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Viotek GN32D 32” Curved Gaming Monitor Review: Stellar

By Christopher Coke on November 28, 2018 | Hardware Reviews | Comments

Viotek GN32D 32” Curved Gaming Monitor Review: Stellar

For most of us, spending $500+ on a gaming monitor just isn’t possible but we still want to get the biggest bang for our buck inside of our budget. Today, we’re reviewing a monitor that aims to do exactly that with the Viotek GN32D. It features a bezel-less, curved 32-inch panel that’s 1440p and 144Hz, and currently priced at only $379.99. Let’s find out.

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Specifications

  • Price: $379.99 (Viotek Site)
  • Colorway/Style: Bezel-less, Black, Red Trim, Red Illumination (back)
  • Resolution: 2560x1440p
  • Refresh Rate: 144Hz
  • Response Time: 4ms GTG
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9, 4:3
  • Backlight: E-LED
  • Brightness: 250 cd/m
  • Tilt Adjustable: Yes, -5 - 15 degrees
  • Variable Refresh: AMD FreeSync
  • Color: 96% of SRPG Color Spectrum, 85% NTSC
  • Contrast Ratio: 3000:1 Static (1,000,000:1 Dynamic)
  • Ports: DVI, HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2 ports, 3.5mm audio
  • Advanced Gaming Features: FPS/RTS optimization with GamePlus crosshair, AMD FreeSync
  • VESA Mountable: Yes, 75×75 VESA-compatible
  • Screen Features: Anti-glare screen that minimizes eye strain without washing out colors,  low blue light filter, noise reduction, super resolution, sharpness, multi-window PIP/PBP    
  • Dimensions (with Stand): 28.3 x 9.8 x 19.6 in
  • Warranty: 1-year warranty with Pixel Perfect Promise supported by a U.S. customer service team

About a year ago, I reviewed the Viotek GN32Q after discovering the company on Massdrop. At the time, we were doing a build project and I really didn’t know what to expect; all I knew was that it looked good on paper and had a price to match. Fast forward to today and that monitor has proved to be one of my favorites, earning it’s place on my desk and completely selling me on 32-inch monitors. The only downside with that model was the rose gold colorway which was hard to coordinate with.

When Viotek announced the GN32D, a gaming targeted refresh of that monitor, I knew that I had to try it for myself. Well, I’m pleased to say that not only has a made the jump intact but it’s better than ever. The Viotek GN32D is, in my opinion, the best monitor you can buy for the price.

Let’s start with the panel. Like the GN32Q, it’s 31.5 inches corner-to-corner and features a Samsung VA panel. This is the sweet spot for a 1440p monitor: big enough to take up nearly your whole field of view but with a high enough resolution where you’re not going to get any screen door effect. For any kind of content, it’s just the perfect size. No turning your head to take in different parts of the screen but big enough to really capture your whole attention.

The use of a VA panel is also important for the quality of the experience. It’s a great middle-ground between the ultra-fast response times of TN panels and the color richness of IPS panels. The VA panel here is perfect for gaming, coming in with a 4ms GTG response time and 96% accuracy on the sRGB spectrum. The colors are vibrant and the blacks black with not backlight bleed whatsoever, though out of the box it does require some calibration to look its best. It won’t compete with top of the line IPS panels designed for content creation but will work perfectly well for gaming and even hobbyist video editing.

The bezel-less design works great at this screen size. There’s not thick rim of plastic intruding on your game, reminding you that you’re looking at a computer screen. While we may not be edge to edge - there’s about 1/4 inch black border around the screen - it still looks great.

The curve also helps here. I’ve mentioned it in past reviews, but until the GN32Q, I wasn’t sold on curved screens. Having only viewed curved televisions to that point, it didn’t appeal to me. Here, sitting so close to such a big screen, it works to draw you in, that nice 1800R curve taking up more of your peripheral vision. Some gamers complain about text distorting at the edges but even looking for exactly that, I just don’t see it.

Part of that, however, might be because of the crisp 2560x1440 resolution. You’ll hear this referred to as 1440p or 2K depending on who you talk to but one thing is for sure: if 32-inches is the sweet spot for size, 1440p is the sweet spot for resolution. It’s 75% more pixels, which is dramatically clearer than 1080p and why this screen size works in the first place. For gaming, 1440p is the resolution most gamers should be targeting. It looks great and is far easier to run than 4K, opening the door to faster frame rates, in this case up to 144Hz with AMD Freesync support between 48-144 FPS. This makes games and even just moving your mouse across your desktop feel incredibly smooth.

All of this makes for a monitor that performs very well in games. We don’t have specialized equipment for testing input lag yet, but the difference between clicking the mouse and the gun firing in Battlefield V isn’t visible to the naked eye. I’ve played everything from first person shooters to turn-based RPGs and never once felt like the monitor was less responsive than other