At a Glance
Pivot software and USB ports enhance this nicely priced unit, but image quality is not the best.
ViewSonic's venerable VP191b, retested for PC World's July 2005 issue, continues to hold its own against newer models. Its image quality is competent but not extraordinarily good, falling into the middle ranks of current models. We found the display's balance generally pleasing, though the screen seemed slightly dim at the default settings.
All recently reviewed 19-inch LCDs, including the VP191b, received a rating of Average in our motion tests. Vendors report response time in different ways. Some clock the intergray (also called gray-to-gray) response time, while others record the white-to-black-to-white (also called rise-and-fall) response time. The VP191b's reported response time of 8 milliseconds refers to its intergray response time. Its black-to-white response time runs 20 milliseconds.
A few features set the VP191b apart from other monitors in its price range and help make it a good choice for an office setting. This monitor includes ports for one digital and two analog inputs, giving you options for sharing the monitor between two PCs. You can lock the on-screen display controls, ensuring that other users can't fiddle with the monitor's settings. In addition to tilt, swivel, and height adjustments, the VP191b has the ability to pivot from landscape to portrait mode (a boon for viewing long documents or Web pages). On an accompanying CD, ViewSonic adds PerfectPortrait pivoting software, ViewSonic's version of Portrait Displays' $40 Pivot Pro; this bonus makes the monitor's moderate price--$469 at time of testing--an even better deal.
The ViewSonic VP191b's image quality is sufficient for basic office tasks, and it offers software and physical adjustments that are unexpected at this price.