Buying a screen, frankly, used to be a rather dull experience. One large, bland CRT tended to look pretty much the same as another. But since the flat-panel has stormed into the mainstream, manufacturers have worked around the clock to bring users the latest and greatest designs and features. The VX1945wm is ViewSonic's latest assault on the market, and it comes with a feature set that marks it out as the best all-round entertainment flat-panel on the market.
The ViewSonic is lovingly moulded from the most polished plastic money can buy, and its swish curves make quite a statement. But the design is functional as well. A proper volume dial is conveniently placed on the front of the base, as is a microphone. And that's not all you'll find within easy reach, because the ViewSonic works as a four-port USB hub (three of the ports adorn the front of the base). Around the side you'll find an 8-in-1 memory card reader.
But long before your eyes come to settle on any of these (undoubtedly interesting) features, your attention will almost certainly be drawn to the ViewSonic's real jaw-dropper – the iPod dock. A selection of adapters is included, allowing you to drop any Apple music player into the dock, and you can instantly access all of your audio and video files. The speakers are considerably better than those normally built into flat-panels, so your listening experience should be a pleasant one. You can even charge up your iPod or update files.
Fancy features aside, the ViewSonic is a rather good screen in its own right. The widescreen resolution works smoothly, the screen is relatively well focused and colours are fairly rich. While the image quality isn't the best on the market, it's still pleasing to the eye. And the 5ms response rate means games shouldn't suffer blurring.