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6 things you need to know about ViewSonic VLED221wm 


The Good Good performance in movies and games; built-in speakers; solid footrest; thin panel.

The Bad No HDMI; lack of ergonomic options; not inspired by OSD with disabilities.

The Bottom Line ViewSonic VLED221wm is a good monitor, but it is too expensive to recommend.

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6.4 Overall

  • Design
  • Features
  • Performance
  • Support

At $ 500, the ViewSonic VLED221wm can’t keep up with better monitors, such as the Gateway HD2201, which can be found for at least $ 300 cheaper. In our tests, the VLED221wm has achieved high performance in games and movies, and it includes built-in speakers; however, it lacks HDMI connections and ergonomic settings. On the contrary, the HD2201 gateway includes HDMI, and although it lacks ergonomic options, its low price is as cheap as $ 150 – and the movie’s excellent games and performance make it a steal. The ViewSonic VLED221wm is great for simple office tasks as well as games and movies, but its $ 500 price tag cannot be justified.

Design and features
The 22-inch ViewSonic VLED221wm has a 0.75-inch glossy black bezel on the sides and top and 2.5 inches on the bottom thanks to the built-in speakers that extend along the bottom of the panel. In the middle of the speaker area is a red, silver ViewSonic logo. The relatively thin panel has a depth of nearly 1 inch – mid-way compared to the HD2201 with a thickness of nearly 1.5 inches and a ViewSonic VX2265wm panel of about 0.5. A 0.25-inch thick strip is wrapped around the outer edge of the panel, bringing the overall panel width up to 20.6 inches – slightly wider than the average for a monitor this size of screen. The 13.5-inch-wide 10-inch-wide stand does a good job of keeping the display from oscillating when knocking on the sides. At the bottom of the frame are about 3.5 inches from the desktop. Unfortunately, this screen height is not adjustable, and there is no way to rotate the screen or rotate the screen – which is useful if you want portrait mode. The ability to tilt the screen back 15 degrees is the only ergonomic feature.

The ViewSonic VLED221wm display sits above the silver ViewSonic logo in the lower middle of the panel. It has five buttons horizontally, including a power button highlighted directly in the middle of the array by a blue LED. Although each button is located, you do not see labels in the dark, which makes calibrating them in a dark room a difficult task. Each button is about 1 inch long and has enough space between them to easily pinpoint where one button ends and the other begins.

The on-screen interface is common and basic, it only includes controls for brightness, contrast, color temperature and several on-screen controls for position and time. There are no presets like many other monitors.

The display includes VGA and DVI connections, but it does not have an HDMI connection. It is HDCP compatible, so you will be able to view HD content on VLED221wm. Although the DVI and VGA ports are not locked, they lie deep on the back of the panel and need a bumpy low angle to make sure you insert the cable properly.

ViewSonic VLED221wm is a 16:10 LED backlit monitor with a native resolution of 1680×1,050 pixels – typical of a 22-inch model. The competing gateway of the HD2201, like most LCDs, uses fluorescent illumination based on cold cathode tubes – several fluorescent tubes stretched horizontally across the screen. In contrast, the VLED221wm LED screen relies on individual LEDs throughout the screen that are switched off or on independently, giving the display more precise control over the amount of light coming through the screen. The real advantages of LED backlighting are better energy efficiency, more accurate color reproduction, possibly a thinner panel design and a higher level of potential brightness. Unfortunately, the VLED221wm does not take this advantage. Although its color reproduction is good in movies and games, it is not level above a good CCFL-based monitor like the Gateway HD2201. Also, its brightness is lower than most monitors. We are currently unable to verify energy efficiency, so it is unknown how well the VLED221wm meets PowerSonic’s power requirements.

Manufacturer Specifications:
Resolution: 1680×1.050 pixels
Pixel Response Rate: 5ms
Contrast: 1000: 1
Brightness: 250cd / m2
Connection: DVI, VGA
HDCP compatible? So
Video cables included? DVI

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We tested the ViewSonic VLED221wm with its DVI connection. The display showed a stacked score of 86 on tests based on a CNET lab display compared to the 22-inch HD2201 gateway, which also scored 86. The brightest issue with VLED221wm was color. The display failed in our low color saturation tests and the 64-256 color ramp, each looking for a noticeable compression or extension at the dark and light ends of the scale, as well as a linear transition from dark to light. The VLED221wm linear transition was rather gloomy instead; display dark lines where they should be light.

