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ViewSonic FuHzion VX2265wm Review

by The Review CrewJune 10, 2010

The 22-inch ViewSonic VX2265wm FuHzion is simply not worth its $350 price tag. For that price, you get only a DVI connection, poor movie playback quality, limited ergonomic options, and brightness calibration options only for the OSD. Games perform well and the VX225wm includes Nvidia 3D Visions Kit compatibility and built-in sound; however, the kit costs an additional $200 and proved buggy in our tests. In contrast, though the Gateway HD2201, lacks ergonomic options, but its HDMI support, great games and movie performance, and bargain price–as cheap as $150–make it a better buy.

Design and features
The 22-inch ViewSonic VX2265wm’s 0.7-inch black bezel has a glossy surface that attracts fingerprints easily. A flush, silver ViewSonic logo adorns the bottom middle of the bezel while on the right and left sides are two WOW SRS stereo speakers. The panel is much thinner than most 22-inch monitors, measuring 0.5 inch. Behind the panel, however, the display extends another two inches. Total panel width measures 20-inches; about average for a screen this size. The footstand is 13.5-inches wide by 8 inches deep and does a poor job keeping the display from wobbling when knocked from the sides. The bottom of the bezel is about 3.5 inches from the desktop, but the screen height is not adjustable. There are also no screen rotation or pivot options, which are useful if you prefer portrait mode. The capability to tilt the screen back 15 degrees is the only included ergonomic feature.

Although onscreen display buttons are included on the ViewSonic VX2265wm, only the brightness and speaker volume is adjustable. What’s more, there is no onscreen GUI used for the OSD. The OSD consists of four buttons. The “1” button adjusts the brightness with the help of the “up” and “down” controls and the “2” button adjusts the speaker volume. If you want to change other settings on the monitor, you will have to do so through your graphics card’s control panel. That’s not as precise as a native OSD would be.

The monitor includes a DVI connection, but lacks an HDMI or even a VGA connection. It is HDCP compatible, so protected HD content can be viewed on it. The lone DVI port is easily accessible with no obstructions or awkward angles to get in the way. The screen has an aspect ratio of 16:10 with a 1,680×1,050-pixel native resolution.

The VX2265wm is one of the first consumer LCD monitors with a 120Hz refresh rate. Supported by a dual-link DVI cable, the 120Hz refresh rate ensures the display’s compatibility with the $199 Nvidia 3D Vision Kit stereoscopic 3D glasses. The glasses give 3D games added depth to the image. For example, when playing Unreal Tournament 3, your map and menu items look as though they are stickers, stuck to the screen and the rest of the graphics–characters, vehicles–look much further away.

When we increased the depth to anything above 5 percent, we noticed a lot of ghosting where each polygonal model had a “shadow” next to it. It was so distracting that the games became unplayable over five percent depth. We noticed this in the Nvidia drivers diagnostic test and in the game Unreal Tournament 3. The ghosting effect was lessened, however, when we upgraded our Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTS to the GeForce 9600.

Check out the first take of the Nvidia 3D Vision Kit for more detailed impressions.

Manufacturer’s specifications:
Resolution: 1,680×1,050 pixels
Pixel-response rate: 3ms
Contrast ratio: 1,000:1
Brightness: 300cd/m2
Connectivity: DVI
HDCP compliant? Yes
Included video cables? DVI-D Dual link
Performance
We tested the ViewSonic VX2265wm FuHzion with its DVI connection. The display posted a composite score of 85 on CNET Labs’ DisplayMate-based performance tests compared with the 22-inch Gateway HD2201 and the ViewSonic VLED221wm, which both scored an 86. While the display is sharp and performs well in color accuracy tests, two glaring issues brought its score down. First, its backlight bleed through is very apparent in the lower and top edges of dark screens. The streaking and ghosting test, which detects light or dark shadows trailing an image in areas with large contrast change, was the second problem. During this test, we found noticeable dark shadows trailing the bars on the test screen. This should not be confused with the streaking that is often found in moving images. This test deals only with problems that arise when a display renders large, chunky graphic elements, such as bar graphs or tiled arrangements of open windows.

The ViewSonic VX2265wm FuHzion posted a brightness score of 266 candelas per square meter, according to our test–which is significantly lower than the 300 cd/m2 maximum claimed by ViewSonic. This is lower than the Gateway HD2201’s 289 cd/m2 brightness rating as well. Our tested contrast rating for the VLED221wm actually exceeded ViewSonic’s 1,000:1 claim by scoring 1,057:1. Bear in mind that the methodology used by most vendors for determining contrast ratio is unknown; however, you can read about CNET Labs’ methodology here.

The backlight bleed through mentioned earlier did not adversely affect the graphical quality of World of Warcraft on the ViewSonic VX2265wm FuHzion as it looked just as crisp and colorful as it did on the VLED221wm and the HD2201. Not a surprise, as WoW looks great on pretty much every monitor we test. Unfortunately, viewing the game from a lower-than-optimal viewing angle made the screen darken to the point that we couldn’t see graphic details of the game–this is typical of most TN panels and has nothing to do with the game’s performance.

Although WoW looked good, the backlight light bleed through was significant enough to adversely affect the display’s quality when viewing movies. Thanks to the bleeding, “Kill Bill Vol. 1″ DVD on the ViewSonic VX2265wm FuHzion had drab colors and shallow blacks, making the tint of the overall picture look yellowish. The colors don’t pop as well as on the Gateway HD2201 and even ViewSonic’s own VLED221wm. Turning down the monitor’s brightness was not a remedy. We didn’t notice any motion-based streaking or ghosting, and the screen remained sharp for a DVD.

The 1080p Blu-ray version of “House of Flying Daggers” suffered for the same reasons stated above.

The built-in speakers located on the bottom of the bezel produced decent sound, but they lack bass. However, they have enough volume to clearly hear dialogue in a movie as long as you’re not more than 10 feet away in a normal volume-level room.

We could not play movies at the 120Hz refresh rate–be they DVD or Blu-ray–all we got was a screen of snow. There may be some kind of hack to get around this, but natively, the monitor cannot play movie discs at 120Hz when hooked to a computer.

The optimal viewing angle for a monitor is usually directly in front, about a quarter of the screen’s distance down from the top. At this angle, you’re viewing the colors and gamma correction as they were intended. Most monitors are not made to be viewed at any other angle. Depending on its panel type, picture quality at nonoptimal angles varies. Most monitors use TN panels, which get overly bright or overly dark in parts of the screen when viewed from nonoptimal angles. The ViewSonic VLED221wm uses a TN panel, and when it is viewed from the sides or bottom, the screen appeared to darken when only a couple inches off from the optimal position. Of course, when viewed from the optimal angle, we had no problems.

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The Review Crew
The Review Crew is a group of beat editors, writers, and consultants that have been working together for years. They know just about everything about everything collectively and have published their collective work under the Review Crew brand moniker for almost 20 years.