The Good Elegant design; decent image quality; USB hub and memory card reader.
The Bad Rubbish speakers.
The Bottom Line ViewDock benefits from above average image quality, but it is far from perfect: its “piano-black” processing is very prone to collecting gloomy fingerprints, its sound quality is extraordinary, and it requires two power cords. In addition, it is noteworthy
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We were more than a little perplexed when ViewSonic told us that it was making a monitor with a built-in iPod dock. We can understand the logic behind this – it will reduce cable clutter, increase convenience and stand out from the crowd – but we still found it difficult to accept this concept. With a sense of awe we advanced to the inspection.
ViewDock is pretty eye-catching. It is mostly finished with a “piano-black” coating that looks great – though it is very prone to fingerprint picking. We like the layout of the double bezels – one glossy inner panel and a too thin silver outer panel. We also like the glossy control buttons, which, although difficult to see, are very easy to use.
The base of the monitor has an iPod dock that is framed with the same silver plastic as the outer bezel. The docking station is equipped with a variety of iPod adapters with connectivity that fit any iPod that prohibits movement and new nano. To the left of the dock is a built-in subwoofer port, as well as a volume control wheel, a headphone port, a built-in microphone, and three front USB ports. To the right of the base, you’ll find an 8-in-1 memory card reader that supports the most popular formats.
Behind – a pair of cable-wrapped hoops located on a leg that separates the screen from the base. Cables can be routed either to DVI inputs or to D-Sub, and updated that ViewSonic included both types of cables in the box – most manufacturers only supply D-Sub. The back of the base also houses an optional USB port, as well as audio input and output ports that route audio from your PC’s sound card to the built-in microphone and headphone port in the front.
The overall quality of the display is good. The screen has a brightness of 300 cd / m2, which is about average, and its response time of 5ms helps to make sure that there were no noticeable ghosts during fast movies or games. We were also impressed with its color reproduction – all the shades across the spectrum were accurately displayed. Its sufficient native resolution of 1440×900 pixels provides plenty of screen real estate, so you can work on multiple documents at a glance.
It’s not all peaches and cream. ViewDock suffers from a somewhat limited viewing angle. This is hardly noticeable in everyday use, but during our DisplayMate tests, it became apparent that almost black and almost white tones would appear both solid black and solid white, depending on where you are sitting.
ViewDock causes large cable clutter. The monitor requires two separate power cables – one for the screen itself and the other for the docking station. Then there’s the USB cable for the USB Hub Hub functionality and finally the audio cables that run from the sound card of your PC to the back of the screen.
Audio or video cannot be played unless the PC is turned on and iTunes is running and the sound quality is very low on the corresponding note. You can expect the ViewDock to have decent audio quality, especially since it has a built-in subwoofer – but it’s not. It’s rubbish. The sound sounds muffled, and the bass can hardly speak.
ViewDock benefits from above average image quality, but it’s far from perfect. Its “piano-black” finish is very prone to gaining soggy fingerprints, its sound quality is amazing, and so requires two separate power cables outside of us.
Besides, there is very little guilt here. It’s priced well, and we like that it has a four-port USB hub and an 8-in-1 memory card reader.
Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Kate Maysfield