The ViewSonic VX1962wm monitor is a sleek, 19-inch display with good gaming performance and unusually high resolution at 1,680x1,050 pixels. It has its fair share of problems, however, including a relatively high price tag. It can be found online now for roughly £145.
The Viewsonic VX1962wm looks good with its sleek, glossy, black finish that extends from the bezel right around to the back. The right and left sides of the bezel are less than 25mm thick and the width of the panel is 445mm. The footstand is oval-shaped and measures 305mm wide and 178mm deep. Despite the wide footstand, the display wobbled considerably when knocked from the sides.
The on-screen display (OSD) is basic, with options for contrast, brightness and colour temperature, and navigating the OSD menu is simple and painless. The four OSD buttons located on the underside of the bezel are tactile and have about 25mm between each of them. They protrude enough from the panel to let you easily calibrate them in the dark, which you may need to do since the blue LED power button is not bright enough to illuminate the buttons adequately.
Connection options include VGA and DVI, and they're located above the neck, which isn't very long at just 76mm. Unfortunately no HDMI is included but the display is HDCP compatible. We were happy to find that the connections were easy to access and connecting them was a painless process. There's no pivoting, rotation or screen-height adjustment, but the screen does tilt back about 20 degrees. The top of the panel houses the built-in speakers and, while most 19-inchers top out at 1,440x900 pixels, the ViewSonic features the unusually high resolution of 1,680x1,050 pixels.
We tested the ViewSonic VX1962wm in its DVI connection in the 6500K colour temperature. The monitor posted a composite score of 81 on our DisplayMate-based performance tests. While the ViewSonic scored well in colour and screen uniformity tests, it actually exhibited inferior performance on our real-world games and movies tests.
With the monitor set to the 6500K colour temperature, we noticed that King Kong on DVD had an overall yellowish hue to it, almost as if the film stock itself had a yellow coating. This is not something that stands out dramatically, though, so don't stress. We also noticed the DVD image on the ViewSonic was slightly blurry when compared to other monitors. World of Warcraft had a similar yellow hue but otherwise looked good.
When we switched the colour temperature to 9300K, we saw dramatic improvement in the hue and balance. The yellow was all but gone in both games and movies, though images were still slightly blurry. We also noticed that the backlight changed the black level so much that colours looked slightly washed out. The monitor posted a brightness rating of 283cd/m2 according to our tests.
Viewsonic claims a viewing angle of 170 degrees, but we found that when we took just one big step from the centre, detail decreased dramatically. When we moved just slightly below or above the optimal viewing angle -- one-quarter of the distance from the top -- screen detail dropped as well.
The monitor includes a Dynamic Contrast Ratio option, but we didn't notice anything "dynamic" about it. When switched on, it seemed to increase the contrast and brightness, but there was no dynamic dimming or increasing of the backlight during movies. The built-in speakers reach a good volume for watching YouTube videos, but their tinny sound prevents them from being tailored for games or movies.
Despite its good gaming performance, smart design, and high 1,680x1,050-pixel resolution, we do not recommend the ViewSonic VX1962wm. There are cheaper and better performers out there, and the slightly blurry picture during DVD playback detracts from the ViewSonic's appeal, not to mention the irritating yellowish hue in the 6500K colour temperature. We also would have liked to see rotation, pivoting or screen-height adjustment features, since the side viewing angle is not as wide as it could be.
Edited by Marian Smith