VX2245wm ViewDock Review

The ViewSonic VX2245wm ViewDock is a reasonably priced, feature-packed, 22in widescreen LCD that comes in a shiny black case. It sports built-in speakers, a USB hub and a memory card reader and, most noteworthy, an integrated iPod dock cradle that uses Apple’s Universal dock. However, although the VX2245wm works well as a general purpose LCD, its audio performance is somewhat off-key.

Five dock inserts that accommodate most dockable iPods are included. With an iPod in the display’s cradle – and the base is connected to a USB port on your Mac – the cradle functions just like Apple’s own iPod dock: charging your iPod and syncing it with iTunes. Despite having the name ViewDock, though, you can’t watch video from an iPod directly on the display; nor is there a video output on the display base.

The display includes left and right speakers just below the screen, as well as a tiny subwoofer in the base. These speakers provide adequate, if somewhat tinny, sound. Volume is controlled via your computer’s volume control, however, when listening to an iPod docked in the base, the behaviour of the display’s audio components is confusing. You can’t control the iPod’s volume via its own controls – the control on the display base affects only the subwoofer – and the display’s on-screen menus let you adjust only the speaker audio. Making matters worse, we found the navigation buttons on the display hard to use, as they are somewhat recessed.

There are both DVI and analogue video ports on the display. When we connected the monitor using DVI, our Mac Pro recognised it correctly, and the monitor displayed its native 1,680 x 1,050 resolution automatically. The colour looked a little washed out at its default settings, but calibration did improve it. Unfortunately, calibration couldn’t alleviate the limited viewing angle. Colour shifts are apparent pretty quickly, and the display loses contrast and brightness as you move your head left or right from the centre, but the colours were fairly accurate as long as you sit directly in front of the screen. Text was legible, even at small point sizes. Other features include an 8-in-1 flash memory card reader on the side of the display’s base as well as a USB hub with four ports to connect devices.

OUR VERDICT

The idea of an affordable, multifunction display with built-in speakers, an iPod dock, a menory card reader, and a USB hub is very appealing. Unfortunately, the ViewSonic VX2245wm’s method of integrating these devices is confusing, and the display suffers from a limited viewing angle.

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