Style and function will forever be a challenge to monitor manufacturers. You’ll either have an aesthetically plain, though pricey, display that’s the envy of any graphic designer or a modern-looking display that’s little more than a functional piece of plastic that gets the basic job done. And good luck trying to get both into a single package without breaking the bank, as few companies seem resigned to even try.
It’s a fine line to get the best of both worlds but ViewSonic’s VX2270Smh-LED 22-inch Frameless IPS LED Display attempts to merge a great display, a suite of remarkable perks, and an upscale look into one package – essentially the Holy Grail of budget-priced monitors. Priced well below $200, can this stylishly slim display deliver the goods?
Without even having to turn it on the VX2270 sports a pretty striking widescreen appearance. You’ve got a frameless (thin) bezel with impressive WHD dimensions of 19.7 x 15.4 x 0.6 inches (without the included stand), and a tilt radius of 25-degrees. The premium image is convincing enough with touch-sensitive OSD menu and power (I/O) buttons that are tucked into the adjustable stand along with a built-in speaker. It’s a clean presentation but cumbersome for bigger hands (and fat fingers) to access if you change settings frequently.
Even with all these nice touches the build quality still feels about average with its shiny black gloss front and hard plastic rear – on par with most models in its price range though still far from feeling poorly made.
Connectivity, on other hand, is excellent with all analog/digital inputs and audio accounted for. VGA (D-sub), DVI-D, and HDMI inputs come standard – a great mix as HDMI is typically absent from most mainstream (i.e. brand-name monitors). The acoustic abilities support separate plugins for 3.5” headphones or speakers.
Our initial impression of the VX2270 was surprising as we usually have to dive into the color or picture settings to correct inaccuracies right out of the box. To the naked eye, however, we were treated to an almost uniform picture with deep and appropriately saturated hues along with some deep blacks for an IPS-LED, leaving us hard-pressed to see why any normal person would bother to change anything at all if they’re dazzled by the defaults. Great job, ViewSonic.
From what we experienced there’s a near perfect balance between brightness and contrasts without noticeable grayscale compression, and the big reason for the picture performance is that the VX2270 is factory calibrated to achieve 100% of the sRGB color space. For graphic designers who work specifically for digital applications going with sRGB is simpler and better represents how color is seen on the web, opposed to the Adobe RGB space which has a noticeably wider gamut but only important if your occupation primarily involves photography and actual CMYK-based printing.
Despite the near-perfect preset there are other options such as Bluish, Cool, Native, Warm, and User which bump up the color temperatures quite a bit and are less satisfactory to say the least. If you do need to tweak the RGB colors stick to the adjustable User preset and manual Brightness/Contrast options and you’ll want to stay away from Dynamic Contrast Responsive if want uncompromising shadow tones as well.
As an entertainment monitor the VX2270 does a decent job, thanks to the included HDMI input and adequate speakers at the ready. As I mentioned above, not too many brand-name monitors rock an HDMI port so having one available makes a big difference for those who like their electronics to pull double-duty.
We hooked up a PlayStation 3 and ran a series of games (Gran Turismo 5, LittleBigPlanet) to high-definition Blu-ray movies (Avatar, The Dark Knight Rises, Evangelion 2.22) and came away impressed. While it probably won’t replace your current or future HDTV, the visuals and refresh rates were great and helped make the VX2270 a smart second or even a companion display if you need one. As nice as the visuals were, however, definitely invest in a decent set of speakers if you plan on using this is a longterm HD solution.
If style or web-based graphic design is important then ViewSonic’ VX2270Smh-LED 22-inch Frameless IPS LED Display is one desirable all-in-one monitor solution worth looking into. It’s fully sRGB compliant and attractively slim, with a style that punches far above its price range (despite its average build quality). Advanced options are limited and we don’t advise against using anything but the default preset or enabling the unnecessary enhancements as ViewSonic has included a great picture experience right out of the box. And thanks to its built-in HDMI and speakers it makes a good replacement or second HDTV solution in a pinch, though you’ll want to add your own speakers to compliment its great 1080p display. It’s a great, inexpensive display that performs well as is.