The V3D231 is a 60 Hz, TN-panel 23” display with 1080p resolution that also does 3D. Most will be happy to hear that it has a matte finish on the display, but due to the passive 3D technology, it also has a patterned retarder on the screen. This is necessary to produce the polarized image to allow for 3D with the included glasses, but it also produces a texture to the display that is clearly visible from normal distances. Some people might not be bothered by this, but I know that I always have been. It’s more apparent on bright images I find, but as most monitors will be used with web pages, word processors, and spreadsheets, there are a lot of white backgrounds that will accentuate it.

Since passive 3D only needs simple polarized glasses, ViewSonic has included both a pair of glasses and a clip-on polarizer for people that normally wear glasses. The clip-on option is very nice as many active glasses do a poor job of fitting for people that have to wear glasses in daily life, making 3D hard for them to watch at all. I wish they had included an extra pair of the regular glasses so two people could watch something at once, but given the screen size they might have thought that was an unlikely situation. ViewSonic has also included a copy of the TriDef3D software that enables most of your games to take advantage of the monitor.

The inputs on the ViewSonic are what you might expect, with HDMI, DVI, and DSub, along with both audio in and headphone out audio jacks. I still don’t understand why all manufacturers continue to place the headphone out on the rear of the monitor where it is hard to reach instead of on the bottom or side of the display, where you could more easily access it. The only ergonomic adjustment available on the display is tilt, but it does have VESA mounting holes if you wish to add your own stand for more adjustments.

The OSD is controlled by four buttons located in the center of the monitor. ViewSonic has had the same menu control system for as long as I can recall, and nothing here has really changed about that. The Up Arrow also functions as a shortcut to the 3D mode selection, and the Down Arrow is a shortcut to the volume control. Little labels to indicate this would have been nice to have on the front panel, so you didn’t need to look it up in the manual or discover it accidentally. I should also note here that the bezel of the monitor is a very glossy black, which does reflect back a decent amount of glare as well as attract fingerprints. All of the controls I would typically look for in an OSD are available, including being able to set a custom white balance.

The tilt mechanism of the ViewSonic is pretty stiff and takes some effort to move it to where you want it, which also makes fine adjustments hard to do. I’d also prefer that the markings for LED, HDMI, and 1080p on the front of the monitor be removable once the buyer has the monitor at home, but they seem to be silkscreened onto the bezel. It’s curious that they have those, but no label that mentions it is a 3D display.

Viewsonic V3D231
Video Inputs HDMI 1.4a, DVI, Dsub
Panel Type TN
Pixel Pitch 0.265 mm
Colors 16.7 million
Brightness 250 nits typical
Contrast Ratio 1,000:1 typical, 20,000,000:1 Dynamic
Response Time 2ms GTG
Viewable Size 23"
Resolution 1920x1080
Viewing Angle 170º horizontal, 160º vertical
Backlight LED
Power Consumption (operation) 36W normal, 26W Eco mode
Power Consumption (standby) < 1W
Screen Treatment Anti-Glare type, Hard-coating
Height-Adjustable No
Tilt Yes
Pivot No
Swivel No
VESA Wall Mounting Yes, 100mm
Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD) 21.6 x 15.3 x 7.5
Weight 7.9 lbs.
Additional Features Passive 3D, 2x2W speakers, 3.5mm stereo input, headphone output
Limited Warranty Three years on parts, labor, and backlight
Accessories 2 pairs 3D glases, power cable, audio cable, VGA cable, DVI cable, TriDef 3D software
Price Online starting at $279.00

Overall, the passive 3D feature is the main feature that sets the ViewSonic V3D231 apart from other displays on the market today. Pricing is higher than non-3D displays, but it's also quite a bit less than active-3D 120Hz displays. Of course, whether it's actually a better display or not is what we want to determine.

