ViewSonic VP231wb

  • Editors' rating
    8.3 Excellent
  • $1,559.00


  • Huge screen space
  • pivoting display
  • narrow bezel
  • easy setup


  • Expensive compared to only slightly smaller displays

Apple's trend-setting 23in. Cinema HD Display is a beautifully designed LCD monitor, but the ViewSonic VP231wb not only challenges it on looks, but also on features. It's not cheap at £1,052 (ex. VAT; £1,236 inc. VAT), but it does provide a real alternative to a dual-monitor setup.

The 1,920-by-1,200-resolution VP231wb features a fast 16ms pixel response time, analogue and digital inputs, one upstream and four downstream USB sockets, and a power socket at the rear. There are five inconspicuous buttons on the front of the narrow black bezel giving access to menus and power. It has a cable tidy at the rear, and generally looks smart.

Design-wise, the VP231wb scores over Apple's 23in. display in that it's much more adjustable. Not only can you raise and lower it easily (although you'll need both hands), it also pivots through 90 degrees, allowing you to view your desktop and documents in portrait as well as landscape format. The Cinema HD Display is not height-adjustable and does not pivot. The tilt mechanism is a bit stiff and needs care, but you certainly won't struggle to find a comfortable working position for the VP231wb. It also has a VESA-compatible mount so you can attach it to the wall if necessary.

Setting up the screen is simple enough, with the defaults positioning the image correctly as you'd expect when using the digital input. There's a wide range of colour temperature and other adjustments, or you can select sRGB. You can set the input priority to allow for more than one machine being connected to the screen. Monitor calibration can be performed via a utility on ViewSonic's Web site.

As far as performance is concerned, we have no complaints: even moving video -- generally LCD technology's Achilles' heel -- looks smooth thanks to that fast 16ms response time. Text is crisp, while photos look vivid and flesh tones are displayed in realistic colour. We found that, apart from maximising the use of the valuable extra screen space, which really gives you room to work on two three of four documents at once, the monitor quickly becomes invisible, allowing you to concentrate on the work in hand. You can't ask more from a display, and you certainly won't want to revert to a smaller format.

The VP231wb even looks good when using the analogue D-Sub input, although of course image quality suffers as a result. We were surprised that the monitor gets fairly hot along the top of the bezel where the backlight is located, but it never becomes uncomfortable, and the lighting itself is even across the screen.

Top ZDNET Reviews

If you can stretch to it, there's little to match a big LCD for serious work, and ViewSonic's VP231wb comes top of the heap.


Dimensions (WxDxH) 21.3 in x 10.5 in x 19.1 in
Display Type LCD monitor / TFT active matrix
Aspect Ratio Widescreen - 16:10
Native Resolution 1920 x 1200
Contrast Ratio 500:1
Controls & Adjustments Brightness, contrast, H/V position, saturation, input select, zoom, H-size
Horizontal Viewing Angle 176
OSD Languages Chinese (traditional), Chinese (simplified), English, German, French, Finnish, Spanish, Japanese
Vertical Viewing Angle 176
Color Temperature 9300K, 5000K, 6500K, 5400K
Viewable Size 23"
Brightness 250 cd/m²
Screen Coating Anti-glare
Horizontal Refresh Rate 92 kHz
Vertical Refresh Rate 85 Hz
Interfaces 1 x DVI-I - 15 pin HD D-Sub (HD-15)
1 x VGA - 29 pin combined DVI
1 x USB 2.0 upstream - 4 pin USB Type B
4 x USB 2.0 downstream - 4 pin USB Type A
Power Device
Nominal Voltage AC 120/230 V
Frequency Required 50/60 Hz
Power Consumption Operational 120 Watt
Image Brightness 250 cd/m2
Image Aspect Ratio 16:10
Image Contrast Ratio 500:1
Type LCD monitor
OSD Languages Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), English, Finnish, French, German, Japanese, Spanish
Controls & Adjustments H-size, H/V position, brightness, contrast, input select, saturation, zoom
Color black
Power Supply internal
Interface Provided
Qty 1, 4
Connector Type 15 pin HD D-Sub (HD-15), 29 pin combined DVI, 4 pin USB Type A
Built-in Devices USB hub
Environmental Standards
ENERGY STAR Certified Yes
Video Input
Digital Video Standard Digital Visual Interface (DVI)
Image Aspect Ratio 16:10
Environmental Parameters
Min Operating Temperature 32 °F
Max Operating Temperature 104 °F
Humidity Range Operating 10 - 90%
Dimensions & Weight
Width 21.3 in
Depth 10.5 in
Height 19.1 in
Weight 19.84 lbs
Brand ViewSonic
Product Line ViewSonic
Model VP231wb
Packaged Quantity 1
Compatibility Mac, PC
Max V-Sync Rate 85 Hz
Max H-Sync Rate 92 Hz
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