A leading brand in PC monitors, ViewSonic’s products are a common sight in corporate offices because of various factors such as affordability, reliability, and a well-established sales and service network in India. The company’s offerings include basic home and office monitors, gaming monitors, touchscreen monitors, and entertainment-friendly, high-resolution monitors. The ViewSonic product I’m reviewing here is an entertainment-focused option that claims to be well suited for both productivity and leisure use.
Priced at Rs. 28,990 in India, the ViewSonic 32-inch 4K Entertainment Monitor (VX3211-4K-mhd) is a simple but capable option for anyone looking to invest in a large, high-resolution monitor. As the name suggests, the monitor has a 32-inch Ultra-HD (3840×2160-pixel) TFT-LCD screen, and you also get built-in speakers and decent connectivity options. Is this the most versatile monitor you can buy for less than Rs. 30,000? Find out in this review.
ViewSonic 32-inch 4K Entertainment Monitor (VX3211-4K-mhd) design
Practically every mainstream television today has a 16:9 aspect ratio, since this is the most commonly used format for content. This ensures that a screen can fit different types of content without leaving too much blank area or image warping. It is therefore no surprise that ViewSonic would pick this aspect ratio for an entertainment-focused monitor. At this size, it also permits a proper Ultra-HD (3840×2160-pixel) resolution.
The ViewSonic 32-inch monitor looks quite like a similarly-sized television would in most regards, and indeed even works much like one, just without the smarts you might expect. There are thin borders around the screen, and the monitor sits on a one-piece, centre-mounted table stand that is interestingly pre-attached in the sales package. You can also VESA-mount the monitor if you choose, but a wall-mount kit isn’t included.
My review unit came with two 1.5m power cables with different style plugs, and a 1.5m HDMI cable in the box. Strangely, one of the power cables had a large 16A plug instead of the more commonly used 6A plugs that fit into most Indian sockets. The second power cable in the box had a US-style three-pin plug, and I was fortunately able to use it with an adapter.
The pre-fixed stand is quite wide – nearly the entire width of the monitor itself – and therefore needs a wide enough table to be placed on. However, it’s a solid and well-built metal stand, and this does make the whole setup feel very stable. There is scope to tilt the screen 13 degrees backwards and 5 degrees forwards. You can, of course, remove the stand quite easily if you want to wall-mount the monitor or use a VESA-compatible arm.
At the back of the ViewSonic monitor are two 2.5W speakers for stereo sound, along with six buttons to control the device’s menus. The markings for the buttons are on the front, and apart from the power button at the bottom, the rest are dynamic and their functions change according to your on-screen selections. That said, I found it quite hard to navigate or control anything on the monitor using these buttons since I couldn’t see what I was pressing, and often ended up pressing the wrong ones.
The ports and sockets on the ViewSonic 32-inch 4K Entertainment monitor are all at the back and face downwards, which I found a bit inconvenient. The options include two HDMI 2.0 ports, one DisplayPort 1.4 input, and a 3.5mm socket to reroute audio. You can of course use headphones including Bluetooth ones directly with any source device you have connected. USB Type-C with power delivery would have been nice, but I wouldn’t call its absence a flaw at this price.
ViewSonic 32-inch 4K Entertainment Monitor (VX3211-4K-mhd) specifications and features
The ViewSonic 4K Entertainment Monitor has a 32-inch Vertical Alignment (VA) TFT-LCD screen, with support for high dynamic range content up to the HDR10 format. The monitor has a peak brightness of 300nits, and a standard refresh rate of 60Hz. Viewsonic claims that this monitor’s colour reproduction ability covers 95 percent of the NTSC colour gamut. All of these specifications make for a good productivity display for your computer or laptop, as well as a ‘television’ of sorts, provided you have the appropriate source device(s) to connect to it.
Disappointingly, the ViewSonic 32-inch monitor does not come with a remote, and all interactions with the menus have to be done through the fiddly and difficult buttons at the back.
