Mark discovers those customers Viewsonic’s new 4K screen is going to impress.
The number of monitor makers that includes 4K offering in their ranges is expanding rapidly, and ViewSonic has joined their ranks with the VX2880ml.
Its VX series consists of primarily consumer focused products. However, I can see this particular design being favoured by business users who want high-resolution media presentations and use CAD/ CAM applications.
Visually, this is an attractive design, with a narrow bezel on all sides and a somewhat quirky two-part metal stand. Those not wanting to use that support can utilise the VESA 100 mount on the back.
You won’t need an industrial support arm for this panel, because the mostly plastic construction contributes to a total weight of less than 4kg. Normally taking a screen this big up a flight of stairs would require a little planning, but I could just sling this under my arm and carry it with ease.
One caveat to this lightness was that it was achieved by using by using an external PSU rather than an integrated one. That’s unusual on a 28″ panel, even if it’s common on smaller displays, and this reviewer doesn’t care for them.
The big selling point in this design is the 3840 x 2160 Ultra HD resolution delivered using a 28” TN panel. Technologically Twisted Nematic (TN) displays provide good screen refresh rates that complement gaming and video, though they generally don’t offer the viewing angles and colour range of IPS technology.
The VX2880ml panel doesn’t break that mould.
but its backlight is bright, the colours are cheerful, and output is generally exquisitely crisp. However, when I first unpacked the monitor I was really unhappy with the default settings.
They made most movies appear to have been shot in a darkened broom cupboard when not representing scenes of bright sunlight. It took some tweaking to adjust this, though the transitions from dark grey to black are always somewhat abrupt however you configure it.
I’d mention the speakers if they were anything you’d want to listen to, but they’re not. Display makers globally have decided that people use headphones or surround sound speaker rigs, it appears.
• Size With Stand (W»H*D): 659.96mm x 510.58mm x 240mm
• Display Screen Size: 28“ (70.8cm)
• Aspect Ratio: 16:9
• Panel Type: TN
• Brightness: 300cd/m2
• Contrast Ratio: 1000:1 (Typical)
• Dynamic Contrast Ratio: 50M
• Resolution: 3840×2160 (30Hz)
• Response Time: 1ms (GTG)
• Viewing Angle (H/V): 170 ° / 160 •
• Inputs: 1x MHL 2.0 (HDMI) (30Hz), 1x DisplayPort (30Hz), 1x Mini-DisplayPort
• Speakers: 2 x 2W
• Warranty: Two years
Viewsonic’s choice of display inputs is also rather curious, combining extensive DisplayPort options with HDMI (MHL). What monitor makers have against DVI these days, I’m unsure, but it’s not included and neither is a USB hub. Conversely, the DisplayPort option Is blessed with both a mini and full size input, and a DP pass-through for display chaining.
That last feature is a rather nice one if you intend to run a multi-display setup, but be warned that this product isn’t featured for 4K gaming at all. When deep in the specifications, I realised that for whatever reason, ViewSonic capped the Ultra HD modes at 30Hz, undermining optimal frame rates irrespective of what video card drives them.
The compromise option is to use a lower 2560 x 1440 resolution that can do 60Hz, defeating much of the purpose of buying a 4K panel in the process.
ViewSonic capped the Ultra modes at 30Hz, undermining optimal frame rates.
All these points push me to the conclusion that there is a perfect owner for this product. and he/she uses AutoCAD over three screens, probably to design buildings, bridges or ships.
Further proof comes from the inclusion of ViewSonic’s proprietary Flicker-Free technology, which drives the backlight with DC modulation, and a special blue light filter designed to reduce eye strain from extended viewing periods.
That makes the VX2880ML great for those who spend long days at the screen, and with a backlight life of a minimum 30,000 hours, they could see 15 years use from it.
Viewsonic’s problem is that this business customer for the VX2880ml isn’t a big niche, and for the majority of home users this isn’t the 4K display they’ll be looking for.
If it’s any consolation to them, none of the 4K screens I’ve seen so far can be classed as general purpose use either, so the VX2880ML isn’t alone.
While the gaming frame-rate is a real disappointment, the VX2880ML can make a desktop look huge, and Excel’s columns and rows seem to stretch endlessly.
If you’re looking for something to work on big spreadsheets, technical drawings or to desktop publish with, then it’s an option that’s competitively priced.
If only ViewSonic had empowered it with 4K 60MHz mode. I’d just be a lot more positive about the number of potential takers for.
A 4K display that good for CAD/CAM, but not games.