ViewSonic VX2739wm
Simon Baker, 6 July 2010


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ViewSonic like to bring us 'firsts' in the monitor market. I can remember the release of the VP191B a long time ago which brought us one of the first overdriven VA panels in the market. Back in 2005 they brought us the first 2ms G2G rated TN Film screen, in 2006 they brought us the first screen with an integrated iPod dock, in 2007 the first 28" screen in the market and the list goes on... Now in 2010 they have brought out the World's first 1ms response time LCD panel. The new VX2739wm offers quite an interesting range of features and specs as well. It's a massive 27" 1080p screen, featuring a 1ms response time, 100,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, an HDMI interface and built in 'SRS Premium Sound' speakers. This is a big screen aimed at the multimedia user and gamers market for sure.

Let's start by taking a look at the specs for the VX2739wm:



Colour Depth

16.7 million (6-bit +FRC)

Aspect Ratio


Colour Gamut

72% NTSC colour gamut


1920 x 1080

Viewing Angles

170 / 160

Response Time

1ms G2G

Panel Technology

TN Film

Contrast Ratio

1200:1 static, 100,000:1 DCR


DVI-D (HDCP), D-sub, HDMI 1.3


300 cd/m2


Glossy black bezel and base

Special Features

Tilt function only. 2x2W integrated speakers with SRS Premium Sound, ECO mode, 4x USB 2.0

The VX2739wm is a large screen at a measurement of 27" diagonally. This was a noticeable upgrade in size from my regular 24" screen, and the  23" models we have recently been testing and using daily. The design was fairly simplistic but looked pretty nice I thought. It looks quite a lot like an LCD TV in fact, with a curved lower bezel, rounded stand and glossy piano black finish. The Viewsonic logo is located in the middle of the bottom bezel above a silver trimmed power button. The power LED is very subtle and glows blue in normal operation. This goes orange in standby mode.

There is only a tilt function available from this screen so it is rather limited in terms of its ergonomics. I always think a height adjustment is almost a must-have for a desktop screen so it's a shame to see that missing here. Rotate functionality is missing but wouldn't be practical at this size anyway really. The tilt adjustment is quite stiff to move as well and doesn't tilt backwards that much. For some reason it tilts a lot further towards you, even going beyond a vertical position which surely can't be practical to anyone? The stand was pretty decent and build quality felt quite good. It's a very heavy screen so it feels quite sturdy on your desk.

The screen gets a little warm during operation but nothing too bad. There is a very faint 'fizz' from the electronics if you are very close to the screen, but not noticeable at all in normal working conditions I found. The panel features a matte anti-reflective (AR) coating as opposed to any glossy finiish.

Above: OSD operational buttons (left), side access USB ports and audio-out (second)
and power button (right). Click for larger versions where available

In the bottom right hand corner there are "HDMI" and "1080p Full HD" logos along with very subtle labels for the OSD controls ("1", up, down and "2"). The actual buttons are located on the right hand edge of the screen with a reasonable size and good feel to them so they can be operated easily. There is quick launch access to brightness/contrast and the audio volume menus through the up and down arrows. Button "2" also quickly swaps between the screens inputs.

The OSD menu itself was easy enough to navigate, although it might be sometimes tricky to know which of the buttons you are pressing on the side. Once you get used to the functions of the "1" and "2" buttons (to enter and exit sections pretty much), it's pretty intuitive. There's usual sections you would expect for brightness and contrast, and the 'color adjust' menu provides access to the various preset colour modes (we'll have a look at those shortly).

The 'manual image adjust' menu provides access to the dynamic contrast ratio option, the 'response time' option (more on that later) and the ECO modes for reduced power consumption (more in a moment).

The back of the screen features the pretty decent range of interface options available from this screen. There's HDMI, DVI and D-sub which should provide a good selection for users wanting to utilise this screen for PC work and connecting external multimedia devices. Next to this there is an audio-in connection which connects to your sound card to use the integrated speaker system. There are also 2x USB 2.0 ports on the underside which are useful for connecting scanners, printers, cameras etc. On the right hand edge of the screen there are a further 2x USB ports and an audio-out connection for headphones should you want to use them (see image further up). I think it's useful to have these on the side as easy access options. There was no cable tie available which is a shame. Given the pretty low height of the screen, and lack of height adjustment, they did remain pretty hidden to be fair.

