Nvidia's GeForce 3D Vision Kit allows full-colour, stereoscopic, three-dimensional gaming and video playback on your PC. ViewSonic's 22-inch FuHzion VX2268wm is currently one of very few monitors capable of operating in 3D mode. It's available for around £220.
Most of the time, the VX2268wm looks and acts just like a standard 22-inch PC monitor. It has a 16:10-ratio, 1,680x1,050-pixel display with a standard TN panel. It comes with a basic tilting stand, built-in stereo speakers and very few other distinguishing features.
What sets it apart from the pack is its 120Hz refresh rate, which makes it compatible with Nvidia's GeForce 3D Vision Kit. This kit requires the ability to send a different 60-frames-per-second video stream to each of your eyes simultaneously, hence the need for a 120Hz refresh rate on the display.
The Vision Kit comprises a pair of rechargeable LCD glasses, an infrared transmitter for your PC, and a CD containing driver software. The goal is to have all 3D games working seamlessly and automatically with the Vision Kit, but, in practice, it's something of a hit and miss affair. Sometimes, slight tweaking of the in-game settings is all that's required to get a satisfactory result, and Nvidia helps you with this by providing a reasonably up-to-date database of games that the company's already tested and tweaked.
When starting up a game for the first time, a message is overlaid on the screen telling you whether or not it's compatible with 3D mode, and informing you of any settings you may need to change. You can then dismiss the message with a pre-defined keystroke.
When it works well, the 3D effect can be pretty mind-blowing. First-person shooters take on a new lease of life, and you may find, as we did, that you'll want to load up old games you haven't played in years just to enjoy them again in 3D. Games set outdoors work really well when there's plenty of distance between you and the horizon. Racing games can be particularly dramatic, with the 3D effect conveying an increased sense of speed and adding plenty of realism to collisions.
All this excitement comes at a price, though. The Vision Kit will set you back around £110, and the VX2268wm costs around £100 more than you might expect to pay for a similar, 60Hz model.
ViewSonic's on-screen menus haven't been updated for many years, and are now starting to look rather clunky and unfriendly. They can be rather tricky to use, but the saving grace in the VX2268wm's case is that they offer relatively few options to choose from.
The VX2268wm doesn't come with many premium features, such an ambient-light sensor or multiple image presents. Although many would find such features superfluous, we can't help but think that a monitor at this price should offer more. You do get a set of reasonably good built-in speakers, with SRS WOW processing for boosting the dynamics, though.
In terms of image quality, the VX2268wm is responsive, and delivers very good contrast and accurate colour, although we think it looks better with the dynamic-contrast option disabled.
Without its 120Hz refresh rate and 3D capability, the ViewSonic FuHzion VX2268wm would be very overpriced, and you could get much more for your money. A 16:9-format, 1080p version would be better too. Ultimately, though, if you're buying this monitor, you'll be buying it for its 3D performance, which is very good.
Edited by Charles Kloet