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ViewSonic VP3881 38" Curved HDR Monitor Review: Professional sRGB

Brightness & Contrast

To read about our monitor tests in-depth, check out Display Testing Explained: How We Test Monitors and TVs. We cover Brightness and Contrast testing on page two.

Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level

For comparisons, we’re looking at a mix of monitors that includes enthusiast and gaming displays. Pro panels are Dell’s UP2718Q with its full-array backlight, NEC’s PA243W and Acer’s PE320QK. The BenQ EX3501R and EW3270U are more suitable for gaming and entertainment. All support HDR except the NEC.

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The VP3881 delivers a maximum output typical of most ultra-wide monitors. ViewSonic claims 300 nits and misses that target by only a hair. But for a professional screen, that’s more than enough in SDR mode. Few will be turning the brightness up all the way, especially in dark post-production studio environments.

Black levels are average among the in-plane switching (IPS) screens here, which result in a 935.4:1 native contrast ratio. That’s about equal to the Dell and NEC, but below the over-achieving Acer. Notably, the PE320QK is one of the best IPS panels in this category.

Uncalibrated – Minimum Backlight Level

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Minimum brightness is a dark but usable 41 nits, just enough for a light-controlled room. Four clicks of the brightness slider sets output to 50 nits, which is a little easier to live with on a daily basis. Contrast is the same 935:1, which is the most consistent result we’ve ever seen. While a VA panel would provide better blacks and contrast, there are few, if any, that offer this level of precision.

After Calibration to 200 nits

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The VP3881’s fixed color modes still allow access to the brightness slider once uniformity compensation is turned off. For our calibrated test, we used the Custom mode, which employs sRGB color. We set the white point to D65 and gamma to 2.2. There is no loss or gain of contrast after a few tweaks to the RGB sliders, which is a good thing.

This monitor reacts exactly as a professional-grade tool should. While greater contrast would be nice, its dynamic range is enough to get the job done.

HDR Brightness & Contrast

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Unfortunately, the VP3881 has no more dynamic range in HDR mode than in SDR. Brightness is a few nits higher, but neither black levels nor contrast improve. Unlike other panels in the sample group, ViewSonic has opted against using a dynamic feature.

We measured 10 percent  window patterns as well as full-field rasters and obtained the same results. Actual HDR content looks OK, thanks to accurate tone-mapping of Electro-Optical Transfer Function (EOTF), an electronic value in content that specifies brightness displayed, but the visible difference is subtle at best.

ANSI Contrast Ratio

The VP3881 features excellent uniformity, achieved without additional compensation. Turning that on reduces contrast and output by half, so we don’t think it’s worth using. The hardware quality is certainly high, but it still won’t deliver the dynamic range of the average vertical alignment (VA) panel.

MORE: Best Gaming Monitors

MORE: How We Test Monitors

MORE: All Monitor Content

  • emeraldsmines1990
    To all Monitors makers , we demand more height wide screens ... stop focusing on gaming monitors and bring us please WIDE AND TALL Monitors.

    For productivity , that is :

    3840 x 2400 Resolution and not Curved.

    Reply
  • Rushnerd
    I have one of these except it's acer and way cheaper. It's taller than my old 27" and the resolution, while not true 4K, is still more than enough, especially trying to run games faster than 75hz.
    Plus the curve on this thing is pretty subtle and with a panel this wide, it's pretty helpful.
    Reply
  • WINTERLORD
    i agree i really like the monitor reviews they have here at toms hardware. in paticuler the gaming and HDR and even budget HDR
    Reply
  • photonboy
    EMERALDSMINES1990,
    Uh...what do you mean by "wide and tall" anyway?

    Wide and Ultrawide are references to the Aspect Ratio being more wide than it is tall. You can't be both wider and taller at the same time in terms of Aspect.

    Or maybe you just mean physically wider (i.e. 30"+) while having both high pixel density and 16:10 (less wide) aspect ratio?

    Also, being CURVED is a necessity for most if the monitor is PHYSICALLY TOO WIDE regardless of Aspect Ratio... of course you can sit further BACK from the monitor so you don't keep turning your head off axis and distorting the text so much but that defeats the purpose too of getting a large monitor.

    And is there really that much demand for 16:10 these days? If you had something like a 30", 3840x2160 (4K) monitor there's lots of pixels to work with. Does it really need to be TALLER than this?

    I think the original point of 16:10 was that two 8:10 pages could be next to each other but then when 16:9 became standard games and video optimized for this ratio so the demand really dropped.

    I guess I just don't see much demand for super large, 16:10 monitors.
    Reply
  • hotaru251
    assume they meant they want screens like in CRT days...

    where you have a more square (ish) screen ratehr than a longer only screen.


    I could udnerstand not wanting a screen that is 3x as long as it is tall.
    Reply
  • totaldarknessincar
    Dear Monitor makers and Tomshardware.

    We don't want to read reviews of monitors with technology we have seen before. the LG 38UC99 came out 2 years ago. Then we had the ACER 38 inch ultrawide. Then we had the HP 38 inch ultrawide, followed by the Dell 38 inch ultrawide, there may have been another company, even LG updated the 38uc99 to make way for 38WK95C; and now viewsonic.

    They are all base on LG's screen, they are all missing displayport 1.4 for some odd reason despite the 1000-1300 premium price rage and displayport 1.4 has been certified for years now. They are are barely able to get 75 refreshes, they all are freesync only, despite NVIDIA GPUs dominating the high end space, they are don't have wide, DCI P3 color gamuts, they are have crappy contrast ration that in practice is only like 800:1, they all aren't bright, peaking at about 300 nits, and they all are curved.


