Rooney is the new Beckham. Jay is the new Dre. Podcasting is the new radio. If the Microsoft Zune proved that brown is the new black in 2006, Viewsonic is hoping to prove that 22" is the new 20" in 2007.
Many display manufacturers are shifting over to larger sized, 22" 1680x1050 displays this year, because they provide a more comfortable dot pitch for many desktop users sitting back from their desk.
Now, it is certainly true that many gamers, weaned on super high res CRTs, prefer a higher dot pitch. However, the advantage of a lower DPI for gamers is that you get 2" extra physical gaming screen size for no more rendering power. This means you can have a bigger display whilst keeping the same graphics card - although, granted, you might only be stepping up a couple of inches.
This is a trend we're going to see in other monitor lines, too, with 27" being the new 24" this year - as evidenced by Dell's new 27" 1920x1200 display. This trend is arguably a little weird - since we see 1920x1200 on 17" notebook displays - but, despite that, it isn't going away.
With that in mind, what does Viewsonic's latest offering have for the avid gamer?
As you can see, it's black with silver detailing. The design is smart and sleek, without being stonkingly good looking. It would possibly look a little better without the speaker grille across the bottom, but you do at least get rudimentary sound out of these - not fantastic, but fine for just playing a tune to a mate.
Here's what you get for your cash:
- 22" (wide) viewable area
- 5ms response time (grey to grey)
- 280 cd/m² brightness
- Contrast ratio: 700:1
- DVI-D and VGA inputs
- Price: around £270
The specifications aren't bad: the brightness is a little low for a good display, but the 700:1 contrast ratio is good stuff and should make for a pretty good colour range in games. The lack of inputs is disappointing, however - we like to see a range to allow for games console and DVD hookup, but if you're just after a PC monitor then this will do you fine - aside from the lack of HDCP, which will scupper you if you want to play next-gen optical content.