ViewSonic's E series of monitors has been around for a few years and represents
quite a good balance of price and performance. I have personally had an E771,
their 17 inch model for the last 7 months and decided to upgrade to a 19 inch
model. I was perusing their website when I noticed that the E790 had popped
up in the E series column. Since I was satisfied with the E771, I figured
I'd take a closer look at the E790. To my surprise, newer models have better
specs and this unit is no exception to the rule. Out of all of ViewSonic's
19 inchers, the lowliest of them all has the best specs. I saw 1600x1200@76hz
refresh and the drool began flowing from my mouth. Just by looking at the
picture of this monitor, I could tell that it wasn't a compromised "short
neck" model either. The screen was obviously as flat as any other 19 incher
I'd seen, so I bought one.
(0.225mm Hor., 0.135mm Vert.)
This super fine dot pitch produces clear, crisp images with great picture
definition, even at the highest resolutions.
1,600 x 1,280
Displays a maximum resolution of 1,600 x 1,280; 1,280 x 1,024 at 88Hz flicker-free
refresh rate for easy viewing.
- 1,600 x 1,200 @ 76Hz
- 1,280 x 1,024 @ 88Hz
- 1,152 x 870 @ 103Hz
- 1,024 x 768 @ 116Hz
By incorporating glass with a lower transmission rate, bright, bold colors
are assured. The pixels are well defined, creating a greater contrast and
more brilliant colors.
VESA GTF compliant
Maximizes display performance by automatically aligning images to reduce set-up
Available in both
white and black cabinets
All screen adjustments are made via an on-screen menu using simple controls.
ViewMatch allows the user to adjust color temperature and individual color
intensity for screen-to-print matching.
designed and environmentally conscious
This monitor complies with the world's strictest standards of low radiation,
safety, ergonomics, recycling and power management while saving costs through
automatic power savings modes.
Invar shadow mask
Special type of alloy that withstands higher heat levels, extending the picture
tube life while displaying sharp, bright pictures.
This anti-static, anti-reflection screen coating refracts unwanted light away
from the user while maintaining the highest quality of the displayed image.
Fully support the Windows® auto-installation standard for easy, trouble-free
configuration and setup.
PC and Mac® compatible
Three year limited
What's A Reasonable
You've probably heard
phrases like, "I run at 1600x1200." What you can't see is how small the fonts
are on that particular screen. Let's face it, people love to brag. "Mine's
better than yours," is a commonly recurring statement and us computer guys
are the worst offenders. So what's a reasonable resolution? Take the average
15 inch monitor. At 800x600, the font size isn't excruciatingly small, nor
is it "I'm blind" big. Most 15 inchers these days have about a 14 inch VIS
(viewable image size). If I want to run at 1024x768 all day, what VIS would
I need to keep the same font size as the 15 inch? Doing the math, we get ((1024/800)x(14))=17.92
VIS, which is close enough to 18 inch VIS. The vast majority of 19 inch monitors
have a 18 inch VIS. If you wanted to run at 1280x1024, a 22 inch VIS would
be needed. That would be a BIG monitor, probably a 24 incher. Big $$$ too.
Setup And Calibration
Nearly all the people
I talk to DO NOT have their monitor calibrated properly. WHAT? You mean you
just don't turn it on? Yup, calibration is always required when setting up
a new monitor. For this somewhat tedious task, I use Nokia's monitor tester
program. It can be found at www.nokia.com. After choosing all your usable
screen resolutions and corresponding refresh rates (I use at least 85hz or
my eyes bug out), be sure to adjust the geometry so the picture is straight
and full size. Next, adjust the brightness and contrast using Nokia's program.
Over time, these adjustments will have to be repeated as tube life decreases.
If you are using your monitor under florescent lighting, set your color temperature
(ViewSonic calls it Viewmatch Color) to 9300K. If you use standard incandescent
lighting, set it to 6500K. If these settings are reversed or are far out of
alignment, the tint will be heavily skewed into the red or green part of the
spectrum. The E790 also required initial moiré adjustment. Moiré looks like
3D color banding or a smooth crosshatching effect. The E790 has adjustments
to remove both horizontal and vertical moiré. This should complete the adjustment
process. Plan to spend at least 30 to 60 minutes on this, depending on how
many resolutions you will use on a regular basis. Don't forget to recheck
your alignments every few weeks, to correct for electronic drift and tube
wear. Also, re- check your alignments every time your update your video drivers
or change video cards.
The only true method
of comparing monitors is to have all of them in front of you at the same time
being driven with the same video card. Since that isn't the case in this review,
I'll just have to give you my subjective results. In this case, I used two
video cards. The first, a Trident 9850 4MB AGP 2X, will represent the low
end. The second, a Diamond Viper V770 Ultra 32MB AGP 2X, will represent the
high end. My thanks goes to Lisa Zumstein, who allowed me to haul this 19
inch bad boy over to her house and "borrow" her Viper for a few hours.
You would think that a
$30 video card would look like crap but the Trident is a 2D el cheapo wonder.
Even at 1600x1200, the picture wasn't completely awful and most of the degradation
seemed to originate from the monitor, not the video card. At reasonable resolutions,
like 1024x768@85hz, the E790 shows it true colors. Scans look almost perfect,
and I can easily work on this screen for over 6 hours straight with zero eye
strain. Mis-convergence meets ViewSonic's specs-I was barely able to detect
any blurring at the screen edges.
I used Q2 at 1024x768
and Unreal at 640x480 in addition to 2D text and I must confess that the games
looked simply awesome. But, just like other reviews have revealed, the NVidia
chipset quality decreases dramatically at resolutions above 1280x1024. The
Viper could easily drive the E790 to 1600x1200@75hz (not 76hz, driver limited)
and digital camera jpeg's looked fabulous at 4.3 billions colors (32 bit).
Those colors were very true and it still amazes me just how great a 1.9 mega-
pixel digital image looks.
Is this 19 incher the
hands down best monitor period? No. Is it the best one in its class? Yes!
For around $350, I know I'd have a hard time finding any other brand of 19
inch that has this kind of quality and wonderful ViewSonic support. Recommended?
You bet. Get one before ViewSonic raises the price.