Viewsonic VX2739wm monitor
Developments in modern displays and associated devices have made it increasingly feasible to watch video and television on "computer" monitors, with the only real drawback being their relatively small size. Viewsonic addresses this particular issue with the VX2739wm: a large 27-inch screen with a "world's first" response time of just 1ms.
It certainly seems squarely aimed at gamers and media playback, which is backed up by the 1920 x 1080 (1080p) native resolution at 16:9 aspect ratio. While this looks impressive on paper, it's closer to the minimum acceptable resolution than you might think due to the screen's sheer size. Lines aren't nearly as clean and crisp up close, and it's worth bearing in mind that you really need to be at least a couple of feet away from the monitor when sat at a desktop - ideally 3 or 4, which may be a stretch for those with smaller spaces.
The VX2739 should complement most suitably-sized rooms admirably though, and is stylishly built with a sleek, black, angular design. The stand slots firmly into the main support and offers tilt but no height adjustment, though this shouldn't be too much of a problem with a screen this size. An HDMI v1.3 input accompanies DVI-D and D-sub along with audio in/out and there are a total of four USB ports at the side and rear of the display for attaching peripherals, though their position means they are far less convenient than a hub-style arrangement in the base.
Viewsonic doesn't provide any specialist software for its display so all adjustments are done through the control panel and OSD. This is fairly easy to navigate, though mainly because there's not a lot to it. All of the manual controls you'd need are present and correct but strangely there are no environment presets or custom programmable modes aside from an adjustable eco-mode, which is a shame considering how useful they'd be on such a screen. Instead you're left establishing the best overall image that (dynamic adjustment aside) will be the mainstay for videos, gaming and general use.
Thankfully the VX2739 performs pretty well as an all-rounder, maintaining effective contrast levels for deep blacks and crisp whites and predictably, due to the low response time, no apparent ghosting or blur during fast-moving scenes. The only real issues we have in a general sense are that there is some minor backlight bleed at the edges of the display, and colours can be a little inaccurate, though this would only really be an issue for photographers or those who demand precision.
Finally, the display comes with SRS Premium Sound software to create a pseudo-surround effect from the built-in stereo speakers, but while performance here is better than most, the lack of bass makes them no substitute for a dedicated set.
Viewsonic's VX2739 is an impressive display if only for its sheer size and low response time, but due to some fairly minor issues elsewhere these factors will have to be key to anyone considering a purchase. At £285 it's fairly reasonably priced and as a decent all-rounder ticks enough boxes, but it doesn't really excel in any areas that would make it suitable for more specialist use.