capsule review

ViewSonic VA2026w 20-Inch Wide-Screen LCD Monitor

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder VA2026w

    PCWorld Rating

    A 20-inch widescreen LCD has a clean uplifting design, but image quality is a bit of a letdown.

ViewSonic's VA2026w 20-inch wide-screen monitor offers a simple and refined design. It's nearly all matte black, save for a narrow band of silver at the bottom that houses the on-screen display (OSD) controls. The round, ridged base offers only a tilt adjustment without height and swivel adjustments, so those who need ergonomic flexibility won't find it on this display. Two half-loops on the back of the stand direct all cords to the middle of the monitor where they become invisible from the front. It's a simple cable manager but it works.

Tested for our February 2008 feature "The Wide World of Monitors," the monitor posted respectable scores in our display-quality tests, though they were just shy of average.  It produced mixed results in graphics and text performance. For example, the VA2026w impressed our judges with its rendering of spreadsheet text and icons, but let them down with a display of black-and-white bars. Graphics on Web pages were very good, but it struggled with a color scale and with skin tones.

The OSD menu is fairly basic and simple to use.  Buttons labeled 1 and 2, which have a different function depending on the context of the OSD, help a user can get through the monitor setting options without much aid from the user manual.

I screened select scenes from Lord of the Rings: Return of the King and found that this monitor produced natural colors with good skin tones. Reds, however, especially rich velvet reds, were infused with too much orange. It handled dark and bright scenes and fast motion commendably.

At $249 (as of December 10, 2007), ViewSonic VA2026w's price is one of the cheapest 20-inch wide-screens on our 20- and 22-inch wide-screen monitors chart. But it doesn't offer valuable extras or the performance required to make it a serious contender for your monitor budget.

--Roy Santos

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    A 20-inch widescreen LCD has a clean uplifting design, but image quality is a bit of a letdown.

    Pros

    • Aesthetically pleasing cabinet design
    • Simple cable manager

    Cons

    • So-so graphics and text performance
    • Tilt-only adjustment
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