Our monitors are the windows we view the world through when we work on our computers, and monitor technology changes and grows just like our computers themselves. ViewSonic brought us up to their suite in the Wynn to showcase their new line of monitors as well as a peek at their new home projectors. Victor Lam, Product Marketing Manager for ViewSonic, walked me through their new offerings.
Most exciting was the reveal of Viewsonic’s new line of pro gaming monitors which they’ve dubbed the “XG” series. Though the company showed a number of monitors last year designed with gamers in mind, this is the first time that they’ve created a line of products specifically targeted at the pro-gaming market. “Prior to the XG lineup, our VX series was our hybrid, a cross between entertainment and gaming,” Lam told me. Previously they’d released the VX52 series of monitors, tailored more towards the needs of gamers, but still at a lower entry price point. The XG models, on the other hand, focuses predominantly on the physical hardware to cater specifically to the needs of gamers.
ViewSonic’s XG monitors stand apart from their VX line primarily due to variable refresh rate technology, which allows the display to change its refresh rate based on the input it receives from the game. Static refresh rates cause visual tearing on the screen or display lag, either of which could mean the difference between victory and defeat in pro gaming. All the XG models feature at least 1080p resolution, game modes to change settings based on the game played, and black stabilization for more accurate color accuracy.
Both Grand Theft Auto V and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain looked crisp and fluid as I moved around, with excellent color contrast even with dark-on-dark scenarios. For those who want a stylish-looking monitor, the XG series has that covered; with sharp, contoured edges, colored accents, adjustable ergonomic stands, and hooks for cable management and headsets, XG monitors are meant to look the part of the center of a gamer’s battle station.
The launch XG series, shipping near the end of the month, is the XG01, which is compatible with AMD FreeSync, has a 1ms response time, 144Hz refresh rate, and comes in 24” and 27” models. Their upcoming XG03 series uses an IPS-style panel with a refresh rate up to 165Hz; the XG-2703-GS will be compatible with NVIDIA G-Sync and ships in March. Keep in mind these are pro gaming tools, though: the intro price point for the XG series is right around $400.
For the gaming enthusiast looking for a new display but without all the frills, the VX series may be more appropriate. The VX57 series is the follow-up to the VX52 series mentioned earlier, including 1080p resolution, 2ms response times, and variable refresh rates via AMD FreeSync and VESA Adaptive-Sync. The VX57 looks more the part of a traditional monitor with a glossy black bezel, though the style-oriented may instead move towards the VX2776-smhd; this monitor features a nearly-borderless frame, thin SuperClear IPS panel, and multiple inputs including VGA, DisplayPort, and HDMI to make it an all-purpose monitor. The VX-series models run between $200 and $300 a piece, making them a bit easier on the pocketbook than the XGs.
ViewSonic also showed off their latest projector, the ViewSonic LightStream PJD7828HDL. Like last year’s Dual HDMI Projector, this model’s meant to be an all-purpose projector, with super-bright light output for use in rooms that aren’t dedicated home theaters. The new design is sleeker than last year’s model as well, with curved, tapered edges that make the projector feel more comfortable, like a part of the living room. The new design also includes a hidden MHL/HDMI port dubbed “PortAll,” a place to stash a dongle like a Chromecast without it sticking awkwardly out of the projector’s back or side. Also appreciated is an enhanced 10W speaker; the sound seemed less tinny than last year’s model, though I also wasn’t listening to anything with the explosions or metallic clanging frequently found in video games.
Still, the colors popped more than last year’s model, even with an increase in the brightness of the display, and the overall smaller frame definitely increased its appeal. For those looking to enter into the home theatre experience, the PJD7827HD offers a dimmer brightness, but richer color accuracy and color contrast, making it great for darkened spaces dedicated to projector viewing. The PJD7828HDL ships this month at $999.99, while the PJD7827HD ships in February at $1299.99.
ViewSonic showcased a number of new products, and they seem to be excited about heading in new directions with their products, particularly the XG series. “We are a display technology company, and that is our expertise,” Lam said. “As you see in our showcase, we’re not just bringing out one or two monitors, we’re bringing out an extended family. We’re really able to reach out to all types…whether you’re just a general enthusiast who also likes to consume entertainment or you’re the hardcore professional that definitely needs the highest refresh rate possible and the best variable refresh rate.”
Combined with their three-year warranty, ViewSonic seems committed to shipping products ready for the long haul. It will be interesting to see how their upcoming lineup performs and will bring you reviews as they become available to us. Now all that’s left is to play the waiting game…