Viewsonic's website blurb talks about the integrated speaker system as follows: "ViewSonic partners with industry leading audio expert, SRS Labs, to provide you with a great sound experience. Now is the time to hear the true nature of sound with SRS Premium Sound technology on your monitor. SRS Premium Sound delivers a superior audio experience for music, video and games: more natural and immersive, with deeper bass, clearer dialog and outstanding surround sound. SRS Premium Sound software is included in the ViewSonic Wizard CD-ROM. It needs to be installed and should be running on your computer in order to deliver the great sound experience."

I didn't have chance to test the software but did connect my PC and my iPod to the screen via the audio in to test the quality. It felt pretty 'tinny' and didn't really offer much bass, but that is to be expected really from a monitor's integrated speakers. Should suffice for casual office noises and maybe the odd mp3, but won't satisfy those wanting to watch movies or play immersive games I shouldn't think.

Again, Viewsonic's website states: "ViewSonic’s proprietary Eco-mode function comes standard with the VX2739wm. When you don’t need all of the powerful features the VX2739wm has to offer, you have the option to reduce the monitor’s brightness, save energy, save the planet and prolong the lamp life. You can select one of the “Optimize” or “Conserve” options and save up to 35% energy. Especially under low ambient light conditions, adjusting the brightness will improve visibility by reducing eye fatigue. Reducing brightness will also prolong the monitor’s lamp life, improving your return on investment."


Power Usage (W)

Factory Default


Calibrated Settings





ECO Mode (calibrated)

Power Usage (W)

% Saving










We tested the screen at factory settings and once calibrated (see calibration section). Out of the box the VX2739wm used 50.9W of power but this was reduced significantly to 38.6W once calibrated. In standby the screen uses only 1.9W of power. I also tested the ECO mode options and found a pretty decent power saving if used with our calibrated settings. There was a 19% saving (32.4W) using the Optimize setting, and a 47% saving when using the 'conserve' setting. In the absence of any preset modes for different applications, these ECO modes might serve as a good way to change the luminance of your screen in different lighting conditions, as well as helping you conservce more energy.


Colour Accuracy, Black Depth and Contrast

The Viewsonic VX2739wm utilises a 6-bit TN Film panel, capable of producing 16.7 million colours on paper thanks to the use of Frame Rate Control (FRC). Unlike many modern displays, the screen uses standard CCFL backlighting and offers a colour gamut covering 72% of the NTSC colour space, approximately the same as the sRGB space. For those who are wary of extended gamuts and only want to work with sRGB content, this is an important thing to note.

An important thing to consider for most users is how a screen will perform out of the box and with some basic manual adjustments. Since most users won't have access to hardware colorimeter tools, it is important to understand how the screen is going to perform in terms of colour accuracy for the average user. I restored my graphics card to default settings and set it to its standard profile. The VX2739wm was tested at default factory settings using the DVI interface, and analysed using LaCie's Blue Eye Pro colorimeter and their accompanying software suite.

Default settings of the screen were as follows:

Monitor OSD Option

Default Settings





Preset Mode


Viewsonic VX2739wm - Default Factory Settings


Default Settings

Luminance (cd/m2)


Black Point (cd/m2)


Contrast Ratio


The first thing you will notice once you connect the VX2739wm and turn it on is that it is far too bright and a little uncomfortable to use. Colours also appear a little washed out as a result of the high brightness. The appearance of the screen is also a little disappointing as a result of the viewing angles of the panel, but we will talk about this a bit later on. It's obvious that you will need to make some changes to the screen and carry out a calibration if you want to use the screen properly, and you can spot that even before any colorimeter tests.

I'll talk through the results step by step. On the left we have a CIE diagram with triangles representing the colour space (gamut) displayed by the monitor. The black triangle represents the gamut of the screen itself, with an orange triangle being shown as a reference to the sRGB colour space. As you can see, the monitors colour space matches this very closely and is in keeping with other modern standard gamut displays although it does fall short in green shades which other modern sRGB gamut screens do not (e.g. the recently tested Viewsonic VP2365wb).

Gamma of the screen was actually good at default, with a reading of 2.2 average which was our target (the default for computer monitors). Colour temperature was a little way off however, with a 15% deviation at 5529k from the target of 6500k (the temperature of daylight).

