A leading brand in PC monitors, ViewSonic’s products are commonplace in corporate offices due to several factors such as affordability, reliability and a well-established sales and service network in India. The company’s offerings include entry-level home and office monitors, gaming monitors, touchscreen monitors, and high-resolution entertainment monitors. The ViewSonic product I’m reviewing here is an entertainment-focused option that claims to be suitable for both productivity and leisure.
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 TFT-LCD Ultra-HD screen (3840 x 2160 pixels) and you also get built-in speakers and decent connectivity options. This is the most versatile monitor you can buy for less than Rs. 30,000? Find out in this review.
ViewSonic 32-inch 4K Entertainment Monitor Design (VX3211-4K-mhd)
Virtually all televisions today have an aspect ratio of 16:9, as this is the most commonly used content format. This ensures that one screen can accommodate different types of content without leaving too much blank area or image distortion. So it’s no surprise that ViewSonic chooses this ratio for an entertainment-focused monitor. At this size, it also allows for proper Ultra-HD resolution (3840×2160 pixels).
The 32-inch ViewSonic monitor looks a lot like a similarly sized television in many ways, and in fact even works like one, just without the smarts you might expect. There are thin bezels around the screen and the monitor sits on a one-piece center-mounted desktop stand that is interestingly pre-attached in the sales package. You can also mount the monitor with VESA if you wish, but a wall mounting kit is not included.
My review unit came with two 5ft power cables with different style plugs and a 5ft HDMI cable in the box. Oddly, one of the power cords had a large 16A plug instead of the more commonly used 6A plugs that fit most Indian sockets. The second power cord in the box had an American-style three-prong plug, and luckily I was able to use that with an adapter.
The pre-fixed stand is quite wide – almost the entire width of the monitor itself – and therefore needs a table wide enough to sit on. However, it’s a solid, well-built metal stand, and that makes the whole setup feel very stable. There’s room to tilt the screen 13 degrees back and 5 degrees forward. You can, of course, easily remove the bracket if you want to wall-mount the monitor or use a VESA-compatible arm.
On the back of the ViewSonic monitor are two 2.5W speakers for stereo sound, along with six buttons for controlling the device’s menus. The button markings are on the front, and except for the power button at the bottom, the rest are dynamic and their functions change according to your selections on the screen. That said, I found it very difficult to navigate or control anything on the monitor using these buttons, as I couldn’t see what I was pressing and I often ended up pressing the wrong buttons.
The ports and sockets on the 32-inch ViewSonic 4K entertainment monitor are all on the back and facing downwards, which I found a little inconvenient. Options include two HDMI 2.0 ports, a DisplayPort 1.4 input, and a 3.5mm socket for redirecting audio. Of course, you can use headphones, including Bluetooth ones, directly with any connected source device. USB Type-C with power delivery would have been nice, but I wouldn’t call its lack of fault at this price.
ViewSonic 32-inch 4K Entertainment Monitor (VX3211-4K-mhd) Specifications and Features
The ViewSonic 4K Entertainment Monitor features a 32-inch Vertical Alignment (VA) TFT-LCD display, supporting high dynamic range content up to the HDR10 format. The monitor has a maximum brightness of 300nits and a default refresh rate of 60Hz. Viewsonic claims that this monitor’s color reproduction capability covers 95% of the NTSC color gamut. All of these specs make for a nice productivity display for your computer or laptop, as well as a ‘television’ of sorts, provided you have the appropriate source device(s) to connect it(s).
Regrettably, the 32-inch ViewSonic monitor doesn’t come with a remote control, and all interaction with the menus has to be done via the fiddly and awkward buttons on the back.
Other key features include AMD FreeSync compatibility, a blue light filter for eye care, a power-saving ‘Eco’ mode for reduced power consumption, and different image presets that include Game, Web, Movie, Text, Monochrome, and macOS. HDR can be set to automatic mode and is triggered when HDR content is detected by the monitor.
ViewSonic 32-inch 4K Entertainment Monitor Performance (VX3211-4K-mhd)
The 32-inch ViewSonic 4K Entertainment Monitor (VX3211-4K-mhd) is well suited for entertainment thanks to its 16:9 aspect ratio, Ultra-HD resolution, HDR10 support, and built-in speakers, much like the Samsung M7 monitor I recently reviewed. Even so, the screen and image quality are set up for use primarily as a monitor.
The main difference between the two, however, is Viewsonic’s lack of intelligence, which explains the considerable price difference between them. ViewSonic offers a bare-bones display with no native UI, apps or connectivity and relies on its source devices for all content. This can easily be overcome by hooking up a decent streaming device to the ViewSonic monitor, or even watching videos on the connected computer.
I configured the 32-inch ViewSonic 4K entertainment monitor 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 monitor’s Ultra-HD resolution, at 60 Hz. I also had a MacBook Air connected using the monitor’s HDMI port to test picture-in-picture mode, and a Xiaomi Mi Box 4K to directly stream Ultra-HD HDR content.
While it might seem like a lack of intelligence is a disadvantage, it really isn’t. As long as you have the right devices to handle the connectivity, and you treat the monitor like a typical non-smart TV, it’s a viable and convenient solution, especially given the lack of a remote control. 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 a huge 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 main computer. The PiP screen was too small to read text or actively work on a secondary computer as it is not resizable. I preferred to switch to my MacBook Air as the main source and use it fullscreen when needed.
The monitor’s size and resolution make it ideal for reading, image editing, and occasional collaboration and group tasks such as writing letters, taking notes, and video calling. I felt the ViewSonic 4K monitor’s colors were a little warm, but the screen was sharp and held up even at angles and in bright 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 the textual content easy to read, and the experience was good when watching videos and viewing photos. I placed the monitor about three feet away from where I was sitting and found that to be the ideal distance for one this size.
With the Mi Box 4K connected, I was able to stream movies and TV shows. Image quality was good when viewed from a close distance, and the HDR mode automatically engaged when the monitor detected such content. HDR videos looked a little brighter and had more punchy colors on Netflix shows like Somebody Feed Phil, but the differences weren’t significant.
The ViewSonic monitor came in handy as a sort of additional television in my home, but many might even find it usable as a main TV for post-work entertainment. I found it a little troublesome to control the volume on the monitor because of the lack of a remote control, and I also found its 5W speaker system rather underwhelming. These speakers are good enough for the occasional casual YouTube video, but I preferred using headphones or separate speakers for a better entertainment experience.
There’s nothing exceptional about the 32-inch ViewSonic 4K Entertainment Monitor (VX3211-4K-mhd), which I think is fine for what’s expected to be a daily workhorse. It has the specs that matter, like good size, high screen resolution and decent connectivity options. It performs well as a monitor given its price. Features like HDR support and picture-in-picture mode justify its entertainment credentials.
That said, there are some downsides, including the lack of a remote control, underwhelming sound quality from the built-in speakers, and potential compatibility issues with the included power cord. If you can find workarounds for this or can get around them, the ViewSonic 4K Entertainment Monitor is a good option to consider, especially for professionals working with limited space at home who want a monitor that can double as a TV.