This is the standard menu of a ViewSonic monitor. It is not exactly pretty or options-rich, but offers all the settings necessary for a product of that class.
The monitor’s brightness is set at 100% and contrast at 70% by default. I set them both at 43% to achieve a 100nit brightness of white. Brightness is controlled by means of modulation of the backlighting at a frequency of 250Hz.
Color gradients are reproduced well at any brightness/contrast settings.
At the default settings the gamma curves for the red and green colors go lower than necessary.
When the contrast setting is set below its default value in the monitor’s menu, all the three curves go up: red and green now match the theoretical curves more or less well, but blue is a little higher than necessary. Still, this color setup is quite satisfactory for a monitor of that price category. At least, it reproduces all the tones, without losing darks or lights, at any settings.
Of course, the color temperature can’t be too accurate with such gamma curves. White is considerably warmer than gray. The difference is over 1000K in the most demanded 6500K mode.
As I said above, the VA2012w is based on a TN+Film matrix without response time compensation. The average response time on gray-to-gray transitions turned to be 16.0 milliseconds in my tests, which is an ordinary result for that matrix type. In other words, the VA2012w isn’t very fast and will only suit an undemanding user when it comes to playing games. Other users will easily see the difference between this model and monitors with RTC-enabled matrixes.
The contrast ratio isn’t exceptional, either. It is a little over 150:1 which is below average even for entry-level monitors.
So, the VA2012w can boast nothing in the end. It competes with the BenQ FP202W and the Samsung 205BW and is somewhat worse in parameters but a little cheaper than the former. The gap between the VA2012w and the 205BW is wider in price and is downright catastrophic in terms of setup quality and functionality. The VA2012w will do well as an inexpensive big-resolution office monitor or even as a home monitor for an undemanding user, but there is no reason why it should be distinguished among the competitors.