or falls flat on its Opti Sync enabled back.

Well Used Box
Well Used Box

 

The box has been around the block a few times by the look of it and hopefully the LCD is not as rough looking as the package.

 

First Look:

Upon unpacking the box I found that ViewSonic has included a DVI cable as well as a standard VGA cable.  Also in the box is a quick install guide, a software CD, an audio cable and of course the power cable and actual LCD itself.  The LCD is covered almost entirely in a glossy finish and while that looks great if you're the first user, this unit has been reviewed a few times before and handled more than football at the Super Bowl.  The surface was covered with finger prints, small scratches and swirl marks that simply could not be cleaned.

 View Sonic Front
ViewSonic Front
Goodies
Goodies
Viewsonic Rear
ViewSonic Rear

 

The front holds four buttons used for switch video source and accessing and selecting menu options.  Because of the shiny, yet scratched nature of the finish it wasn't very photogenic and we've excluded a close-up.  The buttons are conveniently located, but are Side Profile hard to see and must be felt to be used effectively.  The rear of this unit holds a small cable clip that helps manage the power, video and sound cables and keeps then all tight and tidy.  On the back you can also see the covered holes that are located for mounting this unit to a bracket.

Fujitsu was on hand when I unboxed the VX1962wm LCD and we each had different feelings about the design of the product.  I thought it was quite attractive overall, but he was less than impressed.  I admit that the stand looks a little flimsy and the football shape of the base doesn't exactly fit with the rest of the image, but I thought the black and silver finish of the unit was quite classy.  A view front the side shows how streamlined this unit is and even the hinge for the base doesn't stick out awkwardly from the back.  It's slick and ready for some business.

I can't over rule personal preference, and if you don't have good taste you may not like the design and appearance of this LCD, but I'm a fan of the styling and when it's sitting on a desk it looks quite attractive and very professional.  That being said it also looks ridiculously small when placed next to a 24" or 30" LCD.

The VX1962wm supports both DVI and D-Sub connections and if you've got a couple of computers and only one monitor, you can use this LCD as sort of an "V" (think KVM without the keyboard or the mouse) by switching between the two inputs.

Connectors
Connectors

On the next page we'll look at the specs and features of this unit before we jump into testing.


ViewSonic VX1962wm Features & Specifications:

To get a full list of the specs and features of this unit please head on over to ViewSonic's site here .  Below is a hefty summary pulled from their page though.

Product Brief:

ViewSonic’s 19" VX1962wm widescreen LCD offers the perfect balance of performance and style. With its elegant lines, the VX1962wm fits beautifully into your office décor and its high performance features BLEND EFFORTLESSLY INTO YOUR TECHNOLOGY LIFESTYLE. Images leap from the screen with Super-HD 1680x1050 resolution, video response as fast as 2ms and 6000:1 DYNAMIC CONTRAST RATIO (typ). Scrolling text, Internet pages and spreadsheet applications are displayed in crisp, blur-free detail with precise color  The SRS WOW HD speakers powerfully complement your games, movies and other multimedia applications. Demanding designers, professionals and gamers will love the sophisticated performance of the 19" VX1962wm.

 

Features:

  • Full 19" viewable widescreen with 1680x1050 resolution
    High resolution panel with 36% more clarity than a regular 19" wide monitor.
  • Fast ClearMotiv® video response
    Video response as fast as 2ms enables HD broadcast-quality video.
  • 6000:1 dynamic contrast ratio
    Provides for darker black levels and better overall front-of-screen performance.
  • Stylish slim-bezel design
    An ultra-thin bezel lets you see more without taking up valuable desktop real estate.
  • OptiSync® digital/analog inputs expand your connectivity
    Multi-mode input technology supports both digital (DVI) and analog (VGA) signals for ultimate compatibility and configuration flexibility.
  • OnView® controls for superior screen adjustability
    Screen adjustments are precisely made via an easy-to-use on-screen menu.
  • SRS WOW HD sound and high quality stereo speakers
  • Certified for Windows Vista? Windows Vista certified
  • PC and Mac® compatible
  • Energy Star TCO'03 and ENERGY STAR® qualified


Specs

 On the next page we'll take a closer look at this LCD as we start testing.


