We ran the monitor through a series of real-world and synthetic tests to see whether or not the VG2230WM can stand up to hardcore geek use.
This is the only synthetic test we use because it can reveal some things that other real-world tests don't show up quite so well. In our tests, the monitor performed adequately, with results that we'd label 'mostly fine'. The monitor handled the black end of the colour gamut pretty well, with colour definition that was acceptable. However, we saw bad compression at the white end of the display, leading to some colours looking over bright. This is down to it being a 6-bit panel, rather than an 8-bit. In this respect, we can happily call it 'fairly average'.
High resolution photos:
Looking through our catalogue of high-resolution shots, we found that the Viewsonic was able to detail and render colour quite happily. However, the over-bright whites again came into play here, making some of our photos seem just a little too HDR! We also found that primarily dark photos looked a little odd, with the white accents making the rest of the black seem a little off.
High definition video:
We watched a number of HD videos on the screen, including the Casino Royale trailer (sexy monochrome), the new Harry Potter trailer (fast action) and the Blu-ray disc of SWAT (via analogue output). The Casino Royale trailer looked pretty good, with the monitor able to cope with the black and white scenes as well as the fast-paced, rich colour. We didn't see the same colour issues as with photos, which is unsurprising given that we were too busy looking at Eva Green's cleavage. Harry Potter was perhaps a little dark, whilst SWAT looks nice when scaled down from 1920x1080 to 1680x1050, which hides some of the poor encoding on the disc itself.
We tried a number of games out on the monitor. First up was Quake 4. We found that its performance here was not bad, with the colours acceptable and the blacks pretty well defined. With a performance of 5ms grey to grey, you're not going to see any ghosting in a game like this, so the experience was fine, overall.
We then rocked up Company of Heroes, our multiplayer game of choice at the moment. The details in the game world here are intricate, and the variety of scenery and units requires a versatile panel. Whilst not quite as vivid and detailed as we would have liked, it was nevertheless a performer quite adequate for LANning.
General desktop usage:
We found that, hooked up via DVI, there were no problems with the monitor at all. The backlighting was even, Aero glass looked like everything Microsoft would hope, and even OSX was bright and sharp. It's hard to find a TFT that can't make a half-decent stab at rendering a standard desktop and web browser these days, and we weren't disappointed here.