Viewsonic hasn’t been sitting on their hands by just turning out quality monitors: they’ve realized that there’s more gamers playing on computers than ever. So that’s where the VX2252mh 22″ Full HD LED Display comes in: to provide a view for making gaming even more visual.
The physical chassis sports a thin bezel with a round base that provides stability at the expense of adjustability. The back panel bulges out from the panel — not visible from the front — and it’s here that the inputs/outputs are found. Unlike a lot of the new breed of monitors, Viewsonic doesn’t toss out legacy connections, and so while there is HDMI, it’s not at the expense of DVI or VGA, both of which are there. Connecting to a PC was quick and painless and the monitor adjusted itself to the desired resolution of 1920 x 1080 (Macs aren’t left out of this either).
Right out of the box I could see a good level of contrast and a very bright picture. I decided to lower both a bit for personal preference and so brought up the Settings menu. I was familiar with the menu options as it was similar to other Viewsonic models and didn’t have any problems moving from one choice to the other using the front mounted button controls.
The VX2252mh worked fine for everyday jobs like word processing and number crunching, but it shines for gaming due to having a bright panel and being equipped with a 2ms response time; fast action games definitely benefit from this. I ran both Internet-based and video game console-based games (using the HDMI input for the latter — Call of Duty: Ghosts being my latest rave) and there wasn’t a single time that I could detect any unintended image blurring. Streaking, not any. And when visuals “thinned” from online bandwidth issues, I could quickly pump the colors back up with a few adjustments. But should I have wished to go an easier route for this, pressing the Game mode button would have taken care of it automatically. This switches on a higher level of contrast/brightness which is a plus for gaming. However, I did find it to have a minor detrimental impact on the density of the resolution, even as it lightened darkened areas to make them more visible. That might just be me, but in any case it’s easy enough to not use the mode and go with manual adjustments instead.
Audio came out best using headphones, as the 2 watt stereo speakers are too puny to really drive the sound for gaming or anything beyond simple system function noises. Still, it’s an expected add-on these days, just not in the lower-end models, so having it can be considered a “plus.”
Because the VX2252mh’s HDMI input is copyright protection-compatible, I also wanted to try running some Blu-ray movies to see how a stable high-definition image would appear. First up was episodes of Defiance: Season One — a TV show about aliens interacting with humans where special effects didn’t overpower the actors. The quality of the flesh tones (both human and otherwise) were spot on; the subtle shading that keeps a cheek from looking flat not in evidence and a result of the detail provided through the VX2252mh’s LED panel capabilities. Clothing had detail and was free of banding effects (that “shimmer” often seen where horizontal lines crisscross).
The second test was done using two major motion pictures that featured “action” sequences involving both people as well as CG effects: R.I.P.D. and Pacific Rim. What I looked for was any streaking or blurring and, since I could be much closer to the display where the video was being played, the chances of my not seeing any discrepancies were low. In the case of R.I.P.D., I found the shoot-outs the most entertaining — not because all I think about are guys running insanely while shooting weapons, but because there is such rapid movement along many axis simultaneously that I figured if the panel couldn’t take it, this is when I’d see it. But my fears were all for naught.
As to Pacific Rim, the heavy dose of CG let me see how well the panel’s contrast levels and brightness would play out, compared to that of a my well-tuned HDTV. I did fiddle a bit with both of these as the film first ran, then went back and watched it all the way through. It’s kind of a transformers-meets-samurai film and frankly I thought it looked excellent on the display, especially as the colors were very bold and “popped” without turning the eye-candy into mulch.It reminded me of why, back in the day, you watched movies on a computer monitor in the first place because it could perform better than your TV could.
Bottom line: While economically priced (retail/$164.99), Viewsonic’s VX2252mh 22″ Full HD LED Display doesn’t skimp on design or features. Productivity use, sure. Gaming, you bet.
2ms fast response time, Anti-glare coating
Limited base mobility
Marshal Rosenthal is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and journalist specializing in technology, consumer electronics and pop culture.