19" LCD Monitors Roundup. Part IX.

The new round of 19-inch LCD monitors testing will focus on the solutions using TN matrixes. We will look at a few widescreen models as well as those with the traditional 5:4 screen ratio from Acer, ASUS, NEC, Samsung and ViewSonic.

by Aleksey Meyev
02/20/2008 | 10:39 AM

I guess you won’t be surprised to find that seven out of the eight monitors tested for this review are based on TN matrixes. This technology can boast neither good viewing angles nor a high contrast ratio in comparison with *VA or IPS matrixes, but it has one important advantage over them: TN matrixes are considerably cheaper to make. The manufacturers save not only on the type of the matrix, though. Almost all the models you’ll see in this review lack Response Time Compensation technology. The developers probably think that the response time is already high enough for office work. Some users may also take no notice of the slight variation in the specs. There seem to be little difference between monitors with a response time of 4 and 5 milliseconds, but it is actually very big, much bigger than 1 millisecond, as you’ll see again in this article.

Testing Methodology

 

Click the following link for a description of our testing methodology, the equipment we use, and a brief explanation of what the specified and tested parameters of LCD monitors mean: the article is called Xbit Labs Presents: LCD Monitors Testing Methodology Indepth. If you feel overwhelmed with the numbers and terms this article abounds in, check out an appropriate section of the mentioned Description for an explanation.

Acer AL1916W Asd

This model is a typical representative of the low-end market sector.

The AL1916W Asd is no different in its specs from the crowd of other inexpensive widescreen monitors without response time compensation and without dynamic contrast mode. It is good that the company honestly specifies rather narrow viewing angles typical of TN technology and doesn’t try to conceal them by using the measurement method with a contrast ratio reduction to 5:1.

This is a sample of the traditional exterior design of Acer’s inexpensive products: a rather plain-looking case rests on a simple black plastic stand. It is going to fit an office environment perfectly but home users may think it too unassuming.

The stand allows adjusting the tilt of the screen only. It can be replaced with a VESA-compatible mount if necessary.

There is a standard selection of connectors at the back panel: analog and digital inputs, and a connector of the integrated power adapter.

The control buttons are placed on a ledge centered below the screen. The Power button is highlighted with a mild green LED at work and differs from the others with its size and shape. Quick access is provided to the auto-adjustment feature and to switching between factory-set modes that are referred to as Empowering Technology.

The menu is Acer’s traditional, too. It is not very pretty or user-friendly, yet it has no serious defects, either. It offers all the ordinary setup options you may expect to find in it.

The monitor has 77% brightness and 50% contrast by default. I reduced them both to 39% to achieve a 100nit brightness of white. Increasing the contrast setting above the default value makes light halftones indistinguishable from white. Dark halftones remain visible at any value of contrast. Color gradients are reproduced well, without banding.

 

The brightness uniformity on white is 6.4% on average and 13.4% at the maximum. This is acceptable. For black, the numbers are 6.0% and 15.0% accordingly. Irrespective of the background color, the sides of the screen are darker than the center.

The gamma curves are not quite good at the default settings. The red and green curves are all right but the blue curve is sagging, resulting in inaccurate reproduction of colors.

When the contrast setting is reduced, the blue curve rises up to join the others. The monitor’s color reproduction is good at such settings.

There are only two preset color temperature modes. The temperatures of different gray levels vary by no more than 310K in the Warm mode, which is good. In the Cool mode the difference is over 1000K.

The monitor’s color gamut is just what you can expect from backlight lamps with ordinary phosphors. It coincides with the sRGB space in blues, is smaller than it in reds, and larger in greens.

To remind you, we measure the average time of pixel state transitions between various halftones, which produces a more realistic result than the measurement of the black-white-black transition only as in the ISO 13406-2 method. For LCD matrixes without response time compensation our measurement method produces a worse result than declared by the manufacturer (i.e. measured according to the ISO method). The AL1916W Asd is no exception. Its average response time is 15.1 milliseconds (GtG) due to very long transitions between halftones. The longest transition takes over 32 milliseconds on this monitor.

This model’s max brightness and contrast ratio are not record-breaking but sufficient for most applications such monitors are intended for.

