Review: ViewSonic V3D231

Published: December 26, 2011 3:29 PM
By Alexandre Botella
We've already had a chance to test passive 3D on Full HD, 23'' desktop monitors in the shape of the LG Flatron D2342 and the AOC e2352Phz, but now it's time for ViewSonic to have a go with its new V3D231.  Unlike its competitors, it seems to be aimed squarely at gamers with a TN display and a 2 ms response time.  Will it manage to win them over?

Design and accessories: standard 3D

Apart from its support for 3D, the V3D231 doesn't offer anything else to help it stand out from other monitors in hardware terms.  It has a single pair of 2 x 2 W speakers—with no sign of a USB hub or memory card reader—and the only physical adjustment allowed by the stand is to tip the display back a degree or two.  The only way for the V3D231 to earn any points at all in this section is via its audio and video inputs and outputs, which are based around the classic trio of VGA, DVI and HDMI for video and a headphone jack to pick up the sound carried via the HDMI link or the line in.

Viewsonic v3d231 lunettes


Two pairs of passive 3D glasses are included, which you'll need to see in three dimensions: one is a pair of normal-sized 3D glasses with polarised lenses, while the other is larger and designed to be worn on top of ordinary glasses.  Passive glasses have a clear advantage over their active counterparts in that they are light, comfortable and cheap because they don't use batteries or any electronics.  The downside is that the vertical resolution is halved to 1920 x 540 pixels, which leaves 3D looking like decent 720p video, unlike the Full HD 1080p video produced by active 3D systems.

Colours: demanding users will want to calibrate it

With its factory settings, the V3D231 has a deltaE of 3.7, meaning most users will think it does a decent job of colour reproduction.  The remaining discrepancies are caused by a colour temperature that's too warm, leaving a blue tinge, and gamma, the division of luminance across a gradient from white to black, that's too low.  Despite our best efforts, we couldn't iron out either of these problems, leaving the AOC e2352Phz the undisputed champion in this field with a deltaE of 2.7.

 Viewsonic v3d231 de defaut
Colour reproduction with the V3D231's default settings


As we mentioned above, this will no doubt be perfectly satisfactory for the vast majority of users.  Only the most well-trained eyes will be able to detect any remaning problems.

The V3D231 does less well with contrast: with a contrast ratio of 670:1, it comes in a long way behind our average of 850:1.

Responsiveness: a 2 ms monitor (with overdrive)

With those same factory settings, the V3D231 is no different to an ordinary display with a 5 ms response time that we would usually only recommend for office work.  That's why you should change the 'Response Time' setting from 'Standard' to 'Ultra Fast' to get the most out of the 2 ms display.

Responsiveness
Viewsonic v3d231 temps remanence
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Average
This graph shows the ghosting time, measured in ms, that the monitor takes to entirely remove the previous frame. The shorter the time, the more fluid moving images will appear

That adjustment transformed it into the most responsive passive 3D monitor we've ever tested, although as the only 2 ms passive 3d monitor we've tested, that isn't actually all that difficult.  Nevertheless, it should please gamers by accurately rending fast moving objects.

3D Display: make sure you're right in front of the screen

Whether you're gaming in three dimensions or watching a movie, you need to make sure you're right in front of the display to avoid being plagued by crosstalk, interference between the signal destined for your left and right eye.  That's something we also found on the AOC e2352Phz and the LG D2342.  You can move your head up and down as much as you like, but you need to stay facing the monitor directly, making it hard for more than one person to enjoy 3D at the same time.
 

Viewsonic v3d231 crosstalk



It's also hard to get the 3D effect if you're too close to the screen.  We tried out various distances, and we reckon that the display is most comfortable at around a metre, with 3D visible anywhere from 90 cm to 120 cm back from the screen.  As long as you make sure to do that, then 3D looks great.
4/5 ViewSonic V3D231 DigitalVersus 2011-12-26 16:29:00

Pros

  • Responsive display suitable for games
  • Light, passive glasses
  • Affordable for a 3D monitor

Cons

  • Below average contrast: 670:1
  • Narrow viewing angles make it hard to enjoy 3D
  • No automatic 2D-to-3D conversion

Conclusion

If you're both a gamer AND attracted by the idea of more affordable passive 3D, then the ViewSonic V3D231 monitor could be the perfect display for you.

OUR SCORE 4/5
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