Luminance was the main issue here though, with a default reading of 220 cd/m2, 83% higher than the target of 120 cd/m2 (the recommended luminance for computer screens in normal lighting conditions). This was far too bright and uncomfortable to use, but then the brightness control was set at 100% at default. Dropping this down should help overcome that problem at least. Despite this high luminance, the black depth was a very impressive 0.19 cd/m2 giving a massive static contrast ratio of 1158:1. This was very close to the advertised 1200:1 even, and a very very good result from any panel. Just goes to show what is possible from modern TN Film matrices.


Testing with the colorimeter revealed the graph on the right hand side above, showing DeltaE (dE 94) values across 16 shades. As a reminder, the lower these bars down the Y-axis, the better, in terms of colour accuracy. For reference, LaCie describe the DeltaE readings as:

  • If DeltaE >3, the color displayed is significantly different from the theoretical one, meaning that the difference will be perceptible to the viewer.

  • If DeltaE <2, LaCie considers the calibration a success; there remains a slight difference, but it is barely undetectable.

  • If DeltaE < 1, the color fidelity is excellent.

Default colour accuracy was fairly poor sadly, with average dE of 3.4, ranging up to 6.0 in the worst cases. This was a poor result really, but perhaps to be expected from a lower cost TN Film panel? We had seen some very good default colour accuracy from the recent low-cost e-IPS based screens (e.g. Viewsonic VP2365wb, Dell U2311H), but this 27" TN Film model was poor at factory settings. If you intend to use this screen at all, you will need to find a way to correct the brightness if nothing else. Any colour critical work or photo viewing would probably require some calibration as well to ensure the colour accuracy is not way off. Considering this is a lower cost screen, it's probably unlikely many users will want to buy a colorimeter as well, so it's important to be aware of the level fo accuracy you will achieve without.


I also wanted to see how the screen performed with only a simple change to the preset colour mode:

Monitor OSD Option

Default Settings, sRGB mode





Preset Mode


Viewsonic VX2739wm - Default Settings, sRGB mode


Default Settings, sRGB

Luminance (cd/m2)


Black Point (cd/m2)


Contrast Ratio


Changing only to the sRGB preset mode made an instant impact to thebrightness of the screen which was revealed by our colorimeter to have been reduced to a far more comfortable (although a bit low now), 84 cd/m2. However, as we saw on the VP2365wb as well, this sRGB mode seemed to crush the black depth through an adjustment of the digital white level as opposed to a reduction in the backlight intensity. As a result, luminance was lowered but black depth remained at 0.20 cd/m2 giving a static contrast ratio now of only 420:1. I wouldn't recommend using this mode for this reason. It also didn't really improve colour accuracy, with average dE still only 2.8, maximum now 7.3.


Monitor OSD Option

Default Settings, User Color





Preset Mode

User Color

Viewsonic VX2739wm - Default Settings, User Color mode


Default Settings, User Color

Luminance (cd/m2)


Black Point (cd/m2)


Contrast Ratio


I also changed to the user color mode which affords you access to the RGB channels at an individual level. This negatively impacted the gamma of the screen as well unfortunately, reducing from 2.2 to 2.0 and resulting in obvious washout of the image. Light greys from the background of the above results images now appeared to blend into the white background of the office window! Not a good change. It also made colour accuracy worse, changing from 3.4 average dE to 4.9. Luminance was still far too high but brightness control was still set at 100%.

Out of the box, I think your best option would be to stick with the 6500k preset mode, but you will want to reduce the brightness control to around 60%. You will need to carry out calibration, preferrably with a colorimeter, to improve the colour temperature and colour accuracy though really.


Calibrated Results

Viewsonic VX2739wm - Calibrated Settings - User Color Mode

Monitor OSD Option

Adjusted Setting






71, 86, 85

Preset Mode

User Color


Calibrated Settings, User Color Mode

luminance (cd/m2)


Black Point (cd/m2)


Contrast Ratio


I entered the 'User Color' mode so that I could change the RGB values as shown above. Brightness was also adjusted to 69% from the default of 100%. The automated stages were then used to carry out further adjustments and corrections at a graphics card LUT level, and creating an ICC profile. There is no hardware level calibration possible since that is reserved for high end graphics screens.

The calibration was a success. Gamma, colour temperature and luminance were all pretty much spot on. With a more comfortable luminance of 121 cd/m2 now, we had a black depth of 0.15 cd/m2. This was very good and gave us a high static contrast ratio of 807:1. This was not as good as default settings where we had seen ~1150:1, but this was a calibrated result with correction of gamma, white point and colour tones. Colour accuracy was now much better with an average dE of only 0.7. LaCie would consider colour fidelity to be excellent from this test. Maximum dE was only 1.1, so a significant improvement compared with the factory settings.

