Long seen as a panacea for the ills of LCD technology, the reduction of response rates has recently been seized upon by manufacturers eager to give buyers a compelling reason to pick their screen. At least that's been the case in the 17in category, where such issues have long been settled. Move into the 19in arena, though, and ViewSonic could have an exciting product in the VP191s.
Response rates measure how quickly the screen can change the colour of a pixel. Slower speeds mean parts of the previous image will be left, creating blurring. Somewhere between 8ms and 12ms is the ideal for smooth animation - 17in LCDs have seen such rates for months, while CRT monitor owners have been enjoying them for years. Even today, however, many 19in screens only manage a poor 25ms. If you want to play games or watch movies, 25ms probably won't be enough for good results.
Enter the VP191s, a screen that matches the 8ms response rate favoured by CRTs. In our testing, the ViewSonic proved itself adept at displaying fast-moving images and games, and while we maintain that there's little real difference between this and a rate of 12ms, the VP191s still stands out in the jungle of 25ms models in the 19in category.
And the VP191s isn't just about response rates. The 800:1 contrast ratio is excellent, helping the ViewSonic produce vibrant, colourful images and clear text. The ViewSonic has impressive looks, and its 7.5kg frame makes it one of the lighter 19in screens we've seen. Viewing angles could be wider - you need to be facing it dead-on to get the best image - but this model gives you a lot for the money.