Thus, the Acer AL1916W Asd may be interesting for people who want an inexpensive widescreen monitor and have little concern about its exterior design and matrix speed.

Highs:

Lows:

Recommended usage:

Acer X192W

This model comes from Acer’s new X2 series that represents the developer’s attempt to create a monitor with an appealing exterior design.

The Acer X192W has a high contrast ratio and rather large viewing angles according to its specs. Unfortunately, this difference is barely perceivable in practice especially if compared not with TN but with other matrix types.

The monitor’s got a black glossy plastic case. The stand and the back panel are matte. The block with the control buttons has become wider and merges into the rest of the case somewhat more organically. This is surely an improvement over the previous models. I guess many people are going to appreciate this design.

The monitor’s matrix is glossy, even glassy, too. That’s a questionable solution. Such a matrix ensures a higher contrast ratio but reflects everything you’ve got behind your back. Perhaps you enjoy looking at the reflection of your face in the monitor but bright light sources reflected in the screen are going to be a nuisance for everyone.

The stand still allows to adjust the tilt of the screen only. You can replace it with a VESA-compatible mount if you want.

The monitor’s got analog and digital inputs and an audio input for the integrated speakers. No headphones connector can be found here, though. The power adapter is built into the case.

As opposed to the previous model, the whole Power button is highlighted in green. Not quite conveniently, it is placed in the center and feels almost exactly like the other buttons to the fingers. It would also be easier to control the monitor with one hand if the buttons were closer to each other. Quick access is provided to the auto-adjustment feature, to choosing an Empowering Technology mode, and to the sound volume setting.

The menu is exactly like the previous model’s. It is rather good and free from obvious defects.

The monitor’s default brightness and contrast are set at 77% and 50%, respectively. I reduced them both to 37% to achieve a 100nit brightness of white. Increasing the contrast setting to 70% and higher makes light halftones indistinguishable from pure white. Dark halftones are reproduced well at any value of contrast. Color gradients are displayed perfectly, without banding, too. The monitor regulates its brightness by means of pulse-width modulation of the power of the backlight lamps at a frequency of 300Hz.

 

The brightness uniformity for white is 4.9% on average with a maximum deflection of 13.2%. For black, the numbers are 4.5% and 17.8%. These are good results.

The gamma curves are close to the theoretical one at both the default and 100nit settings. There are no serious distortions of color reproduction.

The color temperature setup is not that good, though. White differs greatly from dark halftones in every mode (the User mode is set up differently than the other two by default), and there’s a big enough difference between the halftones as well. Moreover, the monitor doesn’t offer a warm color temperature: its Warm mode is not really warm.

The monitor’s color gamut is overall standard but somewhat larger in reds than usual.

The response time average is 11.8 milliseconds (GtG) with a maximum of 22.4 milliseconds. Of course, the X192W is somewhat faster than the previous model but can stand no comparison with RTC-enabled monitors.

The measured contrast ratio turns to be lower than the specified one, as usual. It is however high enough for a TN matrix, over 400:1 in two out of the three test modes.

So the Acer X192W can make a good home monitor for users who won’t mind its viewing angles and matrix speed. It’s got a nice appearance, a good gamma curve setup, and a uniform backlight. The only real drawbacks are the low quality of the color temperature setup and the small range of the setup options.

Highs:

Lows:

Recommended usage:

ASUS MB19SE

Next goes an inexpensive model from ASUS with the standard screen format of 5:4. Well, widescreen models are on the rise now, and this aspect ratio may soon become non-standard.

You can note that the specified parameters are not much different from those of the previous models except for the native resolution. The ASUS MB19SE obviously lacks both response time compensation and dynamic contrast technologies.

The monitor has the same exterior as the more expensive ASUS MB19TU we reviewed some time ago: a simple gray plastic case without any decorations, and a row of silvery buttons below the screen. The monitor doesn’t look too plain if compared with regular office-oriented models, however.

The stand only allows to adjust the tilt of the screen. It can be replaced with a VESA-compatible mount if necessary.

The monitor’s got an analog input only. The developer must have decided to reduce the manufacturing cost or set this model apart from the more expensive ones. The power adapter is built into the case. There is also an audio input for the integrated speakers you can find at the bottom of the front panel of the case. There is a headphones socket there, too.

