Friday, October 12, 2007

Review: ViewSonic VP930b LCD Monitor

Size (inches): 19 • Resolution (pixels): 1280 by 1024 • Adjustments: Multiple adjustments • Contrast Ratio: 1000:1 • Interfaces: Analog and digital • Weight (pounds): 15 • Price When Reviewed: $329

The VP930b looks like much like a standard two-footed ViewSonic model--but wearing different shoes. Two new, small projections extend backwards from the original feet, giving the entire stand an uneven X shape. You feel the added stability when you give the physical adjustments--tilt, height, swivel, and pivot--a whirl. This thin-bezeled model adjusts easily, and changes stay put nicely.

At default screen settings, the VP930b threw a pinkish or orangey cast onto most screens. This, and the slightly spidery text, led to respectable but average image quality ratings from our jury. In a subsequent hands-on evaluation, I discovered several color presets in the on-screen display; simply choosing a cooler screen mode solved the problems.

Better yet, the VP930b includes a CD with PerfectSuite, ViewSonic's branded version of Portrait Displays's Display Tune screen adjustment software. With PerfectSuite's tests and wizard, you painlessly calibrate the monitor to your tastes and environment. PerfectSuite includes some of the more unusual Display Tune settings, such as automatic screen pivot, which saves time and fuss for anyone who frequently pivots a monitor from landscape to portrait.

The theft deterrence plug-in, which arrives on CD, renders the monitor nonfunctional if someone disconnects it from the original PC and fails to enter the user-selected password. This may be better for preventing migration of LCDs between offices than for deterring burglars. (And it's odd that the software starts this process when you check a box labeled "enable theft.") If this function interests you, but the VP930b's $500 price tag seems high for your office, look for it on recent Hyundai ImageQuest models as well, such as the $390 Q90U.

Upshot: With a full range of physical adjustments and excellent screen adjustment software, it's a simple matter to get the ViewSonic VP 930b exactly the way you need it.-- Laura Blackwell


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