Monitors are the hardware a lot of gamers probably undervalue. The ViewSonic VG2401mh 24” LCD gaming monitor is the one that looks to change that. If you are not an avid FPS gamer you might not notice how valuable a fast refresh rate and low latency is for a monitor. Behind the idea is that, if your screen shows you new frames quicker than your opponents and you have a graphic card that can deliver said frames, you have the upper hand and the kill (if you can then aim).
The VG2401mh has the mentioned above and has tailored it very closely to the First Person Shooter gamer. With just a 1ms response time and a refresh rate of 144hz, it is by far one of the quickest monitors on the market.
Packaging is fairly standard with a power cable, DVI cable, 3.5mm lead and a USB cable. All used to help better connect the monitors many different connectivity options to your PC and there are many. With 2x HDMI, DVI, 2 USB 3.0 ports, headphone jack (in and out) and DisplayPort, the monitor caters for most gamers. The only thing missing annoyingly, is the HDMI cable. At the higher end of the market and for the price point, it would make sense to throw in at least a HDMI cable which are like £1.
Overall colour is good out the box, using a TN panel to get best performance and a decent colour pallet. The only thing it could be is too bright, even at half it was far too much and I had to reduce it to about 36 percent and change the colour temperature. Contrast ratio for the VG2401mh is pretty high and allows for more refined shading and the black levels were also decent. Overall colour compared to a 120Hz monitor was good, there is some colour loss but it is very minor and this is due to the panel being a 120Hz panel overclocked to 144hz. Sacrificing a little colour is the only way at the moment to get better refresh rates and the loss is minimal so it is a good trade-off for a performance boost.
Buttons on the VG2401mh are touch sensitive and you will find at times, you will press twice as it seems not to register well on a light touch. It is not the end of the world but is something you need to get used to the pressure and placement of “invisible” buttons. The USB hub is extremely useful and is achieved by sacrificing one USB port your PC, allowing you to plug in headphone, phone charger, you name it. Built into the monitor are dual 3w speakers and while useable they are no replacement for a decent headset or 5/7.1 surround sound.
The stand is useful to get the exact height you need and being able to change it from landscape mode to portrait offers a different viewing perspective for the gamer or someone who uses digital editing programs like Photoshop.
First performance impressions, VG2401mh is a smooth looking monitor even when just using it for everyday tasks such as checking emails, browsing Facebook and writing this review in Word. Playing it in game is where it really shines. Battlefield 4 was the smoothest I had ever played and even though it may have been placebo, my kill death ratio did seem to be better. More so was the visibility, even without the monitor’s special Game Mode function I was able to see subtle changes in the map easier. Activating Game Mode which turns up gamma and brightness made low light areas clear as day and seeing enemies across the map was little effort, even in the darkest corridor or building. As to be expect this mode is for functionality so colour is washed out so it is perfect for the most competitive gamer.
ViewSonic pushing to the FPS market have also implemented a built in cross hair mode. At a press of a button a red or white crosshair is placed dead centre of the screen. Allowing you to always have a crosshair even when shooting from the hip. I tried out the function and while it was useful and a smart idea, the competitive gamer will only see this as a gimmick as they are good enough to know where the cross would be without a visual aid. FPS gamers finding their footing or coming back to the genre will probably find this function much more valuable and make them more equal.
Non FPS games still benefited from the VG2401mh gaming monitor. Everything was crisp, smooth and there was no screen tearing or frame rate issues. Dragon Age Inquisition looked beautifully vibrant when traversing the terrain an easy task without feeling motion sick. Playing older games like BioShock benefited from the monitor again with just the overall smoothness and the ability to see well in dark scenes which for a game like BioShock is very… helpful (damn spider splicers).
Overall ViewSonic’s 24” gaming monitor is a worthy companion for the FPS gamer because of its quick times and smoothness. Technically advantaged with frames rendering quicker and the Game Mode being a quick fire way to see everything. The price point might be high for some at £250 but a gamer looking to up their game will be happy with the trade. Even though aimed at FPS gamers it is a well-rounded gaming monitor with 3D compatibility if you use it and should last you with the 3 years warranty. For advanced Photoshoppers and artists who also do a little gaming, although useable is not the right monitor for exact colour due to the overclocked panel.