The Power button is placed apart from the others and has a different shape. It is accompanied with a Power indicator. The monitor provides quick access to choosing a factory-set mode (Splendid technology) and to the brightness and sound volume settings.

The colorful menu offers a standard selection of setup options. Like in many other monitors from ASUS, the menu doesn’t remember the last changed item – it always opens up on the Splendid screen although the Splendid feature can be accessed using the instant-access buttons on the front panel.

The monitor’s default brightness and contrast are 90% and 80%, respectively. I reduced them both to 66% to achieve a 100nit brightness of white. If the contrast setting is set at 35% or lower, darkest halftones merge into black. Light halftones are distinguishable at any settings. Color gradients are reproduced without banding, but the image is somewhat trembling in the area of darks, perhaps due to incorrect emulation of 24-bit color on an 18-bit matrix. The brightness is PWM-regulated at a frequency of 340Hz.

 

The brightness uniformity is 4.2% on average and 11.4% at the maximum for white. That’s a very good result. For black, the average is 8.1% and the maximum is 23.5% and you can easily see bright bands along the top and bottom of the screen in darkness.

At the default settings the gamma curves go close to each other and have a normal shape but the gamma value is too low, resulting in a faded image on the screen.

The curves almost coincide with each other at the 100nit settings but still go higher than the theoretical curve.

Each of the available color temperature modes is far from ideal. The difference between the temperatures of grays amounts to 1000K and higher.

The monitor has a standard color gamut.

This is an RTC-less matrix you can’t expect a high speed from. The MB19SE is sluggish even in comparison with other RTC-less models: an average response time of 16 milliseconds GtG with a maximum of 33.2 milliseconds.

The brightness and contrast ratio are not high, yet acceptable for a majority of applications. The contrast ratio is low at the 100nit settings due to the high brightness of black.

The ASUS MB19SE is a typical representative of the office class. The only good things about it are the low price and the modest, yet nice, appearance. Well, people don’t usually ask for anything more from this type of monitors.

Highs:

Lows:

Recommended usage:

ASUS VW193D

This monitor from ASUS has a wide screen.

Its specifications provoke no real interest in me. Curiously enough, I have seen widescreen monitors with RTC technology made by Samsung and LG only. The other brands offer but ordinary matrixes with a declared response of 5 or 8 milliseconds.

If you’ve seen one VW series monitor from ASUS, you’ve seen them all. The VW193D is exactly like the rest of the series we have already tested in our labs. It’s got the same dark-gray case with a neat stand. With no extraordinary features, this exterior looks nice to me anyway.

Like with the above-discussed models, the stand of this one only allows adjusting the tilt of its screen. It can be replaced with a VESA-compatible mount if you want.

You can find an analog video input and an audio input for the integrated speakers at the back panel. The manufacturer must have decided to save on a digital interface and a headphones socket. The power adapter is built into the case.

The control buttons are placed in the bottom right corner of the front panel. They are made from plastic painted the color of the case and are accompanied with easily readable icons.

Quick access is provided to the sound volume and brightness settings and to the Splendid feature (factory-set modes that differ in brightness, contrast and color temperature settings). A long press on the Splendid button starts up the auto-adjustment procedure.

This monitor has the blue menu typical of newer monitors from ASUS. The change of design hasn’t affected its functionality, though. The menu still opens up on the Splendid screen and cannot remember the last changed item.

The monitor’s brightness and contrast are set at 90% and 80%, respectively, by default. I lowered them both to 62% to achieve a 100nit brightness of white. Both dark and light halftones are displayed fully at any settings, but color gradients appear striped. The brightness is regulated by means of pulse-width modulation of the power of the backlight lamps at a frequency of 391Hz.

 

The brightness uniformity for white is 6.4% on average with a maximum of 15.7%. That’s good. For black, the uniformity is 4.5% on average with a maximum of 10.8% - there are darker bands along the top and bottom of the screen.

The gamma curves are rather sloppy at both the default and 100nit settings. They go higher than the theoretical curve and differ from each other.

There are quite a lot of color temperature modes available in this monitor, yet I’d prefer to have fewer but with more accurate setup because the difference of 1500K in every mode is no good at all.

