In mid-2009, Nvidia appeared to have returned its focus to delivering more engaging graphics with PhysX and 3D Vision. This didn’t last long, however, and the company is now talking loud and long about the High Performance Computing uses of its forthcoming Fermi GPU. Monitor company ViewSonic is trying to keep 3D Vision alive, but it’s also moving into new markets with its VOT132 net-top.
While Nvidia hasn’t earned much favour with its ad hoc naming schemes lately, we’re hardly bowled over by ViewSonic’s FuHzion branding for its 120Hz, 3D-ready screen. It’s obviously meant to be pronounced ‘fusion’, but from the way it’s spelled it should actually be pronounced either ‘Fuh-Hertz-jun’ or ‘Fuh-jun’, neither of which is especially easy to say. Whatever it’s called, this is a 16:10 screen with the usual 1,680 x 1,050 resolution and DVI and D-Sub inputs at the back.
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We're plain speaking people, so we decided to call this screen merely ‘the ViewSonic’. We quickly discovered that it uses a TN panel and, as soon as we switched it on, we were greeted with the usual muted colours typical of this technology. The frame is reasonably attractive, with a glossy black bezel trimmed with silver plastic. However, the stand only tilts; there’s no height adjustment, swivel or rotation. We dived into the OSD to see if we could improve the image quality, but ViewSonic has set up the screen well. All we did was increase the response rate from standard to advanced, as ultra fast introduced inverse ghosting. We didn’t enable the dynamic contrast technology, which happily is disabled by default.
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After running the screen through the Lagom tests we found that the ViewSonic offers a reasonably wide contrast range, with decent colour definition at both the bright and dark ends of the colour scale. The colours at the bright ends of the scale weren’t as eye-poppingly vivid as you’d see on an IPS or PVA screen, but they weren’t overly dull. They’re duller overall than you’d see on an IPS or PVA panel, however. The contrast range is biased toward bright colours, so we were expecting to see a loss of detail in shadows during our film and game tests. However, we were most worried by the woeful vertical viewing angles; there was colour distortion across roughly two-thirds of the screen, even when we viewed it exactly square on.