Results: Calibrated Brightness And Contrast
Since we consider 200 nits to be an ideal average for peak output, we calibrate all our test monitors to that value. In a room with some ambient light (like an office), this brightness level provides a sharp, punchy image with maximum detail and minimum eye fatigue. It's also the sweet spot for gamma and grayscale tracking, which we'll look at on page six.
We set the AOC display's brightness level a tad lower to keep its grayscale tracking nice and flat. Setting it higher adds a slight red tint to the upper end of the luminance range. This results in a measurement slightly under the goal of 200 nits, though you can't really tell unless you're using the calibration equipment.
Next up is the important black level measurement. Calibrating grayscale and setting brightness with a test pattern (rather than by eye), ensures the best possible contrast ratio, while still preserving all the detail in the image.
ViewSonic's .1398-nit result makes it the winner in this test. Blacks look about as good as they can for an LCD panel. You'd have to put a plasma screen on your desk to do much better.
Contrast ratio, specifically on/off contrast ratio, gives an idea of the dimensionality of an image. The most important factor in perceived quality is the dynamic range of light to dark. While LCDs are still behind other display technologies in this metric, they have made great strides in recent years.
Calibrating both screens to 200 nits, we see some impressive contrast ratio numbers. ViewSonic sets itself apart from the pack with superb black levels and a high on/off contrast ratio of 1440.5:1.