ViewSonicÃ‚'s G90fb delivers decent image quality and particularly rich colors for less than $250--hundreds less than a similarly sized LCD and cheaper than many other 19-inch CRTs. Less tech-savvy users may appreciate the G90fbÃ‚'s extremely user-friendly adjustment controls; graphics professionals, however, will want to spend a bit more on SamsungÃ‚'s SyncMaster 957MB for its superior brightness and slightly better image quality.
The G90fb is one behemoth of a 19-inch monitor. Granted, compared to LCDs, all CRT monitors are big--itÃ‚'s a fact of tube-based technology. Still, the display sports an extrawide bezel that runs one and a half inches on the sides and top and three and a quarter inches on the bottom. The display comes with good documentation, including a two-page quick-start guide that explains how to connect the monitor to your PC or Mac. (Mac users need a special adapter, available on ViewSonicÃ‚'s &siteid=7&edid=&lop=txt&destcat=ex&destUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eviewsonic%2Ecom%2Fproducts%2Fcrt%5Fg90fb%2Ehtm%23accessories" target="_blank">Web site.) Also included is a user guide on CD that describes how to use the onscreen menu controls to adjust the screen image.
Not that youÃ‚'ll really need the documentation--the G90fbÃ‚'s excellent onscreen menu (OSM) system is extremely easy to navigate. In fact, itÃ‚'s one of the best weÃ‚'ve come across. Four, clearly labeled buttons along the bottom bezel serve as the controls: one brings up the menu and exits submenus, another brings you into submenus, and two more let you scroll through the menu items and select options. ItÃ‚'s simple to adjust the brightness and contrast, the color temperature, the screen position and geometry, and the OSM itself; unfortunately, you canÃ‚'t fiddle with the sharpness.
CNET tested the G90fb at a resolution of 1,280x1,024 (as we do for all 19-inch displays, unless the manufacturer suggests otherwise). We found good uniformity across the screen and saw rich, deep colors in Web pages and high-resolution images. However, the focus was mediocre, especially at higher resolutions, and even at the maximum brightness setting, the G90fb was quite a bit dimmer than other comparable displays. We also detected some slight convexity in the picture.