ViewSonic VX2475Smhl-4K 24-Inch UHD Monitor Review

ViewSonic's new VX2475Smhl-4K is a 24-inch IPS panel that's currently one of the least expensive Ultra HD monitors available. Today we run it through our lab and hands-on tests.

Over the past couple of years, we've seen several exciting new technologies added to the tried-and-true LCD display. First, we had in-plane switching panels, which took off-axis image quality up a notch, improved color accuracy and lowered energy consumption. Resolution has increased from the 1920x1080 pixels of the average desktop monitor to 2560x1440 (QHD) and 3840x2160 (UHD). And we're starting to see 5K (5120x2880) panels now from Dell and HP. And of course gamers have finally been given some real choices thanks to faster refresh rates and signal-sync technologies like G-Sync and FreeSync.

The one common factor present in all of these innovations has been high cost. Any new technology will cost more at first; that's a universal constant. It just seems that monitors take longer to drop in price than other kinds of hardware.

Ultra HD is a great example of this. The first screens came out at 32 inches and were priced at around $3,000. We got our first significant price break when UHD came to the 28-inch form factor. The drawback is that those screens rely on TN technology. What everyone really wants is IPS and until recently, IPS commanded a premium.

We've reviewed 24-inch UHD monitors before but they were still priced at the high-end. Dell's UP2414Q can be found for around $600 and the NEC EA244UHD is closer to $1,000 at the time of this writing. If you're willing to give up those screens' wide gamut option however, ViewSonic has a brand-new IPS UHD model for only $400 -- the VX2475Smhl-4K that we're reviewing today.

Specifications

At this price point, ViewSonic is bringing Ultra HD to the business class. The monitor is based on a Samsung-manufactured PLS panel with a white LED backlight, 300cd/m2 of peak output and an sRGB color gamut. By the way, that backlight is flicker-free courtesy of its constant-current design. No pulse-width modulation is used here. It's pretty much the same feature set you'd see on most 27-inch QHD displays, which are gradually replacing FHD as the new desktop standard.

One thing you'll need to consider with an Ultra HD screen in this size is pixel density. The new 27-inch 5K screens (5120x2880) are highest at 217ppi. But second place goes to the 24-inch (actually 23.6 inches viewable) UHD monitors, which boast 187ppi.

That density in this screen size means that without dpi scaling in Windows, text is all but unreadable. We had to up the setting to 150 percent, which rendered everything clearly. That value seems to be a sweet spot for this particular monitor size.

Other VX2475Smhl-4K features include a Blue Light Filter that warms up the white point to reduce fatigue, a quick 4ms-rated response time and two HDMI 2.0 inputs that can accept the monitor's native resolution. The spec sheet and price pretty much guarantee the monitor's acceptance in the enterprise, but can it also satisfy gamers? Let's take a look.

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19 comments
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  • wtfxxxgp
    24" UHD monitor for gaming? Nope. Just nope. It's too small for me, I'm getting old.
  • JeanLuc
    The pixel density of a 4K screen is about the same as a high end 1080p smart phone, the picture quality of this must be stunning.
  • MasterMace
    Waiting on 60hz ips 2160p at $200 and 120hz ups 2160p at $350.
  • xenol
    Quote:
    The pixel density of a 4K screen is about the same as a high end 1080p smart phone, the picture quality of this must be stunning.

    The monitor is half that, compared against a 6" phone. But at the viewing distances of a monitor, it may as well be effectively greater.
  • Joseph Jasik
    Way too small, sorry.
  • DisplayJunkie
    "nicely styled with a gloss-black bezel"

    Are you kidding me? Nicely styled? NO. Glossy black plastics are COMPLETE CRAP. They REFLECT the damn displayed image! This is ESPECIALLY horrible when it's used on bezels, it is EXTREMELY annoying.

    And glossy black plastics look terribly cheap.

    Not to mention black bezels reduces the perceived contrast ratio. Matte grays are the correct choice.

    Why do monitor manufacturers keep doing this?

    "Just" because of that, this monitor is immediately disqualified from my consideration.
  • xenol
    Quote:
    24" UHD monitor for gaming? Nope. Just nope. It's too small for me, I'm getting old.

    You can think of it this way: you no longer have to deal with anti-aliasing of any kind!

