For many users, a 32-inch monitor is an ideal size for gaming, productivity and entertainment. It’s large enough to watch TV shows and movies in an office or dorm room and creates an immersive gaming experience at a distance of two or three feet. Workday tasks go by quickly thanks to all that screen real estate. Keeping multiple documents open and visible is a snap. Add in a curved panel and the immersion factor goes even higher.
32-inch monitors are usually a premium purchase, but Viotek says differently. Its new GNV32DBE is just $270 at this writing. That’s astounding when you consider that it also runs at QHD resolution and sports 165 Hz with Adaptive-Sync. There are plenty of 32-inch 60 Hz enterprise displays that cost more and grace our best gaming monitor list. But how does it perform?
Viotek GNV32DBE Specs
|Panel Type / Backlight||VA / W-LED, edge array|
|Screen Size / Aspect Ratio||32 inches / 16:9|
|Row 2 - Cell 0||Curve radius: 1500 mm|
|Max Resolution & Refresh Rate||2560x1440 @ 165 Hz|
|Row 4 - Cell 0||FreeSync: 48-165 Hz|
|Row 5 - Cell 0||G-Sync Compatible|
|Native Color Depth & Gamut||8-bit / DCI-P3|
|Response Time (GTG)||5ms|
|Video Inputs||2x DisplayPort 1.2|
|Row 12 - Cell 0||1x HDMI 2.0|
|Audio||3.5mm headphone output|
|Power Consumption||39.4w, brightness @ 200 nits|
|Panel Dimensions WxHxD w/base||28 x 20.5 x 10.5 inches (711 x 521 x 267mm)|
|Panel Thickness||4.5 inches (115mm)|
|Bezel Width||Top/sides: 0.3 inch (8mm)|
|Row 19 - Cell 0||Bottom: 0.8 inch (20mm)|
|Weight||13.2 pounds (6kg)|
The GNV32DBE starts with a 1500R curved VA QHD panel sporting a claimed 4,000:1 contrast ratio. I measured a good deal more than that, nearly 5,000:1 in fact, which is among the highest of any LCD panel in my experience. That, coupled with a large color gamut that covers almost 87% of DCI-P3, gives this monitor a vivid picture with strong saturation, deep blacks and a lot of dimension. It isn’t the brightest screen out there at less than 300 nits peak, but its size somewhat makes up for that.
Video processing receives the full treatment as well. The refresh rate of 165 Hz is achieved without overclock. Adaptive-Sync works equally well on Nvidia G-Sync or AMD FreeSync PCs, but the GNV32DBE has not been certified by Nvidia. It also supports HDR signals though in that case, I found it a bit lacking. Not only is there no dynamic contrast, but brightness is also slightly lower in HDR mode. Like most budget monitors, the HDR and SDR images aren’t that different.
Physically, the GNV32DBE is a simple screen with a solid but non-adjustable stand. There are no speakers or USB ports, nor is there LED lighting. But it delivers the features necessary for good gaming. Countdown timers, aiming points and a frame rate indicator are included in the OSD, which is controlled by a handy joystick.
Viotek is going for maximum value but has not skimped on performance. There aren’t any bells and whistles, but the GNV32DBE has it where it counts.
Assembly and Accessories
The all-metal stand comes in two pieces which must be bolted together using the included fasteners and Phillips-head screwdriver. The panel snaps on, or you can use the 100 mm VESA lug pattern for your own mounting hardware. A DisplayPort cable is included, along with a small external power supply.
The GNV32DBE’s styling is understated. Only a logo, printed front and center on the panel’s trim, indicates the branding. The bezel is flush and thin at just 8 mm around the top and sides. A bright blue power LED shines at the bottom right. It flashes red in standby mode. Around the back right is the joystick, which is the monitor’s only control. A long press toggles power while a click calls up the OSD.
In the back, Viotek announces its logo more proudly and adds a few molded-in lines and textures along with red trim at the top and bottom. A round bit sets off the stand’s attachment point. The grills on the sides suggest speakers, but there are none, nor are there USB ports or LED lights. The stand is quite solid, made from crinkle-finished aluminum, and offers 5/20 degrees of tilt. There is no height adjustment, but the panel sits at a good position for typical desk furniture. I only had to tilt it slightly upward to meet my eyes. It also omits swivel and portrait mode.
The top-down view shows the 1500R curvature, which isn’t significant. You can get more tightly curved screens, especially if you get into the 21:9 aspect ratio. But the curve is ideal for the GNV32DBE’s size and shape. When doing text-based work, you don’t notice it. But it comes into play when gaming or watching video by creating a subtle wraparound effect. I found that it enhanced all forms of entertainment.
