A computer monitor provides the basic function of letting the user see the video output. LCD monitors have many advantage over the old CRT models — from weight to screen size — and are more often now differentiated by the overall size and the resolution of the screen. But the image also needs to be sharp, clear and well-defined since video now shares the screen with computer graphics. If the monitor in use is Viewsonic’s 16:9 VG2732M-LED LCD Display, there’s not going to be anything to complain about.
The bezel surrounding the VG2732M’s 27-inch screen only adds about an inch of dead space on all sides (except at the bottom where the control buttons are housed). The chassis is all black, including the base which is attached by hand in a minute or so. Once attached, the panel can be tilted in both directions. The height and orientation can also be adjusted: the screen raises/lowers on the pole attached to the base and remains in place through friction whether used horizontally or rotated for vertical orientation (landscape/portrait).
The inputs are on the back panel include VGA, DVI and a DisplayPort, plus a headphone jack (if not using the DisplayPort) for the built-in speakers. USB is also built-in (one up/down and two on the left side.
The VG2732M was a pleasure to use. I normally use two monitors, one a 20” and the other a 22” and so you’d think that a 27” wouldn’t make all that much difference — but it did. The amount of sheer “real estate” was astounding: on the 22” monitor I kept having windows for programs crowded into one another and so couldn’t leave more than 2 or 3 on the screen at a time. But that wasn’t the case with the VG2732M — in fact I made it the main monitor and “retired” the secondary monitor during the time I used it.
The controls are under the front bezel and are logical to use. The larger power button at the extreme right prevents an accidental press, with the other buttons separated by a depression which aids in finding the right one to bring up the menu, select a function and then activate it. The Up/Down buttons also double for volume adjustments.
At the default setting, the overall image was very “clean” and icons/graphics extremely well-defined. The menu lets you adjust the “view” to your particular preference, from color temperate (noted as Color Adjust) to brightness and contrast, along with audio control. I found the sRGB setting the easiest on my eyes and closest to what I see as the “correct” color palette — the blank white of a “sheet” of paper in my word processor being my default for this. The VG2732M is also very bright and I found it necessary to lower the brightness level because frankly it hurt my eyes on the default setting (also readjusted the contrast down as well). But I didn’t see any need to adjust the sharpness level and left it in the default setting. There is also manual control and an auto-image adjust: neither of which I found necessary to use on my Mac but which provide alternatives to using preset options. The monitor is also Windows 8 compatible, and there’s a disc for auto-setup and to aid in adjusting the timing mode (important for avoiding eye-strain).
There’s no guarantee that a 1900 x 1080 HD resolution monitor will excel at displaying video in the same manner as that of a HDTV. So bringing up the Blu-ray of “Wings of Life” (DisneyNature), I expected to see a good picture but was instead blown away by the sheer amount of detail presented. Watching the fine shading in the color palette of butterflies viewed closely, I understood the value of the LED backlight enhancement. The colors appeared “richer” and this translated into photo-realistic imaging onscreen (this was also the case with photos). The VG2732M also kept pace with the action and there was no smearing or visual lags onscreen– “Wings” high-speed shooting techniques would no doubt have caused a riot of visual smears in the early days of LCD monitors. That wasn’t the case here, even when presented with a blurring filled landscape of butterflies. But for me, the best part of the movie was the intimate viewing of the hummingbird — it removed all doubts as to just how visually stunning this monitor could perform. And while not an issue for a computer viewer seated directly in front, the VG2732M’s wide viewing angle of 170 degrees meant others could crowd in and look at the screen almost from the edges without the brightness dropping off.
The VG2732M also has a pair of internal stereo speakers. They are low-powered but adequate for daily computer uses. But if you’re planning to use the VG2732M to watch movies, then also plan to invest in an external pair of speakers.
Bottom line: Viewsonic’s VG2732M-LED LCD Display costs $429, which is far from excessive given the 27” screen size and its visual performance. This is a very good choice for those looking for a single monitor that can take the place of two.
- Portrait as well as landscape positioning
- Optional wall mounting kit
- 20,000.000:1 MEGA Contrast Ratio
- “On” light almost invisible during normal operations
- Monitor a bit lightweight for size
Marshal Rosenthal is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and journalist specializing in technology, consumer electronics and pop culture.