ViewSonic VG2436wm-LED review

Full HD display with LED backlights
Photo of ViewSonic VG2436wm-LED
£185

The ViewSonic VG2436wm-LED widescreen monitor’s twin headline features are support for a Full HD resolution of 1,920×1,080, and its use of LED backlighting.

Mainstream appeal
If you’ve window shopped for a monitor in the past year or two, you may have come to the conclusion that you’d have to travel a long way to buy a screen that doesn’t have a resolution of 1,920×1,080. This puts the ViewSonic plumb in the mainstream – and it’s a similar story with the LED backlights. This technology has moved from the realms of the exotic and into the mainstream, as the older CCFL technology goes the way of the Dodo.

In fact, there’s very little about the specification of the 23.6in VG2436wm-LED that would persuade the casual shopper to pause and take a second glance. The panel uses TN technology, and has viewing angles of 170 degrees horizontally and 160 degrees vertically – typical of the breed. Add a brightness rating of 300 nits, a 5ms response time and 20,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and you have a specification that looks rather run-of-the-mill.

So what’s new?
The ViewSonic’s fairly prosaic spec left us hoping it had some neat features tucked up its sleeve. And in truth, there’s really only one: its offers the full range of tilt, swivel, height and pivot adjustments, thanks to a base which attaches to the panel using a 100×100 VESA mount. So you can rotate the display from conventional landscape to portrait orientation – handy for graphic design, among other uses.

Unfortunately ViewSonic doesn’t supply any pivot software, so you’ll be relying on your graphics drivers to do the job. This looks like an oversight, as Samsung includes a neat utility called MagicRotation with the displays in its range that support pivot, and we can’t see why other manufacturers don’t do the same.

Getting connected
ViewSonic has arranged the connectors for mains power, DVI-D, VGA and audio in a row across the back of the panel. The audio mini-jack feeds a signal to its built-in stereo 2W speakers. We were mildly disappointed to see that there is no HDMI connector; however, the DVI-D does a perfectly decent job for PC and laptop duties. If you fancy connecting your game console or Blu-ray player to the ViewSonic you may feel less charitable on this point. There’s a DVI-D cable in the package but no VGA cable, so the analogue connection appears to be something of an afterthought.

Setting up the display is both quick and easy. In part this is because the four-button OSD controls that ViewSonic employs across its range are intuitive and simple to use – but that’s only part of the story. The setup menus are easy to navigate because they’re rather basic and don’t include any preset profiles. This is an unusual omission by ViewSonic, as pretty much every monitor on the market has presets for Movie, Standard and Photo. In fairness, though, we have to say that the picture looked perfectly acceptable, and were happy making manual adjustments to the brightness and contrast settings.

There are two other settings that merit some attention. One is the ‘dynamic contrast’ ratio which increases the ‘true’ contrast figure from 1,000:1 to an astronomical rating of 20,000,000:1. The other setting to consider is the ViewSonic’s Eco mode, which controls the brightness setting to save power. The brightest setting (which we preferred) is Standard, with options called ‘Optimise’, which decreases brightness by 25 per cent, and ‘Conserve’ which is minus 50 per cent.

Company: ViewSonic

Contact: 020 7382 8250

Positives
  • Image quality is decent enough for the price.
Negative
  • No pivot software; no HDMI.

Verdict

Our overall impression of the VG2436wm-LED was quite favourable, but there's little about this monitor that merits excitement. The picture is perfectly decent when judged by the standards of TN panels and is assisted by the dynamic contrast ratio that's a feature of LED backlighting. The stand offers height adjustment and pivot, but you don't get any pivot software - and the absence of HDMI will be a real pain for some potential customers.