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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  • thebeastie - Friday, December 30, 2011 - link

    So what is technically over say 1 second the effective resolution?
    Does it flick between the half res to provide a full resolution over 2 frames?

    If so does it seem we are over complaining about ithis type of 3d passive technology since technologies like CRT actually only have 1 pixel on the screen in a single point in time but I don't see people ever complaining how crap the resolution is on CRT simple because there is only 1 dot on the screen if you use a super fast camera to capture it.

    If it similar to CRT where you see the full resolution because your eyes/brain are not fast enough to see the single dot or half resolution then it sounds like a really great technology and people are just being silly spec heads about and not 'seeing the full picture', no pun intended.
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, December 31, 2011 - link

    I believe the way passive 3D works is that two 1080p images are taken, then half the lines are dropped from each, and simultaneously the LCD displays a single 1080p image with half the lines polarized so that the left eye doesn't see them and the other half polarized the opposite direction so the right eye doesn't see them.
  • Zap - Saturday, December 31, 2011 - link

    Heh, this reminds me of the 22" IZ3D monitor we have sitting in a closet here. It also used polarized glasses, but the monitor actually has two LCD panels in it so you get full resolution.
  • mggstechco - Monday, January 2, 2012 - link

    Above is official link about FPR 3D Technology that have been developed and used by LG to build their 3D HDTV and monitor for all range of display size.

    Most Favorite 3D Experience 42inch LED TV
  • mr2kat - Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - link

    To be honest I am very disappointed with the slow progress on 3D both in terms of TV's and also the quality of 3D films. I am particularly horrified by the upcoming flood of converted 2D to 3D, much of which I get to review ahead of the general public.

    Anyhow the simple truth is that the best passive technology comes from DLP projectors and plasma. DLP (projection and back-projection) can support Dolby 3D which allow passive glasses. Or (in theory at least) the more expensive RealD solution (also using passive glasses).

    Most LCD technologies, even with recent improvements, are incapable of a full on-off transition across the entire display within a 1/120th of a second. It isn't just a question of switching times on an LCD element; the electronics are usually incapable of doing a full screen refresh. But in any case this isn't even as good as your average 3D screen which usually manages 144 pristine images a second (each image is alternated 3 times).

    So if you really want 3D I would snap up a DLP projection solution (or plasma) before they become extinct. They really are superb but most people look straight past them to the wow factor of LED/LCD displays.

    Personally I cannot tolerate ghosting or aliasing issues so I use a headset for when I really need 3D in a computer environment (you will see the headset I use at CES2012). For movies I use passive glasses with a circular polarized (RealD) LG TV and a Mitsubishi DLP projector.

    Of course the situation is evolving and I know there are many uses for 3D that are waiting to be tapped. However unless you have more money than sense I would limit the premium I'd be willing to pay for 3D to no more than $300.

    Most TV's that offer 3D are cynically over-priced considering the cost of adding Active 3D to the typical LCD TV set is maybe $20 in production costs. As for the glasses, well they cost less than $17 for active glasses and $8 for the best passive glasses. What did you pay for yours?
  • dorky82 - Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - link

    Hmmm LG released same monitor last year with tridef3d.
    I bought it on release day(was in korea for vacation).
    Its not worth money. You see double image if you move ur head from center. Tridef has only few titles you can play. Built in 2d to 3d function is joke.
    you must run your software through tridef to get 3d work(link games/app with tridef) and must have good config(ini sort) to get it running. You can download other people's config to run little better.
    you see lines all over and resolution is halved when you turn on 3d. Played with for week and sold it on ebay. It ran for 300 last year.
    Lol i still have full licensed tridef installed on my laptop(m17-r3 with 6970m)
  • dorky82 - Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - link

    Lg d3p series. I bought one with hdmi option(was extra 50)
  • binqq - Friday, January 6, 2012 - link

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  • dstigue - Monday, January 9, 2012 - link

    I know the main argument of active shutter guys is it's half resolution but I would have to disagree with you whole heartedly. When one eye gets half and the other eye the other half your brain puts it together for a full 1080.. I know you think I'm lying but try it for yourself and tell me you can't see every detail. It's actually odd.. You see more in 3D then 2D. Check out the legend of gahoole.. You see every feather on the owls it's sick.. I own a lg55lw5600.. Wish I got the 5300 don't need the apps and could have saved some money. My xbox is going to blow it out of the water in the app department soon anyway. But trust me passive is the way to go. Not sure about this monitor can't rate. But on the whole passive will take the crown in the next few years. Followed by no glasses if they can ever solve the multiple viewing angles issue.
  • Mallec - Monday, January 9, 2012 - link

    How about the LG 3D D2342P display? It seems to be a very good passive glasses solution. It would be very nice to see an analysis or comparison with it.

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