It’s best to think of ViewSonic’s VX2475Smhl-4K as a decent monitor made nicer with trickle-down technology.
And we’ve certainly waited long enough for a display like this to come along. The appeal of attainable 4K resolution (UHD/3480×2160) is the biggest draw, with punchy colors and inky-looking blacks being a byproduct of added quality. Of course for its relative affordability (a loose distinction) there are some shortcomings that come with the territory.
A black glossy theme surrounds a 24-inch screen and is incorporated in the front 0.85” bezel and large square base with a short mounting arm; a pretty standard look that’s exudes inoffensiveness at 8 pounds. Beneath are menu and power buttons which are tucked away with some equally black icons to vaguely identify their functions. Unsurprisingly, they’re also hard to reach as well thanks to a clear piece of plastic trim added for some visual garnishing on the bottom bezel. This monitor also has 22 degrees of backwards tilt and 5 degree forward but lack any kind height, pivot, or swivel action; as a consolation this can be set on a wall with VESA mounts.
Connectivity is a matter of quality versus quantity. The rear of the cabinet sports two HDMI 2.0 (with one including MHL 2.0 for compatible smartphone/tablet devices) and DisplayPort (version 1.2a) inputs, and a lone headphone jack to accommodate the paltry internal 3-watt speakers. The only additional ports you don’t get are USB, a fair tradeoff if you’re not overloaded on spare peripherals already.
The picture options for the VX2475Smhl-4K are holdovers and do a satisfactory job of providing tweaks when necessary, presets include Standard, Game, Movie, Web, Text, and Mono modes to match typical viewing environments. The usual temperature settings (sRBG, Bluish, Cool, Native, and Warm) are also accounted for along with a slightly more intuitive User setting where you manually adjust the reds, blues, and greens in rudimentary fashion. The only other things that could be called advanced is the Low Blue Filter option for deceased eye strain and some eco choices for backlight efficiency.
We had no preconceived notions about the capabilities of the VX2475Smhl-4K and its unique Plane-Line Switching (PLS) panel technology, the image was going to look good and very detailed albeit with more vibrant and overstated hues. A chromaticity readout revealed that most colors (shown as colored dots) weren’t exactly centered on their CIE accuracy coordinates, and found themselves on the edge or slightly outside of the ideal targets with reds being the biggest offender. Despite the benchmarking, we really didn’t find anything peculiar about the image as we played an LG 4K time-lapse video demo of the American southwest. The canyon landscape looked quite impressive as the individual blades of grass became alive and eroded rock formations appeared strikingly natural.
Black levels are also very deep and make up for the shortcomings that were often present in our grayscale measurements. Darker shades of gray did succumb to getting crushed in which the gradients of shading appeared as black and flatter in contrast, a typical trait of most midrange monitors. Fortunately like an IPS panel, the offset viewing angles didn’t take away from the consistently excellent luminescence.
Generally speaking, the VX2475Smhl-4K is very pretty to look at for games and movies. There is minor ghosting but the panel input lag of 13.1 milliseconds was still quick when playing Batman: Arkham Origins and Battlefield Hardline, a figure that’s above average for most gaming needs. As for 4K performance we can finally say that ViewSonic has delivered on the promise of an actual Ultra HD entertainment display, after a long wait of standardization we appreciate not having to jump through hoops of connectivity with HDMI 2.0 (4K/60p). Although for a 3840×2160 pixel count on a screen this size you’ll probably have to squint for Photoshop or CAD duties.
There is a level of compromise that comes with the ViewSonic VX2475Smhl-4K starting with a lack of extra features and its relatively smallish screen real estate, but the perks that are kept offer enough redemption. The colors are rich, the blacks are exceptionally deep, and image quality at higher resolutions are absolutely razor sharp. But most important of all is that future-proof connectivity is now accounted for. Just be prepared to spend more than you’d like for this mainstream choice.