With a 12ms response time, the VG712s finds Viewsonic actively targeting the hardened gaming fraternity, whose members have thus far had few good value TFT screens to pick from that both meet their needs and match the contents of their wallets. And while the current street price still won’t bring this onto everyone’s radar, things are certainly moving in the right direction.
Still, the VG712s needn’t be limited purely to gamers, as apart from a couple of caveats it’s an excellent piece of kit. There are numerous things in its favour, primarily the razor-sharp display (with a native resolution of 1280 x 1024 pixels), about which we could barely raise a mutter of complaint. Whatever we threw at it – bright, vivid graphics, gaming, DVD movies, ridiculously small word processing text and suchlike – it performed superbly.
In gaming in particular, ghosting was very much a thing of the past, and the screen happily moved around the likes of Doom 3, Pro Evolution Soccer 4 and Need for Speed: Underground without a blink. The display was clear, crisp and held colours well. In short, we were impressed (although to get the very best out of it, you should use the DVI input; a VGA connection is supported, though).
We were also impressed by the aesthetics. Viewsonic has long been in the business of producing swish looking screens, and there’s no exception to the rule here. The silver finish is stylish and it manages to look classy without resorted to gimmicks. That it takes up minimal footprint on your desk is all the better.
Mounted on the front are eight discreet buttons that control the volume coming out of the built-in speakers and help you navigate the clear on-screen menu. While Viewsonic supplies documentation, you’re unlikely to require it thanks to the common sense way in which the whole package has been put together.
However, you may recall – especially as we’re only a couple of paragraphs on – that there were a couple of caveats, and the first is those aforementioned speakers. Such audio options have long been given a wide berth by anyone who has standards for their audio experience, and the same applies here. The speakers are at best functional, but they’re no substitute for a separate set, and never will be.
Then, given the target audience, we can’t help wondering about the screen size. It’s perhaps a little picky, but a gamer who has held out for a 12ms TFT is as well holding out for a 19-inch model to fall within their budget – it really can make a big difference.
Yet that’s no fault with this particularly model, which is an accomplished and strong piece of hardware in its own right. Easy to use, and no trouble in operation, Viewsonic has not only set high standards with the VG712s, it’s met them.
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