Testing the screen with colour gradients showed fairly smooth transitions but some obvious stepping in darker tones. There was no banding as such, these were smaller steps which you can spot. You could also spot the FRC mechanism on very close inspection if you know what to look for. Again, both really to be expected from a TN Film panel.

You can use our OSD settings and try our calibrated ICC profile if you wish, which is available in our ICC profile database.


Viewsonic VX2739wm - Calibrated Settings - 6500k Mode

Monitor OSD Option

Adjusted Setting







Preset Mode



Calibrated Settings, Standard Mode

luminance (cd/m2)


Black Point (cd/m2)


Contrast Ratio


Out of interest I also calibrated the screen in the 6500k preset mode to check if corrections could be made in that setup. Thankfully they could, and gamma, colour temperature and luminance were all corrected nicely. Colour accuracy was again very good, slightly better on average than the user color mode with dE average of 0.5 instead of 0.7. However, the maximum dE was ever so slightly behind our calibrated 'User Color' mode at 1.6 instead of 1.1. It was good to see you can calibrate this preset mode properly, as some other models we have tested (e.g. Dell U2311H) do not seem to allow accurate performance in some of their modes.

Again, you can use our OSD settings and try our calibrated ICC profile if you wish, which is available in our ICC profile database.



Calibration Performance Comparisons

I plotted the results from our tests on the above graphs to compare them against other popular models in the 23" - 27" sized range we have tested recently. Out of the box, colour accuracy of the VX2739wm was fairly average at 3.4 dE being quite similar to the other TN Film based gamers models we have tested - the Asus MS246H (2.6) and Samsung SM2233RZ (3.9). The VX2739wm did remain a little behind some of the modern IPS based models like the Dell U2311H (2.4) and Viewsonic's own VP2365wb (2.5). The only other 27" model we have tested here is the Dell U2711 which had a default colour accuracy of 3.7 so very close again to the VX2739wm. The Dell is a wide gamut screen based on an IPS panel, so showed better accuracy once calibrated. Visual performance of the Dell was also superior as you do not have the limiting viewing angles of the TN Film technology used here, and the picture quality was sharper thanks to its much higher resolution.

Once calibrated the VX2739wm had an average dE of 0.7 which was the worst of the bunch here. It was still <1 which LaCie would classify as excellent colour accuracy, but it was not quite up to the standard of some of the other models. The Dell U2711 reached as low as 0.3 in this test. Remember though, the VX2739wm is a gaming orientated screen so colour accuracy is not really its forte. The performance once calibrated was fairly decent to be fair, but as I've already said, the viewing angles can present an issue if you are doing any colour critical work. This is something which can't be accounted for in our colour accuracy tests with a colorimeter.

I've also plotted the calibrated black depth and contrast ratio in comparison with the same models. Out of the box we saw a contrast ratio of >1100:1 but it did leave us with a poorly adjusted white point and average colour accuracy. Once calibrated, the black depth of the VX2739wm was recorded at 0.15 which was very good indeed. This was on par with the NEC EA231WMi which we had been very impressed with in this test. Like the Samsung SM2233RZ (0.16) and Asus MS246H (0.16), this was a very good black depth from a TN Film panel. There was a time when black depth of this technology was poor, but over the last couple of years it has really improved and offers some excellent performance. The e-IPS based Dell U2311H has the very slight edge with a black depth of only 0.14. The contrast ratio of the VX2739wm was 807:1 once calibrated which was again an excellent result. A little behind the Dell U2311H (857:1) but beating all the other models! These two areas are certainly a strong point of the VX2739wm.


Contrast Stability

I wanted to see how much variance there was in the screens contrast as we adjusted the monitor setting for brightness. In theory, brightness and contrast are two independent parameters, and good contrast is a requirement regardless of the brightness adjustment. Unfortunately, such is not always the case in practice. We recorded the screens luminance and black depth at various OSD brightness settings, and calculated the contrast ratio from there. All other monitor and graphics card settings were left at default with no ICC profile or calibration active. It should be noted that we used the BasICColor calibration software here to record these, and so luminance at default settings varies a little from the LaCie Blue Eye Pro report.

