At a Glance
Fast pixel response time spec and an attractive black-and-silver design don't make up for mediocre graphics quality.
The $329 ViewSonic VX724 introduces the company's new Amplified Impulse technology, which overdrives the LCD panel's electronics to produce faster transitions between shades of gray. In theory, accelerated gray-to-gray transitions reduce ghosting and blurring of moving images; and because of this, gray-to-gray response time has become the "it" spec for gamers.
According to industry sources, a pixel takes three to four times as long to change from one shade of gray to another as it does to change from black to white and back to black. ViewSonic claims that its overdrive technology shortens the gray-to-gray time considerably. The company reports a gray-to-gray response time for the VX724 of 4 milliseconds and a black-to-white-to-black (also called rise-and-fall) response time of 6 ms.
PC World conducts motion testing that reflects actual use: observing a video game intro, watching a DVD excerpt, and moving a window on the screen. In these tests, the VX724 earned a score of Average on a 3-point scale. All recently tested 17-inch monitors earned this same score. If you're a hardcore gamer in search of a fast LCD, try to examine your short-listed monitors in person instead of buying on specs alone.
Our jury of testers found text crisp on the VX724; it earned a rating of Very Good. Although no one complained about its graphics performance, the VX724 didn't distinguish itself on that count. It earned a graphics score of Good. The VX724's image quality, though acceptable, ranks in the lower half of recently evaluated monitors.
I liked the look of the VX724's stand, a hollowed-out, matte-silver rectangle that sets off the black bezel. I was disappointed, however, that it provided only tilt adjustment, the minimum for ergonomics and usefulness. The VX724's most pleasing physical characteristic is its shiny silver buttons and their descriptors. The buttons stand out visually from the bezel, and though their markings consist of ViewSonic's usual enigmatic mix of numbers and arrows, the contrasting paint makes them far more legible than on most of this company's products.
The real-life effects of the VX724's superfast response time spec remain unclear. Without that criterion, it's a decent but unspectacular monitor.