The input panel features two DisplayPort 1.2 inputs which is unusual in a good way. You also get an HDMI 2.0, but the USB port is only for firmware updates; it does not support peripherals. A 3.5 mm jack accepts headphones or powered speakers.
The GNV32DBE’s OSD is almost identical to the menu found in the other Viotek monitors I’ve reviewed. It has a gaming look to it but does not sacrifice efficiency. At the top, you can always see the input resolution, refresh rate and Adaptive-Sync status.
The first menu has the brightness and contrast sliders along with a Black Equalize control to raise the black level for better visibility. You won’t need it, though; the GNV32DBE has deep blacks rich with detail. I never had a problem seeing in the dark when gaming.
There are seven picture presets, of which User is the default. It is also the only mode that lets you adjust brightness and other image parameters. You’ll find a full set of those in the Color menu where you can choose between five color temps and four gamma levels. During my tests, I could not calibrate the GNV32DBE to a standard better than its out-of-box condition, which has a minor grayscale issue. I’ll explain this in more detail below.
In Gaming Setup, you can toggle between Adaptive-Sync and MPRT, which is a blur-reducing backlight strobe. It cuts brightness by around 50% and adds some ringing to moving objects which I found distracting. Leaving Adaptive-Sync on with overdrive set to high was the best choice. Motion was smooth, and there were no frame tears. This menu also has an HDR control which should be set to Auto Detect if you plan to use HDR. The GNV32DBE switches automatically when an HDR10 signal is detected, but there is no real difference in image quality. DCR (dynamic contrast) is available for SDR content only.
Game Plus is a set of three gaming aids. You get a set of countdown timers, crosshairs in multiple shapes and colors, and a frame rate indicator that sits largely in the screen's top right corner.
Once you’ve dialed in the GNV32DBE to your liking, save the settings in one of the three memory slots for easy recall. This is something I’d love to see included with every monitor, but the feature is surprisingly rare.
Viotek GNV32DBE Calibration Settings
The GNV32DBE’s User mode is the only one that allows any image adjustment. Even brightness is grayed out in the other picture modes. Unfortunately, I could not find a combination of settings that improved the picture above its out-of-box condition. Grayscale tracking is slightly green in the Normal color temp. Other presets were either more green or blue in tone. I attempted to use the RGB sliders but could only get the 80% brightness step on target. This is an unusual response in my experience. In the end, I left the color-related settings at their factory values and lowered brightness a bit to set 200 nits. Luckily, gamma tracks well, so I didn’t notice any significant problems in actual content.
|Brightness 200 nits||86|
|Brightness 120 nits||45|
|Brightness 100 nits||35|
|Brightness 80 nits||25|
|Brightness 50 nits||12 (min. 24 nits)|
Gaming & Hands-on
In the 32-inch monitor category, it’s hard to imagine getting much more for your money than what the GNV32DBE offers. For $270, it delivers all the gaming performance of any premium QHD 165 Hz screen I’ve played on, with quick response, smooth motion processing and excellent color. Its high contrast really makes the image pop even though HDR doesn’t offer any advantage over SDR. I could play games like Call of Duty WWII and Doom Eternal in either signal mode and they looked about the same, which is to say they looked good, just that there was no difference between SDR and HDR.
Comparing gameplay between the GNV32DBE and an Ultra HD 144 Hz screen, the perception of resolution is about the same unless your game is slow-moving or static. The Viotek’s overdrive is enough to keep ghosting at bay and to keep moving objects in focus. 165fps at QHD resolution looks better than 144fps in Ultra HD. And remember that most Ultra HD games are running 120fps at best on the fastest video cards like the GeForce RTX 3090 I was using. The MPRT blur reduction feature cut brightness too much for my taste and created some ringing around moving objects which lowered motion resolution.
Though I noted some grayscale issues in testing, the picture had good saturation and a natural look. Some medium gray tones looked a little green, but this was rare. I would like to see a fix from Viotek that gives the user better use of the RGB sliders but at this price, I won’t call the errors a deal-breaker. The large color gamut helps mitigate those errors and it’s pretty close to spec, so I doubt most users will perceive a problem.
The curved screen helped bring games and video into my peripheral vision while being a non-issue for productivity. The balance of screen size, shape and curvature is ideal for all uses. It enhances the image when you want it to and doesn’t get in the way when spreadsheets and word processing are the order of the day. And a 32-inch 16:9 screen is always great for web browsing. Though pixel density is a little low at 92ppi, I didn’t notice any jaggies or other distractions. You won’t see the pixel structure unless you sit very close, less than three feet, which would be a strain for my eyes.
The GNV32DBE delivers excellent color saturation and contrast and despite the grayscale errors, the picture is excellent for any use: work, play or watching TV shows and movies.