ViewSonic VX2776-SMHD review: style & substance

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The ViewSonic VX2776 is such a good-looking monitor you’d be surprised to learn it only costs £200. Besides its gorgeous design, it also boasts an IPS panel for good colour accuracy and viewing angles, a sensibly designed on-screen display (OSD) and a nice selection of ports for connecting it up to your machine. Here’s our full review.

Pros

  • Super slim and stylish design
  • IPS for good colours + viewing angles
  • Well-designed OSD & port layout
Cons

  • Lacks adjustability
  • Doesn’t hit 100% sRGB

score8-gif-200Summary and score

The VX2776 has a great-looking IPS panel and an equally pretty metallic design. It may not be as adjustable or technically accurate as higher-end professional monitors, but there’s lots to love here.

Support XSR: Buy for $209.99 from Amazon.com  

Features & specifications

  • Stylish frameless design
  • 27-inch SuperClear IPS screen
  • Low-input lag technology
  • Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080)
  • 178º horizontal, 178º vertical viewing angles
  • 14ms GtG response time
  • 250/cdm^2 brightness
  • Display Port, HDMI, VGA
  • 2x 3.5mm ports (in/out), 3W speakers
  • 621 x 463 x 209mm, 3.7 kg
 

Design

IMG_7213

The VX2776 is the best-looking monitor that’s ever sat on my desk, or so my girlfriend tells me. I agree with her assessment; this is a super slim monitor that uses metal (and metallic-looking plastic) to great effect.

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The monitor has minimal bezels on the top and sides, measuring about the thickness of a recent iPhone (around 7mm, or so) — this would be a nice monitor to have in a multi-screen setup. The bottom bezel is thicker and made of silver plastic; on the right side are indicators for the OSD buttons which lurk on the underside.

IMG_7217

There are a few disadvantages to having a super-slim monitor. The most obvious is that the power supply has to be external, so you have a little AC adapter box to look after, but that’s not a massive deal. A bigger issue is that the super-slim stand lacks adjustability — you can tilt the monitor forward and back a bit, but there’s no rotation, no height adjustment, no swivel. The monitor lacks a VESA mount too, so there’s no option to switch to another mount either.

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The ports are easily visible on the back of the monitor, which I really like. There’s seemingly no reason for downward-facing ports when there’s plenty of real estate to work with, but feel free to elucidate in the comments below. Anyway, there are all of the major inputs here: DisplayPort, HDMI and VGA. There’s also a pair of 3.5mm jacks, so you can connect the monitor speakers or plug in headphones.

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So, that brings our tour of the VX2776 to a close; a gorgeous but inflexible monitor. Now let’s look at how it performs.

 

Benchmarks

First, we’ll look at the monitor’s gamut; how much of a given colour space it can accurately display. First (and most important) is sRGB, which is the most commonly used standard for work in Photoshop, video editing and the like. We see the monitor reaches only 96% of the standard, meaning that a small proportion of colours will be misrepresented. This is only an issue for professional use; 96% should be sufficient for other situations. NTSC is 71% and AdobeRGB is 74%; these standards are less commonly used and arguably don’t mean much, so not hitting 100% isn’t an issue.

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Moving on, we see some values before and after the monitor is calibrated. We can see the monitor hits the calibrated target pretty closely, with small delta values throughout. The white point and 50% gray Delta-E values are both particularly low at 0.2, a great result.

2

Gamma is set to 1.9 on the monitor, which is a somewhat uncommon standard that sits between 1.8 and 2.2. You can see the difference in the graph below. I couldn’t find a way to change this in the OSD, so we’ll continue using it for the rest of the benchmarks.

3

Colour accuracy is always important, and the VX2776 delivers in spades. We can see an extremely low Delta-E value of 1.12, one of the best results we’ve ever seen. The only poor result is in teals, which is nearly 6. Otherwise, the values are almost without exception at 0.5 or below; this is a great panel.

4

We can see how the brightness, contrast and white point are affected by different brightness settings. There is a known issue with the Spyder4Elite measuring contrast incorrectly, so the overall trend is more important here than the values. We can see that from 25% onwards, contrast values remain steady. I found a setting of 66% was good to hit 120 cd/m2; this value was used for the remainder of the testing.

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Now we get to colour uniformity, which shows how colours differ in appearance across the different quadrants of the display. The Delta-E values here are all quite low, with only the lower centre quadrant showing a significant difference, particularly at higher brightness settings. So far, so good.

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Luminance uniformity was average, with the centre proving brightest and the other areas hitting values about 10% lower.

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Finally, we have a look at the Spyder4Elite’s rating, which is generally on point. The monitor’s gamut, white point, colour accuracy and colour uniformity are all praised, while luminance uniformity, contrast and tone response are somewhat below expectations. I think that’s a fairly reasonable assessment.

6

 

Impressions

We used the VX-2776 for a period of two weeks for gaming, Photoshop and writing work — including this review, natch. Here are our thoughts.

Work & Media

The VX-2776 is pitched as being suitable for both home and office use, so let’s try to get some work done on it. I use Photoshop for review images (and other internet-based tomfoolery), and here the monitor proved pretty capable.

The 1080p resolution is a bit limiting, but the IPS panel reproduced colours accurately and was easily visible from different viewing angles. The monitor sits a bit low for my liking (eye-height is always best), so you may need a shelf (or a stack of textbooks) to get it at a comfortable level; there’s no height adjust here sadly.

Writing is also a big part of my daily workload, and this was also nicely catered for by the inclusion of a reading mode. This made the screen warmer and dimmer, which strains the old eyeballs a little less. It would be nice if the monitor could rotate into portrait mode for long reading sessions, but again the tiny stand doesn’t make this possible.

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The monitor’s software proved super easy to adjust, with sensible button placements and a clear, modern OSD. Whether you’re swapping between different modes, activating the blue light filter or just turning down the volume, everything can be accomplished rapidly and without confusion — still not a guaranteed thing on a monitor, even in 2016.

It would have been nice to have some USB ports or an SD card reader, although the monitor’s thin design precludes them from being placed on the edge.

Gaming

This isn’t a gaming monitor, but it’s always good to test these things out. First up, the good things — games looked brilliant of the 27-inch screen, if not quite as detailed as 1440p or 4K displays of similar sizes. Contrast was reasonable and colours popped nicely, whether we were working our way through hell in DOOM or exploring the alien landscapes of StarCraft II. The monitor’s response times are fairly high (quoted in different places as 7ms and 14ms GtG), but it isn’t enough to disqualify the monitor from use in non-competitive settings. If you’ve been playing on a smaller or TN-panel monitor, then moving to a 27-inch IPS will be a nice surprise.

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Wrapping up

Ultimately, we’ve been impressed with the VX-2776. There’s substance beneath its style; a well-calibrated IPS panel that provides accurate colours and strong viewing angles to counteract its lack of adjustment options. The OSD, buttons and ports are all sensibly arranged, and the minimal bezels make it a good choice for a multi-monitor setup (even if the lack of VESA mounts hurts).

Support XSR: Buy for $209.99 from Amazon.com

About William Judd

Editor-in-Chief for XSReviews. Find me @Expert_Will or on G+.

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  • Alex

    What voltage is the output of the external power supply?