Leaving Lagom behind, we headed for our real-world test - films, games, images and general use. Skin tones in the Serenity HD trailer were fine, but we saw the usual muted colours and general dullness of a TN screen. We didn’t see much evidence of the biased contrast range, as shadows generally didn’t become horribly flat black patches.
While the image quality was fine, colours lacked vibrancy and richness. This was more noticeable in the Fellowship of the Ring, where the firey Mordor Elvish of the One Ring looked a bit jaded and lacked impact; fires and skies lacked the rich colours we’d have liked.
Equally, games lacked realism thanks to the muted colours and slightly washed out look. The jungles of Crysis
looked they hadn’t been watered for a while, while the night missions of Call of Duty 4
looked a bit like we’d cranked the gamma up a bit too high. Again, we saw little sign of flat and lifeless shadows and at least the colour balance was neutral and not tinted with unwanted blue or green. We were also happy to see the usual lack of blurriness of a TN screen, and that there was practically no input lag.
The ViewSonic was as free of input lag as the virtually lag-free Dell UltraSharp 3008-WFP. Click to enlarge
To test the 3D aspects of the screen, we fired up Fallout 3
and Batman: Arkham Asylum
. The 3D Vision software rates Fallout 3
as having ‘Excellent’ compatibility, but we found that the game became horribly pixelated once we turned on the 3D. This lead to an exacerbation of aliasing issues – texture and line shimmer – as well as an ugly, grainy look. This wasn’t helped by the dimness that wearing the 3D Glasses
incurs and the halving of the frame rate. The 3D effects worked reasonably well, with a greater perception of depth, but we’d rather have less aliasing shimmer and no pixilation issues.
Left: the 3D Vision logo. Right: the ViewSonic hasn't got thew most input options we've ever seen. Click to enlarge
Batman worked better with 3D Vision, with no pixilation issues to be seen and no drop in frame rate (we used a GeForce GTX 285 and could still play the game at 1,680 x 1,050 with 4x AA at around 60fps). While the 3D effect worked pretty well, we found that we didn’t miss it much when we took the 3D Glasses off – it fact we were more relieved that we didn’t have to wear the bulky glasses any more.
The first time we saw Nvidia’s 3D Vision, we weren’t all that impressed. There were too many obstacles to get it and not enough benefits. While a greater choice of screens than just the poor Samsung SyncMaster SM2233RZ that 3D Vision launched with is welcome, ViewSonic has used only a slightly better TN panel in its 3D screen. With muted colours and very narrow vertical angles, the ViewSonic isn’t a great screen by any means. With the bulky 3D Vision glasses still priced at over £100
and still annoying to wear for long periods, and the fact that we really didn’t miss the 3D effects when we took these off, there’s really little point in buying this screen.
- Image Quality