The VW193D’s color gamut is somewhat larger than usual in reds, but quite standard overall.

The response time average is 15.7 milliseconds GtG with a maximum of 32.9 milliseconds. That’s a normal speed of an RTC-less TN matrix although there are faster samples available in this product class.

The brightness and contrast ratio are going to be satisfactory for a majority of users. The contrast ratio might be a little higher, though.

So, the ASUS VW193D is a nice-looking inexpensive widescreen monitor that has certain flaws concerning color reproduction and lacks a digital input.

Highs:

Lows:

Recommended usage:

NEC AccuSync LCD93VM

This review continues with a monitor from NEC’s inexpensive AccuSync series.

The specifications are no different from those of many other inexpensive TN-based monitors without RTC technology (the lack of it in this model is indicated by the specified response time). The low specified contrast ratio is the only thing that looks somewhat unusual to me.

The monitor is not much on the outside: a gray case without any decorations rests on a black plastic stand. It looks somewhat too angular and massive.

Like with the above-discussed models, the stand only allows to adjust the tilt of the screen. It can be replaced with a standard VESA mount if you want.

The back panel offers an analog video input and an audio input for the integrated speakers you can find on the front panel. There is a headphones socket on the front panel, too. The power adapter is integrated into the case.

The control buttons under the screen look plain. The Power button resembles the others but is separated from them with a LED indicator. Quick access is provided to the auto-adjustment feature and to the sound volume and brightness settings. Rather unexpectedly, when you press the latter buttons, an appropriate menu item rather than an individual adjustment scale, appears on the screen.

This is a typical menu of NEC monitors of this series. It offers a standard set of options, but has a few drawbacks. First, you can only see the current values of settings (for example, those of brightness and contrast) only after you enter the appropriate menu items, which have to be identified by icons because they lack text captions. Second, you can only leave the menu by time-out or by browsing with the buttons to the Exit item – there is no special button for quitting. And third, the monitor doesn’t remember the setup option you changed last. The good thing is that you can reset any setting to its default value independently of the others.

The monitor has 100% brightness and 50% contrast by default. I reduced them both to 41% to achieve a 100nit brightness of white. If the contrast setting is set higher than 65%, lights become indistinguishable from white. When it is set at 35% and lower, darks merge into black. It means you should be careful when adjusting the contrast setting of this monitor to avoid losing some of halftones. The brightness is regulated by means of pulse-width modulation of the power of the backlight lamps at a frequency of 400Hz.

 

The average brightness uniformity is 6.5% on white with a maximum deflection of 22.5%. That’s acceptable. For black, the average and maximum values are 4.3% and 14.5%. There is a brighter band along the left side of the screen on both black and white.

The gamma curves are rather neat except that the blue one goes higher than the others.

There is no positive effect from the reduced settings. On the contrary, the left part of the blue curve becomes almost flat, indicating problems with the reproduction of darkest halftones.

The color temperature modes are set up with varying quality. The temperature dispersion is within 500K in the “7500” and “sRGB” modes, but gets as high as 1000K and more in the other modes.

The monitor’s color gamut is virtually identical to that of the above-discussed monitors.

The response time average is 15.2 milliseconds GtG with a maximum of 32.8 milliseconds. That’s a normal speed for a TN matrix without Response Time Compensation.

Having a lower specified contrast ratio in comparison with other monitors, the AccuSync LCD93VM turns to be no different from them in this parameter according to my tests.

Overall, the NEC AccuSync LCD93VM is a typical representative of the inexpensive category.

Highs:

Lows:

Recommended usage:

Samsung SyncMaster 940N

The SyncMaster 940N is the cheapest model with an aspect ratio of 5:4 in Samsung’s big family of 940-indexed monitors. Let’s see what it lacks to be so cheap.

Judging by the specs, this is quite a typical monitor with a slow TN matrix and without dynamic contrast technology.

Externally, the SyncMaster 940N is exactly like any other model of this series. Its case has a gray front panel and a black back panel. There are neat control buttons in the bottom right corner. The massive stand is painted black and gray. Some people may prefer something more eye-catching for home, yet I guess this modest exterior design would be appropriate both at home and in the office.