    But then again 4K with no AA may as well be the same as 1080p with 4xMSAA (only not since MSAA is much cheaper than 4K still)
  • nitrium
    I often wonder what the scalers are like in these things, i.e. if you run a resolution lower than native - something you may potentially be forced to do to get a playable framerate in gaming for example. Does it look absolute rubbish? How does 1080p look on these screens compared to 1080p on a screen with that as native resolution? Does it generally look better, worse or roughly the same? Are all scalers created equal? Would be very interested to read about this in future articles.
  • chumly
    or you can get a 28" 4k from monoprice for $50 less.
  • picture_perfect
    Here we go again.The best graphics card today will average 40 fps at this resolution. Check any current game. That means an awful gaming experience with judder, blur and lag. Scaling resolution down degrades picture / adds lag. So for gaming I will say NO.
  • Robert_V
    $400 US for the monitor and $1000+ US for video cards that can keep up with it. No thanks. Maybe at 32" or larger but 24"? You gotta be kidding.

    Or for another $100 US you can pick up a Korean 40" 4k on EBAY.
  • rbarone69
    You think with such a good monitor the OSD would look less like playing Wizardry on an EGA monitor and more like Minority Report.
  • epobirs
    Quote:
    I often wonder what the scalers are like in these things, i.e. if you run a resolution lower than native - something you may potentially be forced to do to get a playable framerate in gaming for example. Does it look absolute rubbish? How does 1080p look on these screens compared to 1080p on a screen with that as native resolution? Does it generally look better, worse or roughly the same? Are all scalers created equal? Would be very interested to read about this in future articles.


    1080p scaled should look fine because the 4K native res is perfectly divisible by the lower res. This is the primary reason those specific numbers were chosen in the first place, much like the relation between 720 and 1080 resolutions simplified scaling task for earlier generations, the higher mode being a 1.5 multiple of the lower. 4K being a simple doubling in each dimension makes it pretty straightforward.

    A question for future product testing will be whether you can control which device handles the scaling. Scalers built into devices like game consoles tend to do a better job because the designer have more knowledge of what sort of image is being produced. There is a strong possibility that an engineering revision of current consoles will allow for 4K video playback, either streaming or from Blu-ray UHD disc, and gaming rendered at 1080p or less and scaled to 4K. (Actual 4K console gaming will need a much more major improvement and would almost certainly be sold as new platforms with backward compatibility.)
  • jdrch
    Sounds great, but the lack of height and swivel adjustment is a dealbreaker for me.
  • beetlejuicegr
    1920x1080 with 4x antialiasing will it be heavier on gpu/cpu in games than a 3840x2160 and 2x or no antialiasing?

    This is a very important question i would like tomshardware to answer.

    I think that shadows and light reflections will be way more heavy on gpu at UHD than HD with 4x antialiasing.
    What do you think guys, if we have a retina display, we don't need antialiasing, so will it be heavier on the gpu compared to an HD monitor wITH 4x antialiasing?
  • gudomlig
    4K gaming sucks. I have two GTX 970 in SLI and driver support seems to be pretty lame. For example I got no FPS difference at all in witcher 3 from ultra to low settings and struggled at ~26 FPS even on lowest settings. Taking one GTX 970 out Witcher 3 ran lowest settings at ~31 fps. Crysis 3 wouldn't even run in SLI mode at 4K. Crysis 2 ran max settings at ~40 FPS but jittery as hell. Far Cry 4 limped along medium settings at ~30fps, and like witcher 3 didn't see any fps difference between ultra and medium settings. Something is clearly not working right. When I scaled down to 1080p results were less impressive than a native 1080p screen. Gaming at 1080p with ultra settings frankly looks and runs better than 4K at mid to low settings. And at native 1080p, my Vizio E420d looked a hell of a lot better than scaled down 1080p on my Samsung 4K JU6500. In fact I ended up returning the Samsung because the lack of 4K content and crappy gaming experience made it a total waste of money.
  • xenol
    Quote:
    1920x1080 with 4x antialiasing will it be heavier on gpu/cpu in games than a 3840x2160 and 2x or no antialiasing? This is a very important question i would like tomshardware to answer. I think that shadows and light reflections will be way more heavy on gpu at UHD than HD with 4x antialiasing. What do you think guys, if we have a retina display, we don't need antialiasing, so will it be heavier on the gpu compared to an HD monitor wITH 4x antialiasing?

    Yes. Compared to super sampling (Which rendering at 4K is the same as 1080p with 4xSSAA), every anti-aliasing method does less work.
  • computertech82
    I still think it would be better to have a 12-bit monitor than a crappy 8-bit color banding monitor. Would be nice for a review for some 12-bit monitors.
  • Compuser10165
    24 inch is not enough for a 4K monitor. You need at least 30 inch to see the whole benefits of 4K (Maybe 27 inch would be a compromise, but I can't tell for sure as I don't have a 4K monitor yet).