OSD Brightness


Black Point (cd/m2)

Contrast Ratio
( x:1)







































? <0.02




? <0.02




As you would hope, adjusting the monitors brightness control alters the intensity of the backlighting, and reduces the luminance of the screen as expected. At the top end, the screen reaches a luminance of 217 cd/m2 which is only just over 2/3 of the advertsied maximum brightness of 300 cd/m2. I expect most people won't need to use the screen at any brighter setting, but it is worth noting that it does fall short of it's advertised maximum. As you reduce the brightness setting, there is a very good range in luminance that you can conrtol. At around 60% you should return a luminance of around 120 cd/m2 which is recommended for LCD monitors in normal lighting conditions. This gives you a very big range to reduce it even further, ranging down to a very very low 8 cd/m2 at 0%.


With these adjustments, black depth also reduces. At 100% brightness it is a very impressive 0.19 cd/m2, giving a static contrast ratio of 1142:1. The black depth reduces down so low at the bottom end that our colorimeter cannot actually record the value! The LaCie Blue Eye Pro we use in these tests can only record down to 0.02 cd/m2 as a minimum, and the VX2739wm drops down below this from 10% brightness downwards. Very low black points indeed. As such, we have only plotted the results of the contrast stability between the 100% and 20% settings. Contrast stability itself remains very good across the whole range, with a slight peak at around the 30% mark. Average contrast ratio was 1185:1.



Dynamic Contrast

The Viewsonic VX2739wm features a dynamic contrast ratio (DCR) control, offering a supposed 100,000:1 specification. DCR requires the screen to be able to produce a very bright white, and a very dark black at the two ends of the control. Dynamic contrast ratio involves controlling the backlight automatically, depending on the content shown on the screen. In bright images, the backlight is increased, and in darker images, it is descreased. For this test I would use the colorimeter to record the luminance and black depths at the two extremes. Max brightness would be recorded on an all white screen once the DCR has caught up. Black depth would be recorded on an all black screen.



Calibrated Settings, Game Preset Mode

Max luminance (cd/m2)


Min Black Point (cd/m2)


Max Dynamic Contrast Ratio



The DCR actually worked pretty well here which is a refreshing change from some of the other models we have tested which seem to hardly work at all. The mechanism was fast but smooth, changing the luminance of the screen noticeably as you changed the content you viewed. You lose access to the brightness/contrast controls when selecting this mode from the OSD menu.


At the top end the luminance ranged up to 195 cd/m2 which we have already seen is just shy of the maximum luminance the screen is capable of (~217 cd/m2). The black point ranged down to 0.07 cd/m2 which gave us a DCR of 2798:1. This was a good number really, and at least the technology works properly here. In order to get a DCR of the 100,000:1 advertised, black point would need to be able to drop down to 0.002 cd/m2 if we assumed a luminance upper limit of 217 cd/m2. Through our contrast stability tests we have already seen that the black point can reach below 0.02 which is very good, although the DCR mechanism doesn't seem to quite cover the full range of adjustments.



Viewing Angles

Above: Viewing angles shown from front and side, and  from above and below. Click for larger images

The viewing angles of the VX2739wm were quite poor sadly, but not unexpected given the use of TN Film panel technology. From the side, there was a slight darkening and contrast shift as you moved away from a central point of view, and past about 30°. Apart from this, horizontal angles were not too bad. Vertically there were some more obvious issues though. As soon as you move your line of sight vertically up, the screen starts to darken at first, and then from a high angle it is washed out and bright. From below a central point, a slight change can produce a yellow/green colour tone shift to the image, making white office backgrounds appear different colours in different areas of the screen if you are not viewing head on. As you move further below you get the characteristic TN Film severe darkening as you can see above. Nothing that wasn't expected given the panel technology, but an unfortunate choice if you were wanting to use the screen for movies I think.


Panel Uniformity

Measurements of the screens luminance were taken at 35 points across the panel on a pure white background. The measurements were taken using BasICColor's calibration software package, combined with the LaCie Blue Eye Pro colorimeter. The above uniformity diagram shows the difference, as a percentage, between the luminance recorded at each point on the screen, as compared with the reference point of a calibrated 120 cd/m2. This is the desired level of luminance for an LCD screen in normal lighting conditions, and  the below shows the variance in the luminance across the screen compared with this point. It is worth noting that panel uniformity can vary from one screen to another, and can depend on manufacturing lines, screen transport and other local factors. This is only a guide of the uniformity of the sample screen we have for review.

