ViewSonic XG2401 FreeSync Monitor Review
With its combination of 144Hz refresh rate, easy-to-drive resolution, decent if not stellar color fidelity and its reliance upon AMD’s FreeSync technology the ViewSonic XG2401 is best described as a competent gaming monitor which has flashes of brilliance. . This may not sound like the accolade it truly is but you have to take into account this is one of the few value orientated monitors which hits well above its weight category when it comes to features and general usability.
The fact of the matter is most inexpensive monitors are not just inexpensive, but are cheap. The XG2491 on the other hand may not cost all that much but it doesn’t feel like too many corners were cut to achieve such a low price point. Throughout testing we were impressed with how much ViewSonic has been able to offer consumers for less than what many decent video cards cost. Obviously, ‘PC Master Race’ type buyers will turn their nose up at some elements like FreeSync instead of G-SYNC, the 1080P resolution, and the use of a panel that is best described as ‘OK’.
This is perfectly fine as not everyone wants to afford a new monitor that costs upwards of $500. In fact, most people really don’t want to spend that much money on a monitor, and fewer still want to spend a lot for the monitor and then just as much on video horsepower. This is the consumer that the ViewSonic XG2401 is targeting with laser-like precision. They’ll truly appreciate what it has to offer.
FreeSync is a true blessing for the XG2401 since it can effectively eliminate tearing and judder up to 144Hz with only moderate motion blur. It provides a rather enjoyable, and immersive gaming experience. More importantly some really good deals can be found on AMD video cards right now. Simply put, if you have $500 or $600 to spend on a new video card and monitor, the XG2401 combined with an AMD Radeon R9 380 will gives years of inexpensive gaming enjoyment. Just take note of the high “starting” point for this monitor’s FreeSync range.
Unfortunately what keeps Viewsonic’s inexpensive option from being a phenomenal deal is three-fold. First and foremost, their reliance on this particular TN panel may allow for ultra-fast 144Hz refresh rates and a 1ms response rate, but it really does need a good amount of color massaging to be truly useable. In its default out of the box state the XG2401’s colors and gamma profile can be best described as poor. While expecting a monitor to be factory calibrated in this price range is a non-starter ViewSonic does need to at least make an effort to have their monitor reproduce an acceptable RGB spectrum – instead of the mishmash the XG2401 produces. Luckily, it can be mostly corrected by eye, though getting the panel to optimal levels will require a colorimeter.
We also have some concerns over the level of backlight bleed. Once again the level of bleed on our sample can be charitably called tolerable, but on a monitor that was launched recently, it just isn’t acceptable, particularly when competitors like Nixeus have offered substantially better results. There is no excuse for this much backlight bleed, and any monitor at any price should do better than this.
In the end the ViewSonic XG2401 is a very good monitor for its price range but one will that not be right for everyone. As long as you can accept the decisions ViewSonic made in order to make their XG2401 this inexpensive it is a strong competitor that deserves a long hard look.