PRODUCTIVITY EXPERTS say that the ability to see all your computer desktop windows at once saves time. In that case, bigger is clearly better, and the ViewSonic VP3881 38-inch wide, curved monitor offers you one of the biggest and brightest options on the market today. You will never look at a standard 1920x1080 monitor with anything but pity after using this eye-popping screen.
With the curve, the VP3881 measures 35 inches across your desk. The bright, 3840x1600 pixel display, sharper than a diamond drill, is perfectly illuminated from edge to edge and corner to corner. No one will pass by your desk without stopping and leaning down for a better look.
Getting a new monitor is always fun, until you unbox it and realize the port you have on your computer doesn’t match. The VP3881, however, does all it can to eliminate that problem with HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB Type C options, all with HDCP 2.2 content protection to secure 4K content playback. DisplayPort and USB Type C cables come in the box. Also in the box? A fairly large but flat power brick, a CD ROM with some software and the Installation Guide, an audio cable (pretty good internal speakers), a USB B connector cable for firmware updates, and a Quick Start Guide.
A big screen needs a big base, and the VP3881 has one of those too. It’s wide and heavy enough to inspire confidence that it will support such a large monitor. You might need help getting the VP3881 out of the box though—not because it’s too heavy at 17.6 pounds, but because it’s awkward to handle and you want to keep your fingers off the screen. The standard VESA 100 mm wall- or arm-mounting holes are available.
Make sure you have room to push this big monitor a little farther back than your regular screen. Even though there are more pixels, making screen items a little smaller than on your current monitor, something this big is a bit much at first.
You can slide the monitor up about 5 inches and tilt the screen far enough to find the perfect viewing angle. Swiveling to the right and left feels like almost 90 degrees in either direction, although the manual says it’s only a total of 120 degrees. The curve is relatively gentle compared to some curved monitors and keeps every pixel at a comfortable distance. Scanning from one end of the monitor to the other takes but a tiny bit of head turning.
Next you get to play with the on-screen display. While the info is presented fairly clearly, the buttons are on the back side of the monitor, so you have to push them without being able to see them. You’ll need a bit of patience until you learn to line up your fingers with the guide displayed on the front of the screen.
Color adjustments abound on this monitor. Target users include photo and video professionals, and we can’t imagine a color setting they would ask for that’s not available. sRGB, SMPTE-C, Rec. 709, and DICOM-SIM are there, and you can make custom adjustments to color temperature, gamma, black stabilization, gain, offset, hue, and saturation. ViewSonic offers a color calibration kit for $300, and “Colorbration” software controls on the enclosed CD. The specifications say there are 4.39 trillion colors in the palette. We don’t have a way to count them, but every image we viewed—photo, video, or graphics—looked outstanding.