    Please wake me up when we have
    38 inch ultrawide or any 38 inch monitor
    that is not curved
    That can do 100hz minimum
    That is truly 4K (i'm not paying 1300 for a monitor that i plan on having for 6+ years (I bought a dell u3011 in 2010 and I'm still using it now (8 years)). 4K will for sure be the standard in 6-8 years for most medium to high end monitors and to already not have it, is setting yourself up for failure.
    -It needs to have at least 600 nits
    -HDR
    -Basically take that LG 5K monitor that is about to come out, that is 34 inches, and increase the size, increase the refresh, add HDR, add displayport 1.4 and we are set.
    Reply
  • emeraldsmines1990
    21139859 said:
    EMERALDSMINES1990,
    Uh...what do you mean by "wide and tall" anyway?

    Wide and Ultrawide are references to the Aspect Ratio being more wide than it is tall. You can't be both wider and taller at the same time in terms of Aspect.

    Or maybe you just mean physically wider (i.e. 30"+) while having both high pixel density and 16:10 (less wide) aspect ratio?

    Also, being CURVED is a necessity for most if the monitor is PHYSICALLY TOO WIDE regardless of Aspect Ratio... of course you can sit further BACK from the monitor so you don't keep turning your head off axis and distorting the text so much but that defeats the purpose too of getting a large monitor.

    And is there really that much demand for 16:10 these days? If you had something like a 30", 3840x2160 (4K) monitor there's lots of pixels to work with. Does it really need to be TALLER than this?

    I think the original point of 16:10 was that two 8:10 pages could be next to each other but then when 16:9 became standard games and video optimized for this ratio so the demand really dropped.

    I guess I just don't see much demand for super large, 16:10 monitors.

    For Productivity 4:3 is the best . and if you look at Famous Tablet makers they realized that 4:3 is the best and Apple IPAD is 4:3 the same as Samsung Tab S3 ...

    it is the best for productivity, when they moved to wide screens 16:9/16:10 (FHD) people loved it for watching movies mostly nothing more.

    4:3 is the best , and the Tablet makers figured it out very well.

    Samsung Tab s3

    9.7” QXGA (2048 x 1536)

    4:3

    and Ipad Pro

    2224x1668

    4:3 as well.

    and I personally like to game on 4:3 because I want to see more vertical the same I want to see more horizontal.

    Even the MS surface is 2256 x 1504 (3:2)

    Edit : Let me explain more why 4:3 is better than wide screens for work ..

    first of all if one application , you will have bigger space to work with all directions .

    now for multi windows , in wide screen , people will split it left right and never up down because it is wide.

    here each part on right and left , will need to scroll in all directions because the width is half and the height is lower than 4:3 ..

    However , if you have 4:3 monitor and you split the screen up and down using two apps , Both will have full width and the only scrolling you will need is up and down , not all directions. Also , having the width maximized in the upper up and lower app , is much easier to work with and monitor.

    and so on.
    Reply
  • therealduckofdeath
    Try an Ultrawide first, EMERALDSMINES1990. You'll realise that a huge 4:3 display is exceptionally bad for productivity. You'll ruin your neck in a few days as our heads and eyes move excellently from side to side while they don't enjoy up and down as much. If a 4:3 display would be as wide as this it would have to be placed on the floor to work ergonomically.

    The Ultrawide makes sense, as you get more workspace without having to split your area over two displays. The curve also makes sense as it counters the warping effect you otherwise get with that much display so close to your face.
    Reply
  • Rushnerd
    emeraldsmines1990 "I personally like to game on 4:3 because I want to see more vertical the same I want to see more horizontal."
    I can do 4:3 in considerable size on my 38" Acer display, but the "productivity" you mentioned? This monitor is equal to over 3 1080p monitors and the size gets around 4K scaling issues.

    If you haven't tried ultrawide gaming yet, you really should. That said i've been playing some 4:3 games lately, and other 4:3 ones modded for ultrawide, it's great.

    I also want to add that I thought a 38" 3840X1600 monitor was completely overkill and too much, but it's even better than the last acer 34" ultrawide I used. It's hard to put into words what it's like to be almost completely surrounded by a game in nearly 4K.

    EDIT: I do youtube videos for my channel a lot and they have made 21:9 more or less the new standard for 16:9 screens along with the fact that editing videos at this res and size is a dream come true.
    therealduckofdeath
    "You'll realise that a huge 4:3 display is exceptionally bad for productivity. You'll ruin your neck in a few days as our heads and eyes move excellently from side to side while they don't enjoy up and down as much."
    I bought a 40" Tv once years ago as a monitor, it's only 2" bigger than this one, but that tv was so tall and big that it was impossible to use and hurt!
    Reply
  • emeraldsmines1990
    21142360 said:
    Try an Ultrawide first, EMERALDSMINES1990. You'll realise that a huge 4:3 display is exceptionally bad for productivity. You'll ruin your neck in a few days as our heads and eyes move excellently from side to side while they don't enjoy up and down as much. If a 4:3 display would be as wide as this it would have to be placed on the floor to work ergonomically.

    The Ultrawide makes sense, as you get more workspace without having to split your area over two displays. The curve also makes sense as it counters the warping effect you otherwise get with that much display so close to your face.

    Ultra Wide is for gaming only . for productivity 4:3 is way better. a 30 inch 4:3 is good enough size and wont be that big.

    keep in mind that many people when they used 3 monitors setup for gaming they put them in vertical mode (pivoted) so not all people really prefer ultra wide over 4:3

    example

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJNkwlSqXUM

    Reply