The main difference of the 940N from the monitors discussed above is its stand. Samsung decided to endow even this junior model with the full-featured stand that provides all the adjustment options you may ever want. You can change the tilt and height (from 55 to 135mm counting from the desk to the bottom edge of the matrix) of the screen, turn the monitor around its vertical axis (by means of a rotating ring in the sole of the stand), and pivot it into the portrait mode. The latter is not very appropriate for the TN matrix with its traditionally modest viewing angles, but anyway. If this stand still doesn’t suit you, you can replace it with a VESA-compatible mount.

By the way, if the functional stand is the main reason why you want to buy a 940N, you should know that it also comes with a simpler stand (without height adjustment and portrait mode). The latter version is somewhat cheaper. You can distinguish the two versions by their marking: “LS19HALESB” means the version with height adjustment and “LS19HALKSB” means the cheaper version with the less functional stand.

Samsung saved on the connectors. The monitor has an analog input only. The power adapter is integrated into the case.

The small and neat control buttons in the bottom right corner of the front panel are accompanied with clear labels. They sink down softly under your finger with a quiet, yet sharp, click. The Power button is highlighted with a blue LED. Quick access is provided to the auto-adjustment feature, to the brightness setting and to selecting a MagicBright mode.

The menu is Samsung’s traditional one. You should be familiar with it if you’ve already dealt with monitors from this company. It is comprehensible and easy to use. A nice thing is that it remembers the last changed option.

The default values of brightness and contrast are 100% and 80%, respectively. I lowered them both to 37% to achieve a 100nit brightness of white. Light halftones merge into the same color at 90% and higher contrast. Darks are reproduced correctly at any settings. Color gradients are displayed correctly, too. The brightness is regulated by means of pulse-width modulation of the power of the backlight lamps at a frequency of 344Hz.

 

The average brightness uniformity is 4.9% on white and 4.1% on black. The corresponding maximums are 13.3% and 16.1%, respectively. These results should be satisfactory for most users. The backlight has a cross-like brighter zone, quite a typical thing for many monitors, but it won’t be conspicuous at such low values.

The gamma curves look good and go close to each other but differ slightly from the theoretical curve.

The curves almost coincide at the reduced settings, but all go higher than the theoretical curve, resulting in a whitish image on the screen.

The color temperature setup is far from ideal but the temperature dispersion is within a reasonable 1000K in every mode.

As was to be expected, the SyncMaster 940N has the same color gamut as every other monitor with ordinary backlight lamps.

The response time average is 15.4 milliseconds (GtG) with a maximum of 32.8 milliseconds. The monitor is just fast as other RTC-less models.

Again, the monitor is no different from others in terms of contrast ratio. It is quite satisfactory for most applications.

So, the Samsung SyncMaster 940N is a good inexpensive monitor with a very functional stand you can rarely see in monitors of its class. It is ergonomic and features a very uniform backlight. This model is actually free from serious drawbacks if you make allowances for the category it belongs to.

Highs:

Lows:

Recommended usage:

Samsung SyncMaster 940T

We tested this model already in our Part IV of the roundup but it was quite a long time ago. About a year ago this model began to be shipped with an RTC-enabled PVA matrix. Of course, we couldn’t pass by this rejuvenated product. There are too few PVA-based monitors with a screen size of 19 inches for us to neglect such important changes in one of them.

Even if the first line were erased from the table, the excellent viewing angles would still indicate that it is not TN technology. Response Time Compensation has changed the declared response time dramatically: from 25 milliseconds (ISO) to 8 milliseconds (GtG). You’ll see shortly how fast this model is in practice. The contrast ratio is declared to be as high as 1500:1. Such a high value usually means dynamic contrast if declared for a TN matrix, but this monitor doesn’t offer a dynamic contrast mode at all.

There are still both versions of the 940T selling: with 8ms and 25ms matrixes. You can check out the full model name to make sure you buy the version you want: the LS19HATES7 comes with a 25ms matrix and the LS19HATESQ, with a 8ms matrix.

The SyncMaster 940T is designed exactly like the N-indexed model from the same series discussed in the previous section. In fact, the two models are twins externally. Both have the same neat and modest gray case on a massive stand.

