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ViewSonic P 95f+ review:

ViewSonic P 95f+

  • 1
MSRP: $305.00
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The Good High resolutions; above-average color uniformity; solid geometry; advanced controls.

The Bad Blurry image quality at top resolutions.

The Bottom Line The P95f+ isn't the cheapest 19-inch CRT, but with better performance and more features than competing models, it ultimately proves to be a solid value.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

CNET Editors' Rating

7.0 Overall

The boxy, beige ViewSonic P95f+ 19-inch monitor has more right angles than a high-school geometry class. And like most aperture-grille tubes, it is heavier than the average shadow-mask tubes, weighing in at 55 pounds. However, what you concede in girth, you gain in other areas such as a straight-edged, 18-inch viewable area; ample onscreen controls for fine-tuning the image; and the ability to display text and graphics at high resolutions and comfortable refresh rates. When you add it all up, the monitor's $345 price tag seems like a fairly good deal. The boxy, beige ViewSonic P95f+ 19-inch monitor has more right angles than a high-school geometry class. And like most aperture-grille tubes, it is heavier than the average shadow-mask tubes, weighing in at 55 pounds. However, what you concede in girth, you gain in other areas such as a straight-edged, 18-inch viewable area; ample onscreen controls for fine-tuning the image; and the ability to display text and graphics at high resolutions and comfortable refresh rates. When you add it all up, the monitor's $345 price tag seems like a fairly good deal.

Simple setup
As with most CRT displays, setting up the P95f+ is a no-brainer. You won't find a printed setup guide or manual, but the PDF version on the bundled CD provides setup information, including a well-illustrated section that discusses onscreen controls, their functions, and--especially handy for the uninitiated--tips on when to use them.

The onscreen display controls are fairly easy to use. The P95f+ provides ample controls, especially those for adjusting screen images, such as horizontal and vertical convergence and purity, to help spiff up fuzzy-edged text and graphics. Another plus: a standalone control called UltraBrite amps up saturation levels on photos, videos, or games, making them appear less dark. This function works well, but it doesn't allow you to highlight specific screen areas in the way that monitors such as the Samsung SyncMaster 950b do.

In the laboratory
At its native 1,280x1,024 resolution and 101Hz refresh rate, the P95f+ delivered good performance on CNET Labs' DisplayMate-based benchmark tests. In focus tests, text appeared sharper at the screen's center than at corners, in part due to its variegated pitch (.25mm center; .27mm in the corners). Using the Arial font, we found that text was legible to 5.3 points but more readable at 6.8 points. The display's maximum 2,043x1,536 resolution is high for a 19-inch monitor and showed smudgy text and fuzzy icons--a problem we couldn't correct, even after using the onscreen controls. Also, the flickering, 68Hz refresh rate at this setting could cause eyestrain for some users.

Further tests revealed excellent range, though gradations were less discernible in darker areas of the color spectrum. Hues were bright but not truly vibrant. In photo tests, a flower showed nice shades of detail, and flesh tones looked realistic. The ViewSonic's relative lack of geometric distortion gave it a performance edge over competing CRTs such as the Benq Professional P992. All in all, these color capabilities make the P95f+ ideal for Web browsing, presentations, or midlevel professional imaging work.

Support for the ViewSonic P95f+ is above par. The monitor is backed by a standard three-year warranty for parts and labor, as well as 24/7, toll-free tech support. At the company's Web site, you'll find registration forms and updated drivers.

Home users or small offices with basic needs can find better 19-inch bargains such as the Samsung SyncMaster 950b, which currently sells for $229. But if you want to step up to a monitor that offers higher resolutions, more detailed controls, and solid performance, the ViewSonic P95f+ is an excellent choice.

--By Mick Lockey

Monitor image-quality test
Longer bars indicate better performance
0-50 = Poor   50-60 = Fair   60-70 = Good   70-80 = Very good   80-100 = Excellent
IBM P96
75 
Samsung SyncMaster 950b
68 
ViewSonic P95f+
66 
Sony HMD-A400
64 
Benq P992
63 
HP 92
58 
 

With sharp focus--especially at the center of the display--excellent color range and detail, and little geometric distortion, the ViewSonic P95f+ was a strong all-around performer on CNET Labs' tests. At the default 1,280x1,024 resolution, text was legible even at very small sizes. These qualities make the P95f+ suitable for Web browsing, presentations, or midlevel professional imaging work.

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