At a Glance
In our tests, the VG710s earned an evaluation of Outstanding for text quality, but it scored far lower for graphics, with an evaluation of Good and the third-lowest rating for 17-inch monitors in our March 2004 roundup. For example, the VG710s had difficulty in representing the darkest shades in our gray-scale pattern test and in displaying the lightest color shades on our color-scale screen. Its comparatively simple twisted-nematic panel technology limits the vertical viewing angle (to about 120 degrees, according to the vendor spec, versus some tested models' 160 to 170 degrees), so we saw a more-noticeable loss of color and contrast when standing above the monitor than with the higher-rated panels. And even though ViewSonic specifies the unit's response time as 16 milliseconds (versus the slower 25ms of most LCDs), we did not notice any significant differences between the VG710s and other panels when viewing motion.
The screen tilts, but it lacks swivel and height adjustment, which makes it less flexible than many other 17-inch models. A pair of integrated 3-watt stereo speakers sounded better than the typical 1- or 2-watt speakers found in many LCDs. However, the monitor lacks a headphone jack, which most sound-equipped LCDs provide. Color controls include an sRGB option for color matching with other sRGB-supporting peripherals. Also, you can manually adjust red, green, and blue color levels when using either digital or analog video inputs (ViewSonic provides only an analog cable).
The VG710s is a good monitor for text-intensive work, but its limited range of position adjustments won't satisfactorily accommodate some office workers.
17-inch screen; 1280 by 1024 native resolution; 11.7 pounds; twisted-nematic panel, one analog and one digital input. Tilt adjustment, TCO'03 compliant. Three-year warranty (including backlight); 24-hour daily toll-free tech support.