According to our test, ViewSonic VLED221wm posted a brightness of 245 cand. Per square meter (cd / m2), which is less than the maximum 250 cd / m2 stated by ViewSonic and well below the 289 cd / m2 Gateway HD2201 brightness indicator Our tested contrast rating for VLED221wm was slightly lower than we expected at 817 : 1, shy ViewSonic 1000 requirements: 1. However, keep in mind that the methodology used by most manufacturers to determine the contrast ratio is unknown; you can read about the CNET lab methodology here. Although the VLED221wm’s brightness / contrast ratio is relatively low, it did not lead to poor image quality.

World of Warcraft on ViewSonic VLED221wm looked clear and colorful. WoW looks great on almost every monitor we test. Unfortunately, viewing the game from below the optimum viewing angle made the screen darker to the point that we didn’t see the graphic details of the game – typical of most TN panels and had nothing to do with game performance.

Performance on the DVD “Kill Bill Vol. 1” on ViewSonic VLED221wm turned out to be good due to its low black display; however, it has a certain red impulse (where red is emphasized more than green or blue), which we could not get rid of by changing the color temperature. As a result, the faces of some of the characters look as if they are a little flattered, even when they haven’t done so. Unfortunately, at the bottom of the screen (the bottom black strip of the movie with the lettering) the backlight is visible quite clearly. We didn’t notice any stripes or ghosts, and the screen remained sharp for DVD.

The Blu-ray version of 1080p House of Flying Daggers looked good for the same reasons mentioned above; however, the red jolt was still apparent.

With our tests, we determined that the best setting for viewing games and movies on the ViewSonic VLED221wm is a color temperature of 9300 kb with a contrast ratio of about one quarter and brightness based on high eye settings. We stopped at maximum brightness.

The built-in speakers, located at the bottom of the panel, produce decent sound but lack the bass. However, it has enough volume to clearly hear the dialogue in the movie unless you are within 10 feet of an ordinary room with a volume level.

The optimum viewing angle for the monitor is usually directly in front, about a quarter of the screen down from the top. From this angle, you view the colors and gamut by destination. Most manufacturers do not make the monitors look at any other angle. The image quality at sub-optimal angle depends on the type of panel. Most monitors use TN panels that are too bright or too dark on parts of the screen when viewed from sub-optimal angles. The ViewSonic VLED221wm uses a TN panel, and when viewed from the side or bottom, the screen seemed to darken only a couple of inches from the optimum. Of course, when viewed from the optimum angle, we had no problems.

Juice box
ViewSonic VLED22wm Average watts per hour
On (Default Luminance) 43.41
On (Max Luminance) 43.41
On (Min Luminance) 10.26
Sleep 0.51
Calibrated (200 cd/m2) 28.37
Score Fair
Annual energy cost (@$0.1135/kWh) $13.30

Brightness (cd / m2)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

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Gateway HD2201
292 NEC AccuSync LCD22WMGX
281 Samsung SyncMaster T220
265 Dell SP2208WFP
258 ViewSonic VLED221wm

Contrast ratio
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

928:1 Dell SP2208WFP
927:1 Samsung SyncMaster T220
894:1 Gateway HD2201
856:1 ViewSonic VLED221wm

DisplayMate performance
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Dell SP2208WFP
90 ViewSonic VLED221wm
86 Gateway HD2201
84 Samsung SyncMaster T220
83 NEC AccuSync LCD22WMGX

Learn more about how we test LCD monitors.

Service and support
The ViewSonic VLED221wm comes with a durable coating, including a three-year warranty covering parts, labor and lighting. The company offers 24 -7 free technical support and email support. However, there is no support for web chats like some other providers. Navigating the ViewSonic website and finding the drivers and user guide was easy and easy.

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