Uniformity of Luminance


On the whole, the uniformity of the VX2739wm was not too bad, with ~75% of the screen remaining within a10% deviance from the target luminance of 120 cd/m2. Towards the left hand edge of the screen, the luminance dropped a fair amount, ranging down to 98 cd/m2 in the worst case (- 22% deviance). This was not really noticeable in practice though that I could tell. Testing the screen with solid colour backgrounds didn't reveal any colour tinting issues although the tight viewing angles may cause some colour tone and contrast shifts depending on your line of sight.


Above: All black screen in a darkened room. Click for larger version

As usual we also tested the screen with an all black image and in a darkened room. A camera was used to capture the result. Overall there was minimal leakage of the backlight from this screen. Along the bottom edge there was a very slight leak as captured in the image above, although to the naked eye, this was much harder to spot. The bottom right hand corner also appeared slightly brighter than the rest of the screen, but again not really an issue in practice. This level of leakage shouldn't present any real problems I shouldn't think.


Office and Windows Use

Although there is a great big 27" screen size here, and a fairly high 1920 x 1080 resolution, I couldn't help but feel that there were some limitations to the VX2739wm when it came to office work. Firstly I felt that the screen size vs. resolution was not quite right, and the text was too large as a result of the 0.311mm pixel pitch. We had recently tested the Dell U2711 which was the other extreme, a 27" screen with a massive 2560 x 1440 resolution (0.233mm pixel pitch). The Dell had very small text, and the Viewsonic is a little big I think, being even bigger than a regular 22" screen. I suppose the large text might be good for those with more limited eye sight, or who prefer bigger fonts, but I felt it was just a bit too much.

The other main problem with the VX2739wm when it comes to office work is its rather limited viewing angles. This is a draw-back of the TN Film panel technology being used, but there are obvious contrast and colour tone shifts visible which could prove annoying. This is particularly apparent vertically, and being such a big screen, it is hard to not notice.

The default luminance of the screen was too bright at 220cd/m2 so you will need to turn the brightness control down to around 60% to obtain a comfortable luminance for general office use. Although there are no preset modes from this screen for 'text' or 'internet', the ECO mode options could be used to provide different luminance settings for different working conditions. They obviously also provide a power saving for the energy-concious. There's no ambient light sensor available on this model which I think can be useful in varying lighting conditions.

Ergonomics of the screen were also a bit limited, with only a basic tilt function available. Height adjustment would be have been very useful I think, so you can get a comfortable setting for prolonged use. A rotate function on a screen this size wouldn't have really been practical, so is not missed. The integrated speakers might be useful for some sound effects and 'light' audio, but aren't up to much from what I saw.

You've got to remember though that this is a screen very much aimed at multimedia and gaming use, so isn't designed like a high end IPS model for graphics, office and colour work. It should suffice for some casual office and internet work of course but I wouldn't expect too much if this is your primary use.


Responsiveness and Gaming

The Viewsonic VX2739wm was tested using the chase test in PixPerAn, a good bit of software for trying to quantify differences in real terms responsiveness between monitors. As a reminder, a series of pictures are taken on the highest shutter speed and compared. The images below show the best case example on the left hand side, and the worst case example on the right hand side. This should only be used as a rough guide to comparative responsiveness but is handy as a way of keeping a constant test of each screen.

1ms G2G CMO TN Film (Response time mode = Advanced)

6ms G2G LG.Display H-IPS

2ms G2G TN Film (Trace Free setting = 80)

6ms G2G LG.Display H-IPS

3ms G2G Samsung TN Film + 120Hz

The Viewsonic VX2739wm is rated with the World's first 1ms response time. Although they do not always mention this in their advertising, this is of course a grey to grey (G2G) response time figure, signifying a very aggressive use of Response Time Compensation (RTC) technology to boost the grey transitions beyond the previous best for TN Film, which was 2ms G2G. TN Film has long been a preferred choice for gaming screens and although modern VA and IPS matrices have made significant improvements in their pixel responsiveness, the TN Film market has also evolved in its gaming uses. Manufacturers have pushed the response times lower and lower, now reaching 1ms G2G in this case, and have also invested in this technology as part of the latest generation of 120Hz gaming screens (e.g. the Samsung SM2233RZ).

