The promise of 4K has been a far-reaching one. We’ve been told throughout the last few years that the benefits would be worth be wait, so far though, much of the market is still lost in limbo. But there’s a little more to offer for computer users, however, the ViewSonic VX2880ml Ultra HD Professional Multimedia Monitor is one that struggles to make a viable case for itself.
This is part of the game for manufacturers tailoring to early adopters and the VX2880ml is yet another 28-incher that’s poised to occupy a lot of desk space at 10.8 lbs. The overall styling is glossy black with two “YouTube-approved” 2-watt speakers and contact-based control panel on the bottom, while a fashionable one-piece stand keeps the monitor up – but also non-adjustable. Around back, connectivity includes HDMI/MHL and two DisplayPort (standard and mini) inputs, headphone jack, and a DisplayPort output for daisy-chaining.
Despite the aesthetics and slick exterior the VX2880ml is adequate at best, but questionably Spartan compared to other UHD models. Out-of-the-box performance gave us a palette of punchy colors with decent blacks, although a quick CIE chromaticity test revealed that all color dots (red, green, and cyan in particular) were slightly misaligned from their ideal accuracy points.
Average grayscale presentation didn’t win us over either when left on its Standard default preset. In fact, it’s one the poorer testers with little gradation between grays, especially from moderate to crushed blacks in various scenes during Guardians of the Galaxy. Lighter shades of gray barely fare any better as things often appear as white. And because this is a Twisted Nematic screen, Indirect viewing angles result in color shifting anywhere other than the exact center sweet spot, with luminance having expected issues at the top and bottom – typical of most TN panels we’ve recently had in the office.
Fortunately, these irregular enhancements are fixable to a certain degree, but the settings are basic and won’t be a perfect solution when eliminating contrast faults. Our best option was to stick with the “Web” preset while other modes such as “Movie” and “Text” produced strong greenish/reddish tints, or “Game” mode.
Most of these quirks are manageable, what is harder to ignore is its undeniably sharp resolution of 3,840 by 2,160 (4K/UHD) and 30Hz refresh rate limitations.
That’s right – despite being equipped with DisplayPort 1.2, which can handle the additional pixels and 60Hz, the VX2880ml lacks the latter ability entirely. For a multimedia entertainment monitor this makes it far from ideal for gaming, as titles like Far Cry 4 are choppy, and fairly unconventional for everyday usage. That said, the maximum you’re going to get out of this display for 60Hz is 2,560 by 1,440.
My time with the VX2880ml wasn’t exactly great. On one hand, this is supposed to be a bona-fide UHD display, but feels compromised in so many areas where it probably shouldn’t be; especially if you’re looking for an unspoiled 4K experience with movies and gaming where smooth response is necessary. There are better alternatives from Lenovo, ASUS, Samsung, and if you’re willing to wait, even ViewSonic’s updated line of 4K monitors – which are much-improved and coming this summer.