The VX2035wm is handsome enough, with a shiny, black plastic and brushed-aluminum cabinet surrounding its 20.1-inch screen. Someone with severe space limitations might see the integrated speaker that spans the bottom edge of the screen as a boon, but we’re not impressed. There’s simply no way we would choose built-in audio over a stand-alone set of speakers. Indeed, a pair of cheap Labtec speakers we have in our Lab far surpasses the VX2035wm’s sound in terms of volume and quality.
A row of buttons above the speaker lets you change the screen’s brightness, contrast, and individual color channels. Adjustments to the screen’s physical orientation are limited to forward and backward tilt.
In DisplayMate (www.displaymate.com), the VX2035wm immediately stumbled in the Dark Screen segment of the evaluation script. Large splotches of backlight marred what should have been a uniform expanse of black. This unevenness was also manifest in the DM screens that display blocks of gray against a black background—the distinction was muddied in parts. In the utility’s grayscale ramps, the VX2035wm recovered, producing smooth, even gradations of up to 256 steps. In real-world terms, the screen displayed high-res still images, movies, and games without any noticeable flaws, and both regular and reversed text were readable at reasonable sizes.
If you’re planning to upgrade to an HD DVD or Blu-ray drive in the near future, the VX2035wm might not be the best choice of monitor, as it lacks support for HDCP (high-definition copy protection). This means your efforts to play commercial HD discs will be thwarted, a lesson learned when we tried to play an HD release of Terminator 2 using Plextor’s PX-B900A Blu-ray drive and the bundled InterVideo WinDVD BD software. Using the DVI interface, the content was completely off limits to us. Using the analog interface, the movie played, but in a minimized screen and at a downsampled resolution. Say hello to the future of copy-protected content, folks. This isn’t a serious shortcoming in a panel of this size since we’re not likely to use it for movie viewing. But rest assured, we’ll be taking a harsher view of larger screens that lack HDCP going forward.