ViewSonic G810 review: ViewSonic G810

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MSRP: $545.00
3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Low price; light weight.

The Bad Noticeable curvature at the corners; awkward controls; no BNC connectors.

The Bottom Line Undemanding users who want a big display will like the G810, but professional users should look elsewhere.

6.0 Overall

ViewSonic focuses on bringing its products in at the lowest price possible, and the G810 follows this strategy. Following another tradition, the low price also means lower quality, so professional graphics artists will be disappointed with the display. But the G810 is fine for those who just want the vast spaces afforded by a 21-inch monitor. ViewSonic focuses on bringing its products in at the lowest price possible, and the G810 follows this strategy. Following another tradition, the low price also means lower quality, so professional graphics artists will be disappointed with the display. But the G810 is fine for those who just want the vast spaces afforded by a 21-inch monitor.

Compromised Quality
Some aspects of the G810's quality looked below average, some a little above average, and some just plain average. What that means for a user is legible but uncrisp text (light text on a dark background is much harder to read than dark text on a light background), indistinct fine lines, minor ghosting, uneven thickness and geometry of shapes, irregular color saturation, and a slight swimming effect on part of the screen. If you can live with these imperfections, $800 is a good deal for this big monitor.

Peering at the screen closely reveals oblong pixels in the shadow mask, making the image look like a newspaper photo under a magnifying glass. You can mentally remove the pixels, but their coarseness is a reminder that this display uses components that are less than fine quality. You don't need to peer closely to see the bowing of the screen's corners. ViewSonic may call the G810 a "flat square screen," but it isn't. These flaws are particularly noticeable if you are working in graphics, desktop publishing, or large spreadsheet programs. But for more casual computing, these flaws can be forgiven.

Limited Controls
As is true with most monitors, the G810 has awkward controls. But the only problem is how they are labeled: You get a 1 button and a 2 button, which match the onscreen instructions of what to push to move among menus and select settings. Once you get the number assignments down, the actual manipulation of the controls via these two buttons and the arrow buttons is simple.

The G810 lacks a BNC connector, putting it further from the realm of professional graphics and video production. (ViewSonic does offer a free Mac adapter, though you must call to get it delivered.) The connector is not recessed, and with the case 19.1 inches deep, the G810 falls in the middle of the depth category. Ironically, despite its average depth, the monitor is a lightweight at just 59.6 pounds.

The G810 will serve undemanding users fine, especially at such a low price. But for just $100 more, you can get much better quality with the Samsung SyncMaster 1100p Plus.

The ViewSonic G810 showed generally poor quality, with fuzzy text, indistinct display of fine lines, minor ghosting, uneven thickness and geometry of shapes, and uneven color saturation.

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