A Word About Testing:

In everything we try and be fair, accurate and as objective as possible when it comes to testing hardware.  In the past, LCD reviews were done completely subjectively, but we have purchased some equipment that takes some of this out of the equation.  Take a look at our LCD Testing methodology over here to get a better idea of how we test LCDs.

We won't spend a lot of time in the menu - suffice to say it's pretty standard.  The only addition that is a bit uncommon are the audio controls for the built-in speakers.  Other than that it's a pretty standard menu.

OSD
OSD

Color Accuracy: 

We started things off by breaking out the LCD Spyder and finding out how well this unit is set up and how well it produces accurate color.  We did this before and after we installed the software drivers and profiles that came on a CD and the results were identical.

 Curves
Curves
Correction
Correction
 Calibrated
Calibrated

 

The color was a little off but to the untrained eye it looked pretty darn close to fantastic.  The Datacolor Spyder 3 Elite showed that it isn't perfect but it wasn't actually too far off.  The image on the far left shows how the RGB curves compared to the target curve.  The image in the middle shows how the color and brightness had to be adjusted to be perfect.  Finally the image on the right shows how close the display was adjusted to the perfect setting using the 6500K color temperature.


Contrast Ratio & Uniformity: 

With the display now showing "perfect", we proceeded to take our contrast readings.  The contrast was set about 71% with the brightness turned up to 84%.  Even at this bright and contrastive setting we fell (unsurprisingly) short of the 6000:1 dynamic (1000:1 static) contrast ratio. 

 Black Spot
White Spot
Contrast Ratio
1.1 215 196:1

I know we may take some flak for the above results, but this contrast ratio is exactly what the consumer will see when the display is set up properly.  It doesn't come close to being 500:1 and even when we maximize the contrast and brightness, we don't get much above 350:1.  Keep in mind that this display is still very nice, clear and doesn't burn your eyes with too much brightness.  Companies pad their specs, much like gamers pad their stats in their favorite online game.  It doesn't mean the product is bad, merely that specs are over-rated.

We use our luminance meter in a dark environment to measure both brightness uniformity as well as backlight bleeding.  To measure brightness, we use a bright white screen and measure across the screen in a grid to get our readings.  The brightest spot is considered to be 100% and the blackest point (with a black screen) is considered to be reference 0%.  The other values are obtained by calculating the difference between the two.  The screen is brightest near the center.

 Lighting Uniformity Profile
Lighting Uniformity Profile
Lighting Uniformity
Lighting Uniformity

 

Blacklight bleeding is measured much the same way but exactly the opposite of the brightness uniformity.  On a black screen the brightest point is considered to be 0% and the darkest point is considered to be 100%.  The results shown below are the difference between the two.  The results look exaggerated but are represented proportionally.  The screen "bleeds" more toward the center.

 Backlight Bleeding Profile
Backlight Bleeding Profile
 Backlight Bleeding
Backlight Bleeding

On the last page we'll cover view angle, play with it during some real-world gaming, movies and day-to-day tasks then wrap things up with our conclusion.


Viewing Angle Tests:

ViewSonic claims that the VX1962wm has a viewing angle of 170° Horizontal and 150° Vertical.  It didn't take long to see that the viewing angle was indeed a bit restrictive.  When viewing from more than 20 - 30 degrees from the top or bottom, the image quality degraded quite quickly.  While you can still see the image at a greater viewing angle - and likely up to 150 degrees, the quality is quite poor when viewed at more than 30° up or down = 60°.  Horizontally was a bit better, but still wasn't all that impressive.  This LCD seems to be made best for a single user - the person at the keyboard.

