The ViewSonic VX922 is billed as a superfast LCD because of its 2-millisecond pixel-response time. In plain English, pixel-response time refers to the amount of time it takes for a pixel to switch from active mode to inactive mode; a fast response time usually results in clear and smooth video and gaming performance. The 19-inch VX922 is the fastest monitor we've tested--the second fastest is the 3ms ViewSonic VX924--and games look stellar, but DVD playback doesn't quite live up to the hype. This display, though well designed, offers limited adjustability options. For the avid gamer, the $495 ViewSonic VX922 is a great choice, but for general use, the NEC MultiSync 1970VX or the LG Flatron L1981Q perform similarly well and offer more adjustability for the same price.
The only adjustment you can make to the ViewSonic VX922 is to tilt the display panel about 30 degrees backward and forward. There's no portrait/landscape pivot, no way to adjust the height of the display short of using a riser or a phone book, and no swivel function built into the base. Despite these shortcomings, we like its scale; the panel sits about 5 inches above the desktop, which is an ideal height. We much prefer this display's ergonomics to those of the Envision EN2028, which is slightly more adjustable but is so stiff and poorly designed that using it puts us in a bad mood.
In addition to the VX922's pleasing proportions, it looks good sitting on our desk. It features an attractive black bezel within a silver frame, large onscreen menu buttons that don't clutter the bezel, and a stable, ring-shaped base. Two plastic covers conceal the VX922's cable-feed system and the VGA and DVI inputs--both cables are included. This system keeps the unsightly cables out of eyeshot and makes the VX922's backside look great. As with all ViewSonic displays, the VX922 has a simple and easy-to-navigate onscreen menu.
Tested at its native resolution of 1,280x1,024, the VX922's performance was strongest in the areas of sharpness and gaming. Small text was easily visible, and we didn't see any digital noise in sharpness tests. When it came to displaying multiple levels of gray in CNET Labs DisplayMate-based tests, the VX922 showed erratic shifts in intensity from one level to the next and compression at the dark end of the spectrum. In some screens, pure white had a distinctly yellow tint to it as well, and the picture shifted quite dramatically in intensity and hue depending on the viewing angle. We noticed some slight irregularities in the VX922's color performance, including blue tints in the reds and red tints in the blues, as well as beat patterns at the dark ends of the spectrum. Despite these errors, the monitor's colors looked vibrant.
With a 2ms response time, we expected to see supreme movement with games and movies. The display delivered on the gaming front, but DVD playback failed to impress. Streaking and ghosting were no less apparent than with most displays, and there was a lot of digital noise visible in backgrounds and in swaths of solid color. Gaming performance showed a high level of detail and smooth movement with no visible ghosting. Colors looked vivid, and the image looked sharp.
ViewSonic's warranty options are extensive, but the phone support and coverage options are a bit convoluted. The basic warranty covers parts, labor, and backlight for an industry-standard three years. You can upgrade it to one year for $63, two years for $90. One extra year with Express Exchange, which means ViewSonic will ship you a replacement unit within 48 hours, costs $74, and two years with Express Exchange costs $105. Through ViewSonic's support Web site, you can access an e-mail support form, an interactive knowledge base where you type in questions and get answers, white papers, driver downloads, and FAQs. Toll-free tech support is available 24/7, but you must present your problem to the Web site's virtual support assistant to get the phone number.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)