Skip to main content

ViewSonic Overdrive LCDs: A New Era of Very Fast Panels?

In Practice

All that's very interesting, I'm sure - but what about real-world use?

Office Applications

The ergonomics being identical, both models proved to be very pleasurable to use. Finding a comfortable working position was easy. A slight advantage goes to the 191b for its wider viewing angles, which let you work in portrait mode without having to adjust the panel's height and tilt too much.

We found text to be a little less clear on the 191b with the VGA input, but that problem cleared up when we used the DVI input.

Viewing Angles

It's no contest here - the 191b, based on VA technology, has generous, comfortable viewing angles. TN came up short in this department.

Video Games

Here again there's no contest. The 191b performed extremely well compared to the VG912. But since the VG912s is not the fastest 19" monitor we've seen, we compared it with the L90D+, which is closer to being at the front of the pack for LCD reactivity. The gap was closed, but we still found the VP191b more responsive overall. The L90D+ might possibly have a slight advantage in rapid transitions (black/white), but it's really a slim one.

But the VP191b, the L90D+ and the VG912 all offer good, saturated colors in games, which in itself improves the playing experience.

Finally, the immersion experience is very impressive with 19" LCDs. It's a whole different world compared to 17" screens!

Movies

The VG912s is not really a good monitor for video - its viewing angles are a little narrow and we noticed a good deal of video noise on color masses.

The VP191b does better. First, as we've mentioned, its viewing angles are wider. Then its black level is very deep, which is naturally an advantage when screening DVDs in 16:9 format. Less video noise was visible on color masses, but we did see artifacts in tracking shots against shaded backgrounds. So we're still short of perfection.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that the VP191b is an excellent monitor and Overdrive, as a technology, clearly has a future. What does it lack? Not much. Maybe a tad less latency on the ISO transition - 16 ms is the limit. And we're waiting for improvements in the video performance of monitors based on this technology. But let's be forthright - this is clearly the direction in which monitor manufacturers have to concentrate their efforts.

And what about the new method manufacturers have chosen for rating their monitors? Clearly it will confuse the issue for everyone and above all those who aren't regular readers of these pages. Don't try to find out about the difference between GTG and ISO latency at Wal-Mart. The salesperson you find may well give you a strange look if you ask. And yet it's a crucial difference.

So, since the new method - while it is more realistic than the ISO method - doesn't satisfy us, we're still going to use our own system for testing monitors with specifications in gray to gray. At least there'll still be one place where you can compare the latency of LCD panels according to one single test method.