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ViewSonic VOT125 PC Mini and VX2739wm Monitor - Hands-On Usage

We pair ViewSonic's new energy-efficient, Atom-powered VOT125 Mini PC with the "world's first" 27-inch, 1ms HD LCD monitor.

| SFF PCs in Computer Systems | Posted: Jul 19, 2010 6:38 am
TweakTown Rating: 79%      Manufacturer: ViewSonic

Hands-On Usage

 

We found the VOT125 perfectly capable of handling nearly any general/office computing task we asked of it. Though the machine is by no means a multimedia powerhouse, it performed admirably when playing music in iTunes or streaming Pandora. Likewise, it handled video clips on YouTube and Hulu without any glitches.

 

However, despite the monitor's "SRS Premium Sound" technology, we had a far more pleasurable listening and viewing experience when using headphones, rather than using the harsh, trebly built-in speakers.

 

The machine did sometimes have difficulty playing back high-def content, depending on the size of the media file and if any other applications were running.

 

The VX2739wm monitor has an "ECO-mode" that, according to ViewSonic, lowers its energy consumption by as much as 30%, the practical effect of which is a significantly dimmer picture. While this setting was fine in a medium- to low-light situation, we much preferred a brighter image when using the monitor during the daytime.

 

The VOT125 will run Warcraft, although just barely and only on the lowest graphics settings. So as far as gaming goes, you'd better like the casual variety.

 

Both the computer and the monitor have HDMI connectivity, so we wanted to test that out. Connecting the two with a HDMI cable produced a slightly overscanned image (i.e. the Windows desktop image didn't fit completely on the screen. It lost a bit around the edges, almost completely obscuring the Start button and system tray).

 

Using the Intel Graphics and Media control panel, we bumped the resolution down from 1920x1080 to 1680x1050 and the image fit the dimensions of the screen. This was not the case when using the DVI connection. While this isn't a huge loss of resolution, it did result in the image having a somewhat squashed appearance and also caused text to appear blurry in some places.

 

TweakTown image content/3/4/3404_22.png

 

Since the monitor is 1080p capable, it's unfortunate that we couldn't get that resolution from the VOT125 using the HDMI connection. We connected the monitor via HDMI to both a PlayStation3 as well as a gaming-PC and had no problems with 1920x1080 resolution.

 

Gaming on this monitor was a real pleasure, by the way. The image is as crisp as any we've ever seen and motion blur was negligible. Could we tell the difference between 1ms response time and 2ms? - Not really. But that doesn't take away from the fact that the VX2739wm makes a great gaming monitor. It did great with Blu-ray movies, as well.

 

Trying to isolate the scaling issue, we connected the VOT125 via HDMI to a 50" Plasma TV. We experienced the same overscan problem at 1920x1080, but this time the 1680x1050 option was grayed out. Furthermore, selecting some of the available lower-resolution options caused the VOT125 to crash. After much fiddling, including trying to fix the overscan problem with the TV's image scaler, we were never able to get a proper aspect ratio.

 

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