Viewsonic VX2363SMHL 23in LCD monitor
A frameless but not borderless LED-backlit LCD monitor for basic tasks
Viewsonic’s VX2363SMHL (VX63) monitor is a 23in LED-backlit LCD monitor with a slim and lightweight design. It has a Full HD resolution and a response time of 2ms, and it’s aimed primarily at those of you who want an inexpensive screen for everyday, non-colour critical tasks.
What sets this monitor apart from the outset is its anti-glare screen. It’s not reflective and it doesn’t have a touch component. This means it can be used in areas where reflections from room lights might be a cause for concern with other, glossy style LCD screens.
It’s a panel that’s encased in a white plastic, and this made it stand out in the sea of black and grey monitors at our office. It’s definitely different compared to most monitors that we usually look at.
When the monitor is switched off, the white frame that holds the panel in place is a slim couple of millimetres and it makes the monitor look quite stylish. However, once you switch it on, you realise that there is still a black border of about 10mm between the white frame and where the picture starts. In other words, it may be a ‘frameless’ design, but a border is still present.
Setting up the monitor isn’t too much of a chore. There is not much to it at all except for a two-part stand that needs to be clipped in place, and because the monitor is so light, it’s easy to handle sideways and upside-down for this task and for the task of plugging in the cables.
The only cables you’ll need are for the power adapter (it’s an external laptop-like power brick, which is how the monitor is able to be so lightweight), and an HDMI cable. There are two HDMI ports so that you can hook up two devices at the same time — maybe a gaming console and a PC — and there is a VGA port, too, in case you want to go old-school. A couple of speakers are built in, but they should only be used in audio emergency situations, such as if your stereo has blown up and you have no other option.
Picture controls are situated underneath the bottom lip, and the on-screen menu takes a bit of getting used in the way it can be invoked and perused. You can change the luminance and the colour space, as well as choose a pre-set scheme depending on the task that you are undertaking.
For example, if you’re reading a document, you can select the text mode to give the screen more of a yellow-ish look that’s easier on the eyes than bright white. Viewsonic should have given these pre-sets their own button on the panel, rather than making you go through the menu to access them.
In terms of picture quality, the panel is good overall, and definitely easy on the eyes. Despite being a 6-bit panel that relies on a dithering technique to display the 16.7-million colours from a graphics adapter, the content we viewed on it showed no ill effects. Pictures with shadowed areas possessed the dynamic range we expected, and colours were accurate. The black level was decent, though the monitor did struggle slightly to display the blackest of blacks in black level tests.
When viewing movies and other video content with dark scenes, the backlight was a little too noticeable around the edges, and it became a part-time distraction. For colourful and bright content, it was fine. Another thing we’ll note about the backlight is that we could see it bleeding at the top through the gap between the panel itself and the plastic enclosure. It’s a sign that this monitor isn’t a premium model, but more of a budget model.
Viewing angles are good as long as you are sitting in front of the monitor and not off to the sides. It’s not the type of monitor you can use to show off work to people sitting to your left and right. Vertical viewing is also limited, and there is a noticeable ‘shading’ of the picture when you look at the display from above. Standard VESA mount holes are located at the rear, though we don't recommend mounting it in a fixed position due to the viewing angle limitations. An articulated arm will be fine. There are times when you might need to move the screen a little to the left or right.
Overall, though, it’s a fine monitor for basic tasks. It’s not something we would pick for colour-critical work, but for viewing Web sites, playing games, and watching videos, it will suffice. Motion wasn’t a problem during our tests, with no noticeable blurring issues present while scrolling, nor while observing other fast-moving content travelling across the screen. The picture looked crisp for text and graphics. We like the fact that reflections won’t be a problem.
The only things we’ll note as cons are the inexpensive build quality and the sometimes noticeable backlight and limited black level.Read more: Buying guide: Panasonic's 2014 TVs
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