The ViewSonic VX2255wmb sits squarely in the middle of ViewSonic's X Series line of consumer LCDs. ViewSonic lists a price of $411, but you can generally find the LCD online for $50 less, which is about average for a 22-inch LCD. Given the various devices you can today connect to an LCD, we were surprised to find a limited amount of video ports, which may inspire you to look elsewhere if you require component or S-Video connections. For those who need only a DVI or a VGA port, the wide-screen ViewSonic VX2255wmb provides excellent image quality under a variety of scenarios. Its piano-black bezel gives the display a modern look, and the Webcam that's built in above the display provides easy Web conferencing. Although we found a lot to like with the ViewSonic VX2255wmb, we still prefer the similarly priced Gateway FPD2275W for its cleaner design, sturdier base, and superior video input selection. Alternatively, while the HP W2007 gives you two less inches of real estate, it also costs less and provides better image quality with the same native resolution.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
|GLBenchmark 2.7 (native resolution, T-Rex HD, C24Z16)||GLBenchmark 2.7 (1080p, T-Rex HD, C24Z16)|
Design is always subjective, but this reviewer prefers Gateway's design to that of the ViewSonic. The Gateway bezel is a little narrower with softer lines, giving it a sleeker yet more professional appearance. The ViewSonic features a glossy, piano-black bezel common to HDTVs. While attractive, it's prone to fingerprints and distracting glare in brightly lit environments. The Gateway's matte-finish frame is a better bet for the home or office. Plus, the Gateway display also features blue LED lights along the bottom of the right side of the screen, which serve as buttons to navigate the onscreen menu. These buttons offer a cleaner look when compared to the four small, plastic buttons that protrude from the right side of the ViewSonic screen.
The ViewSonic's onscreen menu is straightforward and easy to use, letting you adjust brightness, contrast, and color, as well as video input. The menu options are clearly labeled to aid navigation; there are no mysterious icons to decipher. The middle two buttons let you adjust the volume. A convenient headphone jack resides just below the menu button.
The monitor's base lets you swivel the screen a full 360 degrees, but its round shape means the display is more prone to wobble than is the Gateway LCD, with its wider and heavier oval base. The stand offers 3 inches of height adjustment, and you can tilt the monitor forward a few degrees and back about 25 degrees--but you can't pivot the screen into a portrait position.
Pixel-response rate: 5msn
Contrast ratio: 700:1
Connectivity: DVI, VGA
Included DVI, VGA, USB, and audio cables
The ViewSonic serves up extras such as a Webcam and integrated speakers. It's purely a PC (or Mac--it works with either platform) monitor, however, skipping the added video ports found on the Gateway, which include component, composite, and S-Video, yet offering the standard duo ports, VGA and DVI. Don't buy this display for its integrated 2-watt stereo speakers, however; they are among the weakest speakers we've encountered. In addition to being underpowered like almost all monitor-integrated speakers, they also face downward, which further detracts from their output. The speakers are downright unusable for listening to music, and really aren't much better for anything else. There's an upstream port to power the Webcam, but there's no downstream USB port to be found--a curious omission.
The Webcam, however, is a feature that might sway you. It features a fairly typical 1.3-megapixel resolution and--with the tiny microphone to its right--gives you quick-and-easy Web conferencing right out of the box. The Webcam software is polished, and lets you take snapshots or video and adjust camera settings to fine-tune the image. It lacks the fun, goofy effects that you get with the Apple Phone Booth application, however.
The ViewSonic VX2255wmb is HDCP compliant, which means you can view copyrighted content (read: Hollywood movies) on high-definition Blu-ray or HD DVD discs. The display's top resolution of 1,680x1,050, however, means you just miss 1080p output and must settle for 720p.