Who says you can't have an IPS panel on the cheap?
We wouldn’t complain if we never had to review a cheap TN LCD panel ever again. Our experience with ViewSonic’s VP2365wb, on the other hand, has taught us we shouldn’t assume that the mere presence of an 8-bit IPS panel will ensure top-drawer performance. On the third hand, the fact that numerous online retailers are selling this monitor for just $300 renders it a solid value.
ViewSonic markets this model as a “professional grade monitor for pros,” which is an unusual claim to make for a 23-inch display with native resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. A monitor of that size and resolution sounds much more like a consumer electronics product for watching HD movies than a tool for editing digital photos. It’s also odd that ViewSonic would include HDCP in its DVI port but not include an HDMI port at all. Nonetheless, the VP2365wb is leagues better than the ViewSonic VX2433wm we reviewed in our December issue, a TN panel we dismissed as a “steaming pile of mediocrity.”
Don't dismiss the ViewSonic VP2365wb for its shortcomings (no HDMI port, 14ms pixel-response time...) until you take a gander at its street price.
The VP2365wb has plenty of other features, including a four-port USB hub and a height-adjustable stand that tilts, swivels, and pivots between landscape and portrait modes. ViewSonic also includes its own PerfectSuite Plus software, which incorporates basic calibration tools, and a program that recognizes the display’s orientation and automatically configures Windows so that the desktop and any open applications are presented appropriately.
Performance-wise, our biggest criticism of the VP2365wb is that it is relatively dim, especially when compared to the exquisite (but twice as expensive) Dell UltraSharp U2410 that we reviewed in January. Our DisplayMate tests revealed a few other problems that might be deal-killers for anyone looking for a truly professional-grade monitor. The VP2365wb’s low brightness level hampered its ability to distinguish between very dark shades of gray in the extreme grayscale test, but the monitor also had problems with the near peak-white test: the horizontal color bars were slightly darker on the left side of the screen than they were on the right.
Our DisplayMate test also revealed a serious pixel-tracking error. The monitor exhibited severe flickering while displaying the highest-intensity dithering pattern in that set of tests. We didn’t encounter this problem with any of the real-world applications we used, though, so it might not be as big a problem as it sounds. And on the bright side, so to speak, the VP2365wb was able to deliver a true black without any detectable leakage from its CFL backlight.
The VP2365wb’s performance with games and movies really surprised us. Despite a very slow pixel-response time of 14ms and a maximum refresh rate of 60Hz, we didn’t detect any ghosting or motion-smearing while playing Far Cry 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 or watching the Blu-ray version of Watchmen. This isn’t the perfect monitor, but an 8-bit IPS panel that sells for $300 doesn’t need to be. (Learn more about LCD technology here.)
Eight-bit IPS panel; delivers 84 percent of the NTSC color gamut; inexpensive.