When offered to review one of ViewSonic’s newest IPS panel monitors, I was a little reluctant to how I’d actually go about dishing out my verdict. I’m certainly no expert on the intricate details of a display, but after just over a week with the VX2363Smhl occupying the space formally taken by my ageing 19″ LCD panel, I knew my old friend would never grace the left side of my main display ever again.
It’s just on the right side, now.
The ViewSonic VX2363Smhl is actually a member of the series that replaced my current main display on the market – a 27″ ViewSonic LED/IPS panel – and the main reason why I chose it in the first place. The bridge between it being discontinued and actually replaced by the new VX series made it far cheaper than any other 27″ screen at the time; so it was strange to see its killer shimmy up beside it a couple months down the line.
Now, being a PC gamer through and through, there’s a lot to consider when buying a new monitor. Areas like refresh rate, quantity of input ports and colour reproduction used to be the norm. But now, as we’ve quickly shifted from CRT displays to LCD, LED, OLED and so on, stable values have changed so much that it’s become a real struggle to find the screen that’s going to best suit your needs. Whether you’re planning on putting it to work on Counter Strike for 10 hours a day or just sit there beaming the newest episodes of GameGrumps into your peripheral vision, there’s a lot of complicated comparisons to gauge your decision. And most of those don’t really mean a thing for the majority of us.
The ViewSonic VX2363Smhl has spend the better part of the last week exactly how I described. With it being a smaller display than my stationary 27″ panel, it’s spent most of its time as a dedicated window to Google Chrome, an active map feed while I play Battlefield 4 or to display vital build order references or StarCraft II or League of Legends – and such a task, while sounding trivial as best, has actually made me appreciate the little details of the screen’s bells and whistles. Exactly the kind I didn’t expect to be writing about at all.
Take the Blue Light Filter for example. I’d begun to notice minor headaches and patchy bouts of eye strain for months while using my standard 27″ panel. An issue I just boiled down to the fact that I spend a heck of a lot of time in-front of my screens. Oddly enough, I noticed my eyes didn’t strain as much in the quick instances that I glanced over to the VX2363Smhl to scroll through social network feeds or catch up on the Pokémon World Championships. It was like a sudden relief every time I shifted over in-between Deathmatch rounds.
Without even thinking about it I’d feel noticeably more reluctant to look back to my centre screen knowing full well I’d be hit by a minor discomfort in a split second. The idea being the filter limits the apparent blue-ish glow given off by most modern displays that’s been linked to similar complaints. It’s one of the things I’d usually mistake for big-mouthed marketing tactics; but, combined with the screen’s “Flicker Free” bonus, I’m certain there’s something going on behind the scenes that sets it apart from its older brother sitting on its podium in the centre of my workspace.
There’s a lot of good in the VX2363Smhl; 2 HDMI ports (that can easily be expanded with a cheap switch) with single button input swap, VGA input with a Line-In socket to put those built-in speakers to use and a very cheap price for a flat bezel 1080p display.
While the spec sheet mentions a standard refresh rate of 60Hz, those willing to mess around with some settings in their GPU tools can push this to around 80Hz without issue – while nudging the 1920 x 1080 resolution up to a whopping 2560 x 1440 with admittedly blurry results. It isn’t a viable tune-up, but it’s good to know that it tries harder than most screens I’ve used. If the 50M:1 MEGA Dynamic Contrast Ratio means anything to you, then that’s just great. It’s a value I can’t really put to the test without professional equipment.
While my old LCD display may certainly be marginally brighter, it’s hard to fault the ViewSonic‘s ability to produce a soft, clean and crisp image. The IPS panels give an insane amount of coverage on hard angles (up to 170 degrees) and, paired with the flat, black screen bezel, future surround setups come without worry. Cleaning the glare-free screen isn’t going to leave annoying bits of dust trapped between the glossy white frame, either.
While it’s hard to review a monitor with a standard scoring system, I can say this; the ViewSonic VX2363Smhl is an absolute joy to use. While the glossy white plastic finish might not be to everyone’s tastes, you can’t fault the clarity of the panel’s end result. Sharp images, plenty of versatilely for your PC, consoles and phone, and a high quality Full HD 23″ IPS panel for a great price. This is a superb monitor for anyone – and a bonus to those looking for a cheaper way into triple-screen gaming.