ViewSonic V3D231 3D Display - The Passive Approachby Chris Heinonen on December 30, 2011 12:00 AM EST
The V3D231 is a 60 Hz, TN-panel 23” display with 1080p resolution that also does 3D. Most will be happy to hear that it has a matte finish on the display, but due to the passive 3D technology, it also has a patterned retarder on the screen. This is necessary to produce the polarized image to allow for 3D with the included glasses, but it also produces a texture to the display that is clearly visible from normal distances. Some people might not be bothered by this, but I know that I always have been. It’s more apparent on bright images I find, but as most monitors will be used with web pages, word processors, and spreadsheets, there are a lot of white backgrounds that will accentuate it.
Since passive 3D only needs simple polarized glasses, ViewSonic has included both a pair of glasses and a clip-on polarizer for people that normally wear glasses. The clip-on option is very nice as many active glasses do a poor job of fitting for people that have to wear glasses in daily life, making 3D hard for them to watch at all. I wish they had included an extra pair of the regular glasses so two people could watch something at once, but given the screen size they might have thought that was an unlikely situation. ViewSonic has also included a copy of the TriDef3D software that enables most of your games to take advantage of the monitor.
The inputs on the ViewSonic are what you might expect, with HDMI, DVI, and DSub, along with both audio in and headphone out audio jacks. I still don’t understand why all manufacturers continue to place the headphone out on the rear of the monitor where it is hard to reach instead of on the bottom or side of the display, where you could more easily access it. The only ergonomic adjustment available on the display is tilt, but it does have VESA mounting holes if you wish to add your own stand for more adjustments.
The OSD is controlled by four buttons located in the center of the monitor. ViewSonic has had the same menu control system for as long as I can recall, and nothing here has really changed about that. The Up Arrow also functions as a shortcut to the 3D mode selection, and the Down Arrow is a shortcut to the volume control. Little labels to indicate this would have been nice to have on the front panel, so you didn’t need to look it up in the manual or discover it accidentally. I should also note here that the bezel of the monitor is a very glossy black, which does reflect back a decent amount of glare as well as attract fingerprints. All of the controls I would typically look for in an OSD are available, including being able to set a custom white balance.
The tilt mechanism of the ViewSonic is pretty stiff and takes some effort to move it to where you want it, which also makes fine adjustments hard to do. I’d also prefer that the markings for LED, HDMI, and 1080p on the front of the monitor be removable once the buyer has the monitor at home, but they seem to be silkscreened onto the bezel. It’s curious that they have those, but no label that mentions it is a 3D display.
|HDMI 1.4a, DVI, Dsub
|250 nits typical
|1,000:1 typical, 20,000,000:1 Dynamic
|170º horizontal, 160º vertical
|Power Consumption (operation)
|36W normal, 26W Eco mode
|Power Consumption (standby)
|Anti-Glare type, Hard-coating
|VESA Wall Mounting
|Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD)
|21.6 x 15.3 x 7.5
|Passive 3D, 2x2W speakers, 3.5mm stereo input, headphone output
|Three years on parts, labor, and backlight
|2 pairs 3D glases, power cable, audio cable, VGA cable, DVI cable, TriDef 3D software
|Online starting at $279.00
Overall, the passive 3D feature is the main feature that sets the ViewSonic V3D231 apart from other displays on the market today. Pricing is higher than non-3D displays, but it's also quite a bit less than active-3D 120Hz displays. Of course, whether it's actually a better display or not is what we want to determine.