For a mighty 26-inch widescreen monitor, ViewSonic's latest offering is deceptively sleek and immaculately turned out in piano black. It's big on connections, too, with Composite, Component and S-Video inputs, and an HDMI port for hooking up life's luxuries.

Back to the PC, there's a DVI to HDMI cable supplied with the monitor which is good news, as you don't really want to be relying on an analogue signal to drive the screen at its 1920 x 1200 pixel native res. The built-in 3W speakers are comparatively paltry but they're just about better than nothing.

In a word, picture quality is punchy, with very vibrant colours, produced courtesy of ViewSonic's Smart Colour Engine, which is designed to optimise colour for games, movies, photos and the like.

It's a bit like colour on steroids and, in our tests, we had to switch to the sRGB setting when we wanted more natural colour rendition for tasks like photo editing.

There's bags of brightness on contrast on tap as well, with maximum figures of 500cd/m2 and 1000:1. The response speed 8ms grey-to-grey isn't exactly lightning fast but our review sample proved perfectly able to keep up with fast-paced video action. There's lots to like.