The stand offers all the possible adjustment options. You can change the tilt and height (from 50 to 135mm) of the screen or turn the screen around the vertical axis. The portrait mode is also available, and it is indeed useful due to the good viewing angles of this matrix. The monitor is compatible with VESA mounts.

As opposed to the inexpensive 940N, this model has both analog and digital inputs. Its power adapter is integrated into the case.

The control buttons are designed and placed exactly like on the previous model. Quick access is provided to the auto-adjustment feature, to the brightness setting, and to choosing a MagicBright mode. The standard onscreen menu from Samsung the monitor is equipped with is user-friendly as usual.

The default values of brightness and contrast are 100% and 70%, respectively. I lowered them both to 49% to achieve a 100nit brightness of white. Dark halftones are reproduced well at any settings while light halftones merge into one color at a contrast of 90% and higher. Color gradients are reproduced without banding.

The monitor’s regulation of brightness is implemented in an unusual way. When you enable the color management technology called MagicColor, the brightness is regulated by means of modulation of the backlight at a frequency of 335MHz. When MagicColor is turned off, the brightness is regulated with the matrix. I don’t know the reasons why Samsung’s engineers have implemented such an unusual regulation.

 

The average brightness uniformity is 5% on white and 7.1% on black, the corresponding maximums being 11.3% and 22.6%, respectively. These are acceptable results.

The gamma curves look good at the defaults settings except that the blue curve has a lower value of gamma than necessary and goes above the others as the result.

At the reduced settings the three curves almost coincide. Unfortunately, the red and green curves rise up to merge with the blue one rather than otherwise. The image looks whitish as the consequence. Such flaws in color reproduction can be corrected by adjusting the value of gamma in the monitor’s menu. You don’t need a calibrator for that.

The color temperature setup isn’t very accurate. There is a temperature dispersion of over 1500K in each mode, which is not good. The Warm mode is the only acceptable one as the color temperature deflects much only on the darkest halftones in it – this is less perceptible to the eye. Darks are considerably colder than lights in every mode.

The monitor’s color gamut is slightly larger than sRGB in greens and differs from it in reds. It’s all just like with other monitors that have ordinary backlight lamps.

According to my tests, the monitor has a response time average of 6.2 milliseconds (GtG) with a maximum of 15 milliseconds. In other words, it is even faster than declared. For comparison, the RTC-less version of this model had a response time of 25 milliseconds on transitions between light halftones only. On dark halftones it would be as slow as 100 milliseconds! Response Time Compensation is indeed a vitally important technology for PVA matrixes.

Well, RTC is always accompanied with errors. Here, the RTC error average is 8.3%. The maximum error is 79%. It means that RTC-provoked artifacts won’t be conspicuous most of the time, yet you can spot them on certain transitions between dark halftones. Not an ideal result, yet not a failure, ether.

The monitor didn’t show an exceptionally high contrast ratio in my tests even though its contrast ratio is higher than most TN-based models can offer. It will satisfy most users, though.

Of course, the updated SyncMaster 940T belongs to a higher class and costs more than the other monitors tested for this review. It is comparable in price to expensive TN-based monitors with Response Time Compensation and exquisite exterior design. But I would recommend it to you if you are not satisfied with the viewing angles of TN matrixes because its matrix is fast enough for most applications. The only drawback of this model I could find is the inaccurate setup of the color temperature modes.

I want to warn you once again that there are two versions of SyncMaster 940T selling currently. The version with the model code of LS19HATESQ is the one tested in this review. It is based on an RTC-enabled PVA matrix with a specified response time of 8 milliseconds. The other version, LS19HATES7, does not have RTC and its response time is as high as 25 milliseconds. There is the same thing with the SyncMaster 940Fn model (its LS19HAPAS7 version has a slow matrix, and its LS19HAPASQ has a fast matrix). You should check out the model code to make sure you buy the version you want.

Highs:

Lows:

Recommended usage:

ViewSonic VA1903wb

The last model in this review is an inexpensive model with a widescreen matrix. The ViewSonic VA1903wb is similar to the VA903b model we tested earlier.

There’s nothing special in the specifications. There is neither Response Time Compensation nor dynamic contrast here.

The monitor’s exterior is stern: a neat black case stands on a black plastic base. The impression is somewhat spoiled by the plain-looking buttons placed at the middle bottom of the front panel.