Other key features include AMD FreeSync compatibility, a blue light filter for eye care, an energy-saving ‘Eco’ mode for reduced power consumption, and different picture presets which include Game, Web, Movie, Text, Monochrome, and MacOS. HDR can be set to auto mode and is triggered when HDR content is detected by the monitor.
ViewSonic 32-inch 4K Entertainment Monitor (VX3211-4K-mhd) performance
The ViewSonic 32-inch 4K Entertainment Monitor (VX3211-4K-mhd) is suitable for entertainment thanks to the 16:9 aspect ratio, Ultra-HD resolution, HDR10 support, and built-in speakers, much like the Samsung M7 monitor that I recently reviewed. Even so, the screen and picture quality are set up for use primarily as a monitor.
The major difference between the two though, lies in Viewsonic’s lack of smarts, which explains the considerable price difference between them. The ViewSonic offers a basic screen with no native UI, apps, or connectivity, and relies on your source devices for all content. This can easily be overcome by connecting a decent streaming device to the ViewSonic monitor, or even watching videos through your connected computer.
I had the ViewSonic 32-inch 4K Entertainment Monitor set up with the Realme Book Slim for most of this review, using a DisplayPort-to-USB Type-C cable. This allowed Windows to scale to the Ultra-HD resolution of the monitor, at 60Hz. I also had a MacBook Air connected using the monitor’s HDMI port to test the picture-in-picture mode, and a Xiaomi Mi Box 4K to directly stream Ultra-HD HDR content.
Although it might seem as though the lack of smarts is a drawback, it actually isn’t. As long as you have the right devices to handle connectivity and treat the monitor as a typical non-smart TV, it’s a workable and convenient solution, especially given the lack of a remote. That said, making any adjustments to the picture quality or monitor settings, including adjusting the volume, activating picture-in-picture mode, and changing the picture mode, was quite a hassle.
Picture-in-picture mode is useful if you have two source devices connected simultaneously. It worked well for watching videos in a secondary (and much smaller) window, while using the rest of the screen as my primary computer. The PiP display was too small to read text or actively work on a secondary computer as it’s not resizable. I preferred to switch to my MacBook Air as the primary source and use it full-screen when needed.
The size and resolution of the monitor make it great for reading, editing pictures, and occasional collaboration and group tasks such as drafting letters, creating notes, and video calls. I did feel that the colours of the ViewSonic 4K Monitor were a bit warm, but the screen was sharp and held its own even at angles and under the glare of daylight.
The monitor worked well for me as a reference screen during productive hours, and sometimes for writing and editing text. The high resolution made for very easy legibility of textual content, and the experience was expectedly good when watching videos and looking at pictures. I had the monitor set up around three feet away from where I was sitting, and I found this to be the ideal distance for one of this size.
With the Mi Box 4K connected, I was able to stream movies and TV shows. Picture quality was good when viewed from a short distance, and HDR mode was activated automatically when the monitor detected such content. HDR videos appeared to be a bit brighter and had more impactful colours in Netflix shows such as Somebody Feed Phil, but the differences weren’t significant.
The ViewSonic monitor came in handy as an additional television of sorts in my home, but many might even find it usable as a primary TV for post-work entertainment. I did find it a bit troublesome to control volume on the monitor because of the lack of a remote, and also found its 5W speaker system to be rather underwhelming. These speakers are good enough for the occasional casual videos on YouTube, but I preferred to use headphones or separate speakers for a better entertainment experience.
There is nothing exceptional about the ViewSonic 32-inch 4K Entertainment Monitor (VX3211-4K-mhd), which I feel is okay for one that is expected to be an everyday workhorse. It has the specifications that matter such as a good size, high screen resolution, and decent connectivity options. It performs well as a monitor, given its price. Features such as HDR support and a picture-in-picture mode justify its entertainment-friendly credentials.
That said, there are some drawbacks, including the lack of a remote control, underwhelming sound quality from the built-in speakers, and potential compatibility issues with the bundled power cord. If you can find workarounds for these, or can work around them, the ViewSonic 4K Entertainment Monitor is a good option to consider, especially for working professionals with limited space at home who might want a monitor that can double up as a TV.