a fast pixel-response time, the ViewSonic VX924 is a great LCD for gaming and watching DVDs, but it's not for the color-conscious or anyone who values screen uniformity.
The 19-inch ViewSonic VX924, like the Samsung SyncMaster 915N, has a fast 4-millisecond (ms) gray-to-gray pixel-response rate, making it appealing to gamers and movie watchers. While no LCD can keep up with the rapidly changing scenes of a movie or a game the way a CRT can, LCD manufacturers keep finding ways to bridge the gap by lowering their pixel-response times. Individual response-time specs are just one of the many numbers that affect a monitor's overall performance, and the way the specs are calculated isn't standard across manufacturers. Nevertheless, both the Samsung SyncMaster 915N and the ViewSonic VX924 display movies and gaming backgrounds with fewer errors than LCDs with significantly slower pixel-response times. The ViewSonic VX924, however, has a more attractive design and accepts a digital input. Though it has some screen-uniformity problems, we recommend it for gaming and movies; however, for general use, we prefer the SyncMaster 915N.
The ViewSonic VX924 gets its dapper look from a two-tone color scheme. A quarter-inch matte-silver bezel surrounds a three-quarter-inch matte-black bezel; the silver section of the bezel widens to an inch at the bottom to accommodate five silver onscreen menu (OSM) control buttons. The base follows the silver-and-black color scheme and is 11 inches wide but only 8 inches deep. This oblong design keeps the display from wobbling from side to side, but a firm touch to the front sends it wobbling back and forth. A hinge attaches the panel to the neck and allows the panel to tilt 20 degrees backward and 5 degrees forward; however, the screen doesn't raise, lower, pivot, or swivel. At almost 19 inches tall, the VX924 has plenty of height for taller individuals, but shorter people may wish the screen could be lowered.
Two snap-off plastic covers cleverly hide the input ports and the cords, creating an attractive back panel. The top panel hides the digital, analog, and power inputs, while the lower panel keeps the cords and the two plastic cable-management clips hidden.
The ViewSonic VX924's printed guide has one page of written instructions and four small illustrations that show you how to connect the VX924's cables to your PC or Macintosh computer. If you are connecting the VX924 to a Mac older than a G3, you will need a Macintosh adapter, available for $12.
Once the VX924 is connected to your computer, it's easy to adjust the standard settings through the OSM, such as image position and color, brightness, and contrast levels. The panel's five buttons are big and well labeled, making adjustments even easier. Unlike the Samsung SyncMaster 915N, the ViewSonic VX924 doesn't provide the ability to adjust the settings through a keyboard and mouse.
Tested at its native resolution of 1,280x1,024 using the analog connection, the ViewSonic VX924 did reasonably well on CNET Labs' DisplayMate-based tests. The biggest problems we encountered with the VX924's performance arose from the screen's lack of uniformity. The VX924's screen was darker at the top than the bottom, and light leaks occurred around the lower periphery, especially midway down the sides. This lack of uniformity caused the VX924 to display shades of gray and colors, especially dark ones, differently from top to bottom. These issues gave the VX924's otherwise bright and vibrant colors slight variations in tone but did not have a substantially negative effect on its overall sharpness. On the grayscale test screens, the VX924 produced a consistent range of grays, with only a slight smattering of green at the low end of the spectrum.
With its fast 4ms gray-to-gray pixel-response rate, the VX924 does exceptionally well with video playback and gaming. In our tests, we saw no streaking or ghosting during DVD playback--just full, accurate colors, good details, and only slight noise (pixel fluctuations) in solid-color backgrounds, which you would see with any LCD. Games looked simply great--full of detail and vibrant color.
The ViewSonic VX924 comes with an industry-standard three-year limited warranty covering parts and labor. You can extend your warranty to four years for $63 or five years for $90. You can bundle the extended warranties with ViewSonic's Express Exchange policy or buy three years of Express Exchange separately for $23. With Express Exchange, if you need a replacement LCD while yours is out for repair, ViewSonic will send you one within 48 hours. ViewSonic provides 24/7 toll-free tech support for the VX924 except on major U.S. holidays. ViewSonic's Web site provides additional support in the form of an interactive Q&A database and e-mail tech support.