 Straight On
Straight On
 From Above
From Above
   
From Below
From Below
 From Side Angle
From Side Angle

 

The camera doesn't really do it justice and although the angle indeed has some major issues, the color and clarity of the screen is actually quite good when viewed straight on.

 

Performance - Text:

The majority of my use and is text and internet browsing and I used the VX1962wm in this regard as a secondary display on my main computer for a few days and was very pleased with the overall text quality.  Because the resolution on this 19" unit is the same as most 22" units, the text will appear a bit smaller due to the tighter pixel pitch.  I'm a guy who doesn't mind small text and uses my 30" LCD at native 2560x1600 which in turn has a similar pitch to the 19" ViewSonic.

For general text and internet use, this LCD is great and would be fantastic for a desk or office that doesn't have a lot of room and still needs some nice 1680x1050 desktop space.

 

Performance - Video:

I didn't have much time to watch movies, but I did make sure to watch some of my favorite scenes from Live Free or Die Hard and Shrek 3.  Both of these movies play back great on this LCD and there is very little to no color banding.  In action movies there is absolutely no ghosting or blurring and playback is very good.

 

Performance - Gaming:

I'm spoiled when it comes to gaming on LCD displays.  I currently use a 30" Samsung 305T or a 245BW and am used to having things larger and running at higher resolutions than the VX1962wm can offer.  When playing CoD4 on the 245BW recently I've gotten kicked off for cheating because I watch for movement, and muzzle flashes on the larger display.  On the 19" 1680x1050 unit from ViewSonic I never got kicked for cheating.  My game style is enhanced by a large display and the 19" unit takes away a bit of my "edge".  That being said, there is absolutely no ghosting and gaming is crisp, vivid and flawless on the VX1962wm - just a little smaller than I like. 

 

Misc. Testing - Power Consumption & Speakers:

The last test I ran was to see how much power this monitor consumed.  In comparison to larger displays such as the 275T LCD, this monitor is very eco-friendly.  At maximum brightness it consumes ~37W and when adjusted properly with the Spyder it draws a mere ~27W.  To get maximum brightness you'll burn an extra 37% more power.

I didn't have much hope for the integrated speakers, but to complete the review I plugged them in and game them a listen.  I was actually shocked that they sounded as well as they did.  They lack anything resembling bass, but they are quite clear and have a generous volume range for built-in speakers.  For general office use, listening to internet radio and sharing video clips with your buddies, they are more than adequate. 


Conclusion: 

While this monitor is smaller in size that some of you may initially be thinking about purchasing, give the VX1962wm a second thought.  It's only 19" but the fine pixel size allows this display to produce a 1680x1050 resolution.  Other 22" LCDs also run at this resolution and don't look as good because the pixel size and gap is larger to make the resolution stretch the extra three inches.

There are many desktop situations that don't allow for a big display and the ViewSonic VX1962wm is probably one of the best choices for this situation.  It has good color accuracy, integrated speakers that actually work quite well and inputs for both DVI and D-Sub connections.  The contrast ratio is a little weak, but there is no ghosting, tearing or other anomalies related to poor response time.  The 2ms (gtg) and 5ms (bwb) response time is speedy and shows excellent performance.

Pros:

  • Fast 2ms (gtg) / 5ms (bwb) response time
  • DVI and D-Sub inputs
  • Built-in speakers that work without rattle
  • Pivot Stand
  • High resolution for 19" wide display
  • Accurate color and good image quality

 

Cons:

  • Low contrast ratio
  • Finish is very prone to scratches and finger prints
  • Priced similar to 22" displays


 BCCRating

 

I'd like to thank ViewSonic for sending out the VX1962wm LCD.  Even thought it didn't earn a top pick due to some performance issues and pricing, it is still a good display and worth purchasing if you don't have space for a larger 22" unit.  This display packs all the features of larger units in a nice small package.

Please post your thoughts, comments, and questions regarding this review in the forum at the "Comments" link below.