It’s got a touchscreen…if you’re into that sort of thing.
With the widespread adoption of touchscreen displays, we figured it was only a matter of time before our desktop displays got in on the action. To that end, Viewsonic’s VX2258wm is a solid enough, if unremarkable, touchscreen monitor with 21.5-inches of real estate, a 1920 x 1080 resolution and a rated 5ms response time.
The panel surface is hard-coated and has an anti-glare treatment, but is still extremely reflective and – like pretty much all touchscreens – picks up fingerprints faster than the FBI’s IAFIS. While the VX2258wm does swivel and tilt, it does not adjust to the point where typing on its surface ever feels comfortable or easy. This is definitely a hunt-and-peck experience. Far more disappointing is the lack of an HDMI or DisplayPort input; surprisingly, the VX2258wm relies entirely on DVI and VGA connections. Speakers and menu buttons run along the bottom of the display, and the menu itself has a dated UI that reminds us of 1983 – and not in the good way.
ViewSonic’s VX2258wm touchscreen works right out of the box – but only with Windows 7.
The display offers multi-touch capabilities courtesy of infrared technology, which uses a grid across the entire display and places infrared LED and photo detector-paired sensors along the edge of the screen. When the screen is touched, the infrared technology detects the disruption in the pattern of LED beams and the sensors pick up the location of the disruption or touch. Infrared has the advantage of being able to detect any disruption or input, so even gloved fingers or styluses can be read. Another advantage of this system is that it doesn’t require any patterning on the glass, which results in higher visual clarity.
So, how does this fancy infrared system work in practice? Pretty well, actually. The VX2258wm’s touch works right out of the box (with Windows 7 only, sorry XP fans), with no muss or fuss around installation or downloading drivers. The accuracy was fair to middling. It sometimes took a touch or two to find the specific location close browser windows, and there was sometimes a split second lag while the monitor processed the touch command.
While the multi touch does allow zooming via the familiar pinch and drag motion, it had limited gaming capabilities. Fooling around with touchscreen Solitare or Bejeweled Blitz was fun enough, but there was little functionality for full-fledged games like Arkham Asylum. That’s not a huge surprise as it isn’t designed for hard-core gaming. We’re happy to report that the VX2258wm’s touchscreen is much more useful for things Google Maps, Notepad, or short Word documents, as well as working with photographs.
Touchscreen capabilities aside, the VX2258wm held its own in side-by-side tests against one of our former favorites, the Gateway FHX2402L which earned a 9 for its sharp detail and near-perfect color reproduction. During our DisplayMate tests, the VX2258wm also produced exceptional detail in images and accurate colors, although the reds could have popped a bit more.
We did notice some problems with the Viewsonic’s grey scale range; it produced some banding in the grays, and the black levels were lackluster. We were likewise underwhelmed during the Scaled Fonts and Multiple Intensity Tests where we struggled to read smaller sized text. During our testing of V for Vendetta, we were again unimpressed with the blacks (and also struggled to get the speakers to perform adequately); however we didn’t see any motion blur during the action scenes and the colors and details were still up to snuff.
With so many touchscreens in our lives, it was easy enough to adapt to using the VX2258wm’s features to perform everyday tasks, although we’d like more tilt, please. If you’re looking for a bigger-screen touch experience, you could do far worse than the VX2258wm.
Touchscreen works out of the box, quality image detail and colors.
Menu UI is dated and unintuitive, lacking in features.