Large-format monitors are becoming more common with each passing month, with 20in the threshold size for resolutions higher than 1280 x 1024. But while most offer 1600 x 1200, ViewSonic has gone for a compromise resolution, primarily in an attempt to cut costs.
The VG2021m’s 1400 x 1050 is still a step up from 19-inch monitors and, while the Desktop area is a little more cramped than its higher-resolution rivals, it’s never particularly noticeable in use. To further cut costs, you’re limited to a D-SUB connection, but we found the auto-adjust facility to be quick and accurate in setting up the screen.
The OSD is a little crowded and the buttons are annoyingly placed out of sight on the side of the screen, but our necessary adjustments to brightness and contrast were made fairly easily. In use, the colour accuracy is acceptable rather than great, with an adequate amount of brightness and good motion handling, in line with the quoted 8ms response time.
It coasted through most of our technical tests, but it did have weaknesses: the black level wasn’t quite dark enough, with a small amount of light seeping through the top and bottom edges of the screen. There wasn’t a huge amount of detail in dark areas either. The built-in speakers are disappointing, with little bass and a tendency for harshness. Maximum volume is reasonably loud, but the higher it gets the poorer the sound becomes.
If you’re after a panel to handle media, you’ll need to look elsewhere; in all other uses this is a perfectly good option. The styling is a plus point, with the black body rounded off by a curve of silver, and the stand allows for a decent tilt angle. However, you can’t swivel it and there’s no height adjustment.
If we compare it to the 19-inch Samsung 940BW (page 74), we can see just how good value the VG2021m is. It’s almost $100 cheaper and also cheaper than the majority of 4:3 aspect 20-inch monitors. It may not offer the features or the resolution of more expensive models, but if you’re looking for a large, decent-quality LCD for a bargain price, the VG2021m is a fine choice.
This Review appeared in the November, 2006 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine
Source: Copyright © PC Pro, Dennis Publishing