With their slim-line frames and sober styling, some flat-panels are born to melt into the background. Others, though, are more like the ViewSonic VG2030wm.

Big, brash and startling, if not exactly a work of beauty, the VG2030wm commands your attention. In part this is due to the massive speakers in the bottom half of the flat-panel. Offering fairly strong audio quality, these make a good riposte to those who say integrated speakers aren’t worth bothering with. The ViewSonic's slightly exaggerated curves also add to its rather overpowering appearance.

Given the size of the case, the 20in screen is perhaps slightly disappointing – these days, 22in seems almost mainstream – but it's sizeable enough, and the native resolution stretches to an impressive 1,680x1,050.

Other hardware specifications are pretty decent. The 800:1 contrast ratio and 300cd/m2 brightness match those offered by the chart-topping Philips Brilliance 200W6CS/00, and the response rate is better. Gamers will be pleased to know that no matter how quickly the images change the picture will remain smooth.

You don't get any 'serious' built-in features, such as pivot. Neither are USB ports included, although the stand is height-adjustable. The menu system is very clear but, while the small buttons look nice, it's too easy to press the wrong one by mistake.

Image quality was thoroughly impressive. We noticed small problems with the focus consistency – particularly towards the corners of the screen – but this is nit-picking. On the whole, the colour palette was vivid without being over the top, while text was sharp and easy to read. ViewSonic could have made it easier to change the colour modes, but the bottom line is that this is a very good screen for image quality.

ViewSonic VG2030wm: Specs

  • 20in flat-panel
  • native res 1,680x1,050
  • pixel pitch 0.258mm
  • contrast ratio 800:1
  • viewing angle 170/170 degrees
  • brightness 300cd/m2
  • DVI
  • speakers
  • 2-year warranty
  • response time 5ms
  • 493x230x557mm
  • 7kg
  • 20in flat-panel
  • native res 1,680x1,050
  • pixel pitch 0.258mm
  • contrast ratio 800:1
  • viewing angle 170/170 degrees
  • brightness 300cd/m2
  • DVI
  • speakers
  • 2-year warranty
  • response time 5ms
  • 493x230x557mm
  • 7kg

OUR VERDICT

A pretty high-quality 20in screen for £270 represents good value for money. The ViewSonic's looks won't be to everybody's taste, but this is a very decent model that packs in plenty of colour and a sizeable work area.

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