This is the first G-Sync monitor we’ve seen from ViewSonic, and it’s clear that the extra time spent in development was worth it. From its high-quality AHVA panel by AU Optronics to a correctly implemented G-Sync module and gaming features, it’s bound to appeal to gamers of all skill levels. It makes no pretense towards high value, costing about the same as comparable products. But if you’re brand loyal or simply haven’t jumped on the G-Sync train yet, the XG2703-GS is a great choice.
For its intended use, it excels in all areas. While 240Hz is great, 165Hz is closer to the framerate most PCs are likely capable of. With our Nvidia GTX Titan X, the most demanding games kept the action between 60 and 90 FPS while less intense titles easily topped 100. That’s why we keep recommending QHD as an ideal resolution for enthusiasts. Ultra HD is great and all, but it’s still limited to 60Hz. And you’ll need an expensive video card to get anywhere near 60 FPS.
Our review sample suffered from only two flaws worth noting. First, its black field uniformity was below average thanks to slight bleed in the corners. That’s largely due to the tight fit of its anti-glare layer. The upside to this is a higher level of clarity than you’ll find in many other displays at this resolution. We didn’t find it to be a distraction in real-world content.
The other issue is easily fixed with calibration. While the XG2703-GS is reasonably accurate out of the box, proper adjustments can take it to another level. The panel has higher-than-average contrast so it makes sense to wring the best possible image quality from it. ViewSonic sets the monitor up with a default gamma curve that’s too bright, damaging color detail and lowering perceived contrast. By tweaking the RGB sliders and selecting the better gamma preset of 2.4, measured accuracy and picture quality is greatly improved.
We haven’t said too much about ULMB in this particular review. Every G-Sync monitor has it but most can’t get bright enough to really take advantage of the backlight strobe. The XG2703-GS is no exception. Its max output of 333cd/m2 isn’t enough to make up for a 76% drop in brightness. And without independent brightness settings, you’ll be visiting the OSD every time you change modes. Solution? Set it on 165Hz with G-Sync and leave it there. ULMB offers no visual advantage even when it is bright enough.
Gamers can delight in a vast array of choices when it comes to adaptive refresh. G-Sync is still the premium technology. The price reflects that, and for Nvidia devotees, it’s the only choice. If only IPS, you should consider the ViewSonic XG2703-GS. It’s not perfect, but for an early effort, it easily keeps up with the competition.
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