Viewing Angles and Color Quality
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  • MattM_Super - Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - link

    I also disagree with you about 60hz flicker not being perceptible. 60hz CRTs drove me nuts and the flicker in Nividia's 3d vision is similarly annoying. I don't seem to have any problems with theater 3d using polarized glasses.
    As far as 60hz vs 120hz LCDs go, 60hz monitors don't flicker noticeably since they are continuously lit. However, 120hz (with 120fps) has less tearing and ghosting in horizontally moving shapes and clearer textures when turning or strafing in 1st person games
  • MattM_Super - Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - link

    I should add that 60hz flicker is like a very high pitched tone. Some people can hear a loud annoying eeeeee, while others just don't hear anything at all. I know people (myself included) who instantly notice when they sit down in-front of a 60hz CRT (or any CRT set to 60hz) and others who can't tell a difference in a blind test.
  • robinthakur - Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - link

    Completely agree. The first monitor I got years ago supported 60Hz, 100Hz and 120Hz. At 60, viewing was flickery and uncomfortable with ahigh pitched CRT whine, at 100 was smooth and 120 was a dream. Even if the display switched back to 100Hz without me initially realising, I soon got a feeling that it wasn't as smooth as it could be. In the same way, I find it incredibly hard to like games which play at less than 60fps. The difference is absolutely noticeable, and enhances everything about the game's animation when it is at or above 60. I probably got this from the Dreamcast with its VGA box and refused to play games that didn't support it because they were the games which didn't run at 60fps (with the exception of the Capcom fighters) lol
  • robinthakur - Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - link

    I'm afraid, as an owner of both passive 3d and Active 3d TV's I would completely disagree with you. I owned a Panasonic VT30 50" Active 3D display and got absolutely sick of the headaches, eye-strain, dim images and flickering I got from my window behind the TV. In addition, you have to charge the glasses all the time and have a spare set available in case the charge goes flat whilst watching a movie. At £50 per set, they were too expensive to buy a large enough number for the family to watch TV at the same time, so the feature was used very sparingly.

    I happened to see an LG passive screen at my mate's house a couple of months ago and had my eyes opened to the potential of 3D in the home. After having slagged off his choice for the 'halved' vertical resolution, I had to admit my mistake as it was so comfortable watching the image and at the correct viewing distance, I couldn't perceive any negative effects such as obvious line structure from the FPR. The long and the short is that I have replaced my Panasonic with a shiny new LG passive Cinema 3D set (which comes with 7 pairs of glasses) and would not go back if they paid me. We now watch a great deal of 3D OTA and Blu Ray 3D programming and it has made the format people-friendly.

    The choice might not be superior on paper, hence my original purchasing decision, but it is borderline scandalous that they majority face of 3D in the home at this time is a technology which is simply more trouble than it is worth for the majority of normal people without dedicated Home cinemas. Samsung/Sony/Pansonic et al risk the failure of the whole 3D industry with their current technology IMO.

    This Viewsonic display is not best of breed either when it comes to passive, so don't write off the technology based on it.
  • Sabresiberian - Friday, December 30, 2011 - link

    LG makes IPS panels with what they call film-type pattern retarder (FPR) technology. I'm not sure how that is different from what this monitor has, or if it's even different.

    I'm not thrilled with the idea of these monitors because they don't use or promote 120Hz screens, which is something I'd really like to see become an industry standard. I'm also rather disappointed to see interlacing make a comeback, I thought that was dead. Still it offers something for those who can't use the shutter based 3D, which is a good thing, I think.

    The most important part, for me, though is that LG is using this on IPS panels. It's the first time 3D has been sold on an IPS panel, and that is, in my opinion, good progress and I congratulate LG for that.

    Hopefully, LG will see fit to send Anandtech a panel for testing purposes.

  • Conficio - Friday, December 30, 2011 - link

    Which model is the LG IPS 3D Display?
  • Death666Angel - Saturday, December 31, 2011 - link

    LG 27" DM92 will be an IPS with 3D capabilities and 1440p resolution. At least that's what the news say. We'll know more when CES comes.
  • Earballs - Sunday, January 1, 2012 - link

    "I'm not thrilled with the idea of these monitors because they don't use or promote 120Hz screens, which is something I'd really like to see become an industry standard"

    + all the rep in the world
  • robinthakur - Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - link

    Why can't we have 120fps IPS passive screens? I'm holding out for that because I can't use Active 3D due to the headache inducing flicker I can perceive (the same reason I can't watch DLP projected images using a colour wheel - I see rainbows)
  • imaheadcase - Friday, December 30, 2011 - link

    I don't know anyone who even cared about 3d movies, let alone to see one specifically for that.

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