ViewSonic VP2770-LED review - Great colour consistency from Viewsonic's big screen display

UPDATED Wednesday 30 October 2013: We have been made aware of issues of compatibility between this display and certain Apple Macs. See the end of this review for more information.

The large screen also needs a large amount of space for the stand, though it is telescopic and let’s the display rotate.

While some manufacturers put a lot of effort into looks, others appear to go for brute sturdiness. Then there’s a middle ground where bland is the keyword. That’s the ground that the ViewSonic VP2770-LED rests on, with an unassuming boxy format, thick bezel, recessed screen.

It rests on a stand that looks like half a Cylon baseship (Google it). This pushes the weight up to a hefty 8.45kg. In fact it’s really only the preposterous stand that marks the ViewSonic out, as the touch panel menu system is perfectly okay and there is a useful array of interfaces on the back, covering HDMI 1.4 (up to the full 2560 x 1440 resolution), DisplayPort 1.2, D-Sub VGA and dual-link DVI, plus a USB 3.0 hub.

The stand is telescopic and allows the monitor to rotate 90 degrees as well. The power supply is built-in and consumes around 40W, dropping to 22W in conservative mode.

What really matters is the panel and here the 27in gets the quad-HD 2560 x 1440 treatment, with an anti-glare matt finish and 10-bit colour processing engine that promises rich and accurate colour.

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Perhaps surprisingly the colour gamut check showed a lower than expected 94% sRGB coverage in our 8-bit tests, with 65% NTSC and a weak 70% Adobe RGB gamut.

In the screen uniformity tests the middle third of the screen showed good consistency but the outside edges were brighter, typically only around 8% but in a couple of areas, up to 12% at 100% Brightness. At 50% Brightness this increased to a 15.5% difference, although to the eye there was no obvious light leak around the edges of the panel.

Where the ViewSonic really scored particularly well was in colour consistency. The display was even across the board with just one area showing any real variation.

Colour accuracy was also very good, with dark blue and yellow the only flaws, but red and green being particularly accurate. The average Delta-E of 1.90 was right up there with the NEC panel for accuracy.

Brightness and contrast ratio didn’t measure up so well though though. The touted 300 cd/m2 brightness turned out to be more like 229 cd/m2 in reality and the 1000:1 contrast ratio was measured at just 220:1. We’ll be retesting this model to check on that figure.

Update: we've found that this ViewSonic VP2770-LED has issues with certain Macs and versions of OS X. Used with an Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch (Mid-2012) running OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, the monitor is recognised as a television rather than monitor, giving unsuitable colour and sharpness settings that result in an unusable display picture.

With OS X 10.9 Mavericks this issue seems to be resolved, although another issue becomes evident – font smoothing does not seem to set correctly for an external display, giving poor pixellated typography across the screen.

Adustment using the command-line controls for font smoothing (eg, defaults -currentHost write -globalDomain AppleFontSmoothing -int 2) do not fix the problem – AH

Update: sharpness control seems to be the culprit. This is set too high by default (50), and by turning down one step (to 25), image quality is restored. AH

OUR VERDICT

The ViewSonic VP2770-LED has potential for a good image and professional stand adjustment at an affordable price, but it has issues working with certain models of Apple Mac. Until we hear the issues have been resolved, make sure you see this monitor working satisfactorily with your Mac before you buy.

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