The stand permits to adjust the tilt of the screen. That’s the only adjustment option available to you. Like with the other models discussed above, you can replace the stand with a VESA mount – you’ll find the necessary mounting holes under the caps on the back panel.

The monitor has an analog input and a connector of the integrated power adapter.

The control buttons are accompanied with barely readable labels pressed out in the plastic of the case. The labels are not very comprehensible, though. This is ViewSonic’s traditional set of “1”, “2”, and two arrows. The Power button is rather inconveniently placed in the center and highlighted with a green LED at work. Quick access is provided to the auto-adjustment and to the brightness and contrast settings.

This is a typical menu of ViewSonic monitors. It is quite ordinary in terms of design and convenience, but offers all the necessary setup options. A special feature, the monitor locks the brightness and contrast settings when you select the sRGB mode but doesn’t set them to certain predefined values. It just keeps the values you’ve selected before enabling that mode.

The monitor has 100% brightness and 70% contrast by default. I lowered them both to 55% to achieve a 100nit brightness of white. Dark halftones are distinguishable at any settings while lightest halftones merge into the same color at a contrast of 90% and higher. Color gradients are reproduced without banding but there is some slight noise in dark halftones like with the ASUS MB19SE.

 

The average brightness uniformity is 5.4% for white and 4.4% for black. The corresponding maximums are 18.4% and 15.3%, respectively. That’s a very good result.

The gamma curves are somewhat sloppy at the default settings, deflecting from the ideal curve.

Alas, the curves retain their shape at the reduced settings. The value of gamma lowers somewhat.

The color temperature setup is just acceptable, the difference between the temperatures of grays amounting to 1000K in each mode. Dark halftones are always colder than light ones.

The color gamut is somewhat unusual. As opposed to most other monitors with ordinary backlight lamps, the color gamut of the VA1903wb coincides with sRGB in reds and differs from it in blues.

The response time average is 12.9 milliseconds GtG with a maximum of 22.7 milliseconds. These are good results if you compare them to other RTC-less monitors, yet this monitor is far slower than TN-based models with Response Time Compensation.

The contrast ratio and brightness are normal. The monitor will satisfy most users with these parameters.

So, the ViewSonic VA1903wb is yet another average-quality widescreen monitor with a slow matrix. It has neither serious defects nor special advantages. Everything is average in it: exterior design, color reproduction setup, brightness uniformity, etc. It’s just a regular work tool.

Highs:

Lows:

Recommended usage:

Conclusion

There is no definite leader in this review. Of course, the PVA-based SyncMaster 940T from Samsung features broader viewing angles than the other models. Now that it has got Response Time Compensation technology, it is competitive even in those applications that require a good response. Unfortunately, it is more expensive than the other monitors included into this review while the availability of this model in two versions (with and without RTC) is confusing unless you buy the monitor for work and do not care about its speed.

Among the monitors with the standard aspect ratio of 5:4 the Samsung SyncMaster 940N may be singled out. It has a functional stand, a uniform backlight, and no serious defects. This makes it different from the NEC AccuSync LCD93VM and ASUS MB19SE.

Among the widescreen monitors the Acer X192W is the only noteworthy model due to its exterior design but it is somewhat more expensive than the other monitors with an aspect ratio of 16:10. The strongest point of the Acer AL1916W Asd, ASUS VW193D and ViewSonic VA1903wb is their low price, so you should make your shopping choice basing on what features you need and what features you can live happily without. Note that among these four models the monitors from Acer are the only ones that have both digital and analog inputs. The other two are equipped with an analog input only.

Generally speaking, 19” LCD monitors are largely viewed by both the manufacturers and the buyers as inexpensive entry-level products today. The main reason for that is the considerable reduction of price of monitors with larger screens that has occurred recently. 20” and 22” monitors are not much more expensive, and there are more models among them with matrix types other than TN. On the other hand, you don’t need a large screen for office work, and many people are quite satisfied with 19 inches of screen space even at home, especially gamers who can’t afford an expensive graphics card that would run games fast enough at high display resolutions. So, this is not the last of our reviews of 19” monitors. We’ll be trying to keep you in touch with this market sector, too.