The Viewsonic VX2739wm may not feature 120Hz panel technology, but it does quote a very bold 1ms figure which implies it should be one of the best gaming screens out there. In reality, it's a bit of a mixed bag to be honest. The best performance comes when using the 'Advanced' mode in the response time menu. We will talk more about the other options in a moment, but I have used the results from this mode in the above comparisons since it yielded the best results. As you can see, responsiveness was very good, with only a minor shadow trail behind the moving car in the best cases. There was no obvious negative artefacts relating to the RTC impulse which was good as well. The screen was a little slower I felt than the Asus MS246H (24" 2ms G2G TN Film panel) but only slightly. It was a little faster than the Dell U2410 however, and showed a less pronounced trail in practice. Compared with the Dell U2711, our only other 27" model here, there was a pronounced difference. While the Dell did show very little ghosting in the test, there was a rather obvious dark trail associated with an overshoot of the RTC impulse.


So, you are probably asking - "how do Viewsonic rate this as 1ms then? Surely it must be faster than that?" The answer comes when you delve into the 'response time' section of the OSD menu. As shown above, there are three modes available in this menu for 'standard', 'advanced' and 'ultra fast'.

I've provided a direct comparison of the best case images in each of these modes for you above. First when you are in the factory default 'standard' mode, there is a pretty noticeable ghost image behind the moving car. This mode seems to function without the RTC impulse activated, meaning that the screen acts like a normal 5ms ISO TN Film panel, without overdrive applied. Blurring and ghosting are quite obvious, and comparable to other non-overdriven models we have tested. So it seems Viewsonic do not even have their "1ms" technology activated out of the box which is a little odd.

When you enter the 'advanced' mode, there is a noticeable and obvious improvement in the responsiveness. You can see this with the naked eye easily, and the camera picks up the result as well. The blurring is reduced well, and the ghost image all but disappears. The screen now behaves more like an overdriven TN Film model, and a good one at that. These are the results we have used in the main screen comparison above. There is no obvious overdrive trailing in the form of bright or dark artefacts which was good. This gives you a fast screen, but perhaps not quite as fast as the 1ms figure might suggest, leaving it a little bit behind the 2ms G2G Asus MS246H and Samsung SM2233RZ.

If you then enter the 'ultra fast' mode, the results are pretty shocking really. To the naked eye you can immediately spot three very obvious and quite severe issues. A very dark trail behind the white speech bubble. A bright blue trail behind the yellow head, and a bright pale trail behind thee red moving car. It looks to me like this is the mode where Viewsonic have probably taken their reported 1ms spec from and perhaps in their lab tests of pixel responsiveness this is achieved. This is done by applying an incredibly aggressive RTC impulse, but seemingly with no thought as to the overshoot which is caused as a result. You are left with a panel in this mode where maybe it does reach 1ms in certain lab tests, but in practice is unusable. The artefacts and trailing are the most obvious we have ever seen and you would not want to use this so called 'ultra fast' mode as a result. Don't be fooled by the 1ms spec of this screen, it's not useable in practice and the best case settings perform more like a 2 - 3ms G2G TN Film panel I think.


This screen is obviously aimed at the gamers market, with it's 1ms quoted response time and big screen size. However, I do feel that the advancements in this use are not to be made through pixel response times, but through the addition of 120Hz panel technologies. Are users really likely to see improvements compared with 2ms G2G TN Film panels with good RTC control? I don't think pushing for that 1ms spec is really that important personally, especially if it can only be achieved through ridiculous RTC over-shoot. We saw some obvious improvements with regards to motion blur, RTC overshoot and of course frame rates where we tested the Samsung SM2233RZ with 120Hz. This is the technology which manufacturers should be investing in to enhance gaming experience on LCD displays I think right now, and it's a shame it was not utilised in this model. Perhaps an updated version with 1ms response time (properly controlled RTC this time!) and 120Hz would be a welcome addition to the VX range?


The OSD menu contains options for hardware level aspect ratio control within the 'manual image adjust' section, with options for "4:3" and "full screen" only. There's no option to maintain aspect ratio if the content is in anything other than 16:9 or 4:3 (probably rare anyway?) or 1:1 pixel mapping. If you need further aspect ratio control you will need to rely on software methods or options via your graphics card.


Input Lag

As usual I tested the screen in clone mode with a CRT to determine the level of input lag. This is something which can put off some gamers and is a delay between graphics card and monitor output. By hooking up a CRT you can show that  the LCD lags behind somewhat, which can affect users in some situations where they rely on the screen image being as fast as their inputs (e.g. fast FPS shooting games). Often, input lag is very low and probably wouldn't represent too much of a problem in real terms.

