ViewSonic's E70f is a nice place to rest your eyes for $225. Its picture is flicker-free at 1,024 by 768 resolution (85Hz refresh rate) and remains fairly stable as high as 1,152 by 864 (75Hz refresh rate). In CNET Labs' line-resolution tests, the E70f's tiniest lines were clearly visible, and focus remained tight. Further testing revealed imperfections (stubborn moiré patterns and bowing along the edges of the picture), but the anomalies were typical and ultimately nondistracting.
The ViewSonic E70f's colors weren't as deeply saturated as those of higher-end models such as Eizo's FlexScan F520, but at half the price, they looked just fine. In the end, the E70f scored nearly as well as Samsung's SyncMaster 755DF, but the Samsung's geometric linearity was noticeably superior.
The E70f's simple, four-button OSD (onscreen display) makes adjustments such as moiré easy to perform, but if you need to know the meaning or the purpose of a function, the included user manual is also comprehensive and clear. And unlike the comparably priced Samsung SyncMaster 755DF, you can drag the ViewSonic's OSD menu around the screen if you feel so inclined. Although you can't regulate the amount of time the OSD is displayed on the screen, its factory preset timing is sufficient for unhurried screen adjustments.
One thing that's missing is USB compatibility. Unlike many new monitors, the E70f's sole connection option is the traditional display port. All new PCs come with USB ports, so a hot-swappable, USB display would be a plus. But average users probably won't miss this option.
The E70f comes with a three-year parts, labor, and CRT warranty, as well as the Express Exchange Program, which guarantees you a replacement monitor within 48 hours. ViewSonic's Web site contains driver downloads, warranty information, and a troubleshooting FAQ. If you don't find what you're looking for there, the company provides toll-free phone support 24/7.
Good image quality and a low price make ViewSonic's E70f a fine choice for your desktop, but it falls a little short when pitted against Samsung's SyncMaster 755DF.