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Viotek GNV32DB monitor

TechRadar logo TechRadar 29/10/2020 Nick Rego
a close up of a computer with Fushimi Inari-taisha in the background: Viotek GNV32DB © Provided by TechRadar Viotek GNV32DB

Two minute review

Gaming monitors are a popular commodity, but they can be quite expensive. Here’s where the Viotek GNV32DB tries to stand out, by giving gamers a large screen at a much more affordable price tag. It’s also a curved monitor, which honestly makes little difference when you’re actually using it.

The low price tag of course comes with some sacrifices – the stand isn’t adjustable for starters, and the display does have visible ghosting in most games. For anyone serious about PC gaming this might not be the best pick, but for casual gamers it’s an affordable and large monitor that can adapt to PC or console gaming.

Price and availability

The Viotek GNV32DB retails for $299.99 (around AU$425; £231), and is available directly through the company’s website.

That’s an affordable price tag, given the features you get plus the sheer size of the screen. It’s a great value-for-money purchase, especially if you’re looking for a display that can be connected to various consoles easily.

Design

While a lot of gaming monitors tend to go overboard with LEDs, colors, and everything they can to make their products stand out, the Viotek GNV32DB tends to have a more subtle approach. The only pop of color comes at the back, from the red hook at the top of the stand which lets you hang up your headset and is surrounded by a red ring of light.  The rest of the display is clad in black – a mixture of plastic for the display itself, and metal for the stand.

The stand requires a bit of quick assembly – everything is provided for you in the box, including a handy screwdriver, so you can snap things together fairly easily. There are also VESA extensions included, so the monitor can safely be attached to a standard VESA mount if you prefer to position the GNV32DB on a monitor arm instead.

For those sticking with the default stand, it’s mostly acceptable, but you’ll make some sacrifices. For one, it has a tendency to wobble a bit if you shake your desk or press the OSD controls a bit too hard. There’s also very little adjustment available – you can’t adjust the height or turn the base around, but you can tilt than panel for better viewing. This makes it a bit difficult to use straight away – for us the GNV32DB sat a little below eye level, so we had to look down when using it, which can make things uncomfortable after long gaming sessions. Even if you use a monitor riser, the design of the stand means that the legs will most likely stick out, so it’s not going to be perfectly balanced.

The 32” display takes center stage once you sit in front of it, and the curvature didn’t really bother us too much (more on that later). At the bottom right you have controls for the OSD, which are positioned slightly more towards the back of the monitor.

Connection-wise, you’re spoilt for choice. There’s one HDMI 2.0, two HDMI 1.4, and one DisplayPort 1.2, so you can connect your PC and games console and switch effortless between them. There’s also an 3.5mm Audio Out port to connect headphones or external speakers, since there aren’t any speakers built into the monitor. Cable management is sadly absent, so you’ll have to come up with your own way to keep things looking tidy. There are also no USB ports if you’d like to turn the screen into a USB hub, but again we’ll overlook this, given the monitor’s price point.

Display Performance

Resolution-wise, you’ll be running at 2560x1440 with a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz. The VA panel here will give you around 4.5-5ms response time, which is adequate for this kind of display. If you’re looking for that sweet 1ms response time, you’re going to have to naturally look at more expensive screens. While the bezels themselves are quite thin, there’s still an additional inner 0.6mm black border before the actual useable screen begins, so you have to get used to the black border around the top and sides.

When it comes to gaming, Viotek says that the GNV32DB is both G-Sync and FreeSync compatible, so whether you’re running an AMD or an Nvidia graphics card, this monitor should be able to keep up with refresh rates easily. We had mixed success with Nvidia GPUs – on one test machine we were able to see the option to turn G-Sync on in the Nvidia control panel, and on another machine the option didn’t pop up. The Nvidia Control panel also lists the GNV32DB as a non-validated display, so your success again will differ.

When we did turn on G-Sync, it didn’t seem to have an effect on the games we were playing. Overwatch, Destiny 2, and Tomb Raider all were able to comfortably hit over 100fps in-game, but there was a noticeable amount of screen ghosting in all of them. For FPS games, this is going to be a major gripe if you’re quickly panning around to track down an enemy. In games like DOTA 2 and Fall Guys, the ghosting won’t affect your gameplay much.

Console gaming was a slightly better experience, with less ghosting appearing on screen. Brightness and colors were decent, so overall we would say that the GNV32DB performs much better for any non-PC device connected to it.

Strangely enough, there were some instances where the monitor actually – crashed. It would flicker for a few seconds, then go black, and wouldn’t respond to any of the OSD controls or power button until we physically disconnected the power and plugged it back in. This could possibly be down to a firmware issue, but there doesn’t seem to be any way that users can update the firmware themselves, so we’re hoping that this isn’t an issue that will occur with other units.

The GNV32DB also offers Picture in Picture mode, which isn’t a feature you’re expect to see on a gaming monitor. You can for example use it to keep tabs on a PC download to finish in one window while playing on your PS4 in the main window.

There is a Gameplus feature that superimposes crosshairs on your screen, for when you’re playing FPS games and need an extra bit of help. Oddly enough, when we enabled the feature we only got a red or green dot in the center of the screen – no crosshairs.

Viewing angles are acceptable for a VA panel, but you’ll always get the best experience when sitting directly in front of the monitor. The screen’s curvature doesn’t feel too forced, and most games that we played looked and felt perfectly natural. It didn’t quite add any more immersion to the game, however.

Should I buy the Viotek GNV32DB?

Buy it if…

You want a large display

At 32” the GNV32DB is a large enough screen that’s good for both PC or console gaming, or even just for everyday work. The curvature isn’t that noticeable when you’re sitting directly in front of it, and image clarity is generally quite good overall.

You’re on a budget

The price tag of the GNV32DB is really what will appeal to a lot of gamers, who are looking for premium features at a much more affordable price tag.

Don’t buy it if…

You’re a serious PC gamer

The ghosting that appears on the GNV32DB just can’t be ignored, and will be definitely something that pro FPS players will quickly pick up on.

You want an adjustable display

Unless you’re putting it on a VESA mount, you’ll be disappointed by the GNV32DB’s included stand and its lack of proper adjustments.

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