As you would hope from a gamer orientated screen, the input lag of the Viewsonic VX2739wm was very low. It ranged up to 20ms occasionally, but the average lag was only 9.4ms. This was a very good performance and very similar to what we had seen from the 24" TN Film based Asus MS246H (6.9ms) recently. It was also very close to the AMVA based NEC 24WMGX3, another screen very much aimed at the multimedia and gaming market but with a more 'premium' set of features and options, and in a 24" screen size. The VX2739wm had a lower input lag than the other 27" model we have tested, with the Dell U2711 having 30ms lag on average. An average lag of 9.4ms shouldn't present any problem to gamers.


Movies and Video

The following summarises the Viewsonic VX2739wm's performance in video applications:

  • 27" screen size make this a good cross-over between desktop monitor and LCD TV

  • 16:9 aspect ratio is more suited to videos than 16:10 format screens, leaving smaller borders on DVD's and wide screen content.

  • 1920 x 1080 resolution can support true 1080 HD resolution content

  • Digital DVI interface supports HDCP for any encrypted and protected content

  • Additional HDMI interface available for connecting external Blu-ray players etc. Would have perhaps been good to feature a DisplayPort as well, but presumably would have added to the cost

  • Viewing angles are very restrictive as a result of the TN Film panel technology. There is an obvious contrast and colour tone shift even with minimal movement away from a central point. This is especially apparent vertically.

  • Black depth and contrast ratio are very good. Detail in darker scenes should not be lost

  • Dynamic contrast ratio is available and works quite well up to around 3000:1

  • No 'multimedia' or 'movie' preset modes available meaning you need to use the same mode for office work as for movie work. Sometimes these presets can be handy for boosting brightness and colours to make movies more attractive.

  • Good pixel responsiveness in the 'advanced' mode, which should mean the screen is capable of handling fast moving images. I wouldn't recommend using the 'ultra fast' mode!

  • There was only very minor leakage of the backlight along the bottom edge which is good as that can become distracting when watching movies, especially where black borders are present.

  • Limited ergonomic adjustments available, with only a basic tilt offered. Height and pivot functions would have been very useful as it's hard to get a comfortable viewing position for movies.

  • Built in speakers provide some sound if needed, although not up to much in terms of bass I didn't think. Better than nothing I suppose.



I was left a little torn when it came to summarising the  VX2739wm. On the one hand you have a very big screen at 27" supporting 1080 HD resolution and offering a fairly decent range of interface options and features. The presence of HDMI and even the (limited) integrated speakers make this a fairly decent desktop monitor / LCD TV cross over. The screen has limited backlight leakage, good pixel responsiveness, very low input lag and an excellent contrast ratio making it well suited to watching movies and playing games. After all, this is clearly it's niche market. The VX2739wm retails for a very low £290 - 320 GBP (depending on where you shop) which is massively cheaper than some of its competition. The Dell U2711 for instance retails for ~£845 which is almost three times as much as the Viewsonic. There's a reason for that of course, but it's still a very low price and cheaper than many of the popular 24" models as well. There are a few of other TN Film based models in the 27" market which retail for around the same price, so it's not alone. So what makes this model stand out?...

...And this is where I was a little disappointed if I'm honest. The Viewsonic VX2739wm's main selling point really is it's 1ms response time. This could set it apart from its competition and clearly define it as THE gaming screen to go for. However, in practice the apparent 1ms mode is unuseable due to its horrible RTC overshoot, leaving you with a screen which behaves more like a 2 - 3ms G2G TN Film model. It's a shame that this area fell short of expectations. Other than this, there are a few areas of weakness of the VX2739wm, noteably the restrictive viewing angles relating to the TN Film panel technology. The stand is a little limited in terms of its adjustments and default colour accuracy was pretty poor as well. Just some of the sacrifices which must be made to keep the costs down.

Overall the VX2739wm is still a pretty decent screen if you ignore the disappointment regarding the advertised response time. As long as you understand the inherant limitations of the panel technology used, you should be prepared for the few sacrifices you need to make in order to pick up a big screen which is sat at a very nice price.




Excellent black depth and contrast ratio

Poor default colour accuracy

Good pixel responsiveness and  very low input lag

1ms advertised response time not achieveable without severe RTC overshoot

Very competitive price in 27" range

Limited viewing angles due to TN Film technology



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