ViewSonic VP201b

  • Editors' rating
    7.7 Very good
  • $779.00


  • Very thin bezel
  • highly adjustable
  • sharp picture with excellent contrast
  • includes USB 2.0 hub
  • HDTV compatible


  • The image quality, while good, isn't the best of its class

ViewSonic built its top-of-the-line VP201b LCD for video editors, financial traders, CAD/CAM engineers and also 'power gamers'. Is the VP201b actually worthy of such demanding graphics pros? Its versatile design and useful features suggests that it is, but its image quality, while competent -- especially when it comes to displaying text and video -- isn't as good as it could be.

ViewSonic put a lot of thought into the VP201b's design. The very thin 2cm bezel lets you tile multiple panels together for the wall-of-monitors effect so popular with financiers and others who need a huge viewing area. Two wings protrude from the circular base, making the VP201b extremely stable. Ergonomically, this monitor does it all. The thick, sturdy neck can telescope to bring the bottom of the panel from 4cm to almost 15cm off the desktop; you won't need a riser unless you're extremely tall. The panel swivels about 45 degrees to the left and the right, tilts approximately 10 degrees forward and 20 degrees backward, and pivots easily between Portrait and Landscape modes (ViewSonic includes PerfectPortrait software that orients the image). Finally, the VP201b can be attached to a VESA-compatible wall or arm mount.

The VP201b has one digital and one analogue input on the back panel, and both cables are included -- a generous touch. Nearby, you'll find a USB 2.0 hub with one upstream and four downstream ports (ViewSonic includes one USB cable), which let you more easily hook up peripherals such as mice, joysticks, cameras and scanners. ViewSonic also offers a video-processor/TV-tuner module via its Web site so that you can turn the VP201b, which is HDTV 720p-compatible, into a high-resolution TV.

The on-screen menu (OSM) is easy to navigate, thanks to four unobtrusive buttons along the bottom bezel. All of the basic adjustments are available, and you can go straight to the brightness and contrast settings by pressing one of the two arrow buttons. Usefully, the OSM has a memory; when you call it up, it goes to whichever menu setting you left it on.

The VP201b's image quality is good overall, although it doesn't quite measure up to the calibre of ViewSonic's intended user. Our test yielded nice, sharp text and high contrast, and we liked the fact that tweaking the brightness and contrast levels actually resulted in pronounced differences in the picture. Video also looked very good, with less ghosting and streaking than you'll see with most LCDs. On the downside, the VP201b didn't do a very good job on our greyscale and colour test screens. Lighter greys had a slightly beige-and-pink tint, while dark greys showed hints of green. For day-to-day productivity tasks, the colours will be fine, but video editors and graphics professinals may have some issues.

ViewSonic backs the VP201b with a standard three-year warranty on parts, labour, and the backlight. Telephone support is available via an 0800 number, and the company's Web site offers drivers, FAQs, documentation, white papers and an online calibration tool.


Packaged Quantity 1
Built-in Devices USB hub
Display Type LCD monitor / TFT active matrix
Native Resolution 1600 x 1200
Contrast Ratio 400:1
Controls & Adjustments Brightness, contrast, H/V position, H/V size, sharpness, input select, color temperature
Dimensions (WxDxH) 17.6 in x 10.5 in x 18.9 in
Horizontal Viewing Angle 176
Vertical Viewing Angle 176
Color Temperature 9300K, 5000K, 6500K, 5400K
Viewable Size 20.1"
Brightness 250 cd/m²
Screen Coating Anti-glare
Horizontal Refresh Rate 92 kHz
Vertical Refresh Rate 85 Hz
Power Device
Type power supply
Nominal Voltage AC 120/230 V
Frequency Required 50/60 Hz
Power Consumption Operational 70 Watt
Interfaces 1 x DVI-I - 29 pin combined DVI
1 x VGA - 15 pin HD D-Sub (HD-15)
4 x USB downstream - 4 pin USB Type A
1 x USB upstream - 4 pin USB Type B
Interface Provided
Qty 1, 4
Connector Type 15 pin HD D-Sub (HD-15), 29 pin combined DVI, 4 pin USB Type A
Power Supply internal
Built-in Devices USB hub
Features Wall mountable
Controls & Adjustments H/V position, H/V size, brightness, color temperature, contrast, input select, sharpness
Color black
Features wall mountable
Image Brightness 250 cd/m2
Image Aspect Ratio 4:3
Image Contrast Ratio 400:1
Monitor Features AutoTune, ClearMotiv, OnView, OptiSync, ThinEdge design, ViewMatch
Type LCD monitor
Video Output none
Environmental Standards
ENERGY STAR Certified Yes
Environmental Parameters
Humidity Range Operating 10 - 90%
Min Operating Temperature 32 °F
Max Operating Temperature 104 °F
Manufacturer Warranty
Service & Support Limited warranty - parts and labor - 3 years
Limited warranty - backlight - 3 years
Type 3 years warranty
Video Input
Digital Video Standard Digital Visual Interface (DVI)
Image Aspect Ratio 4:3
Dimensions & Weight
Width 17.6 in
Depth 10.5 in
Height 18.9 in
Weight 18.74 lbs
Brand ViewSonic
Product Line ViewSonic
Model VP201b
Packaged Quantity 1
Compatibility Mac, PC
Horizontal Viewing Angle 176
Diagonal Size 20.1 in
Vertical Viewing Angle 176
Viewable Size 20.1 in
Response Time 16 ms
Image Brightness 250 cd/m2
Image Contrast Ratio 400:1
Max V-Sync Rate 85 Hz
Max H-Sync Rate 92 Hz
Physical Characteristics
Weight 18.74 lbs
Service & Support
Type 3 years warranty
Service & Support Details
Type limited warranty
Service Included parts and labor
Full Contract Period 3 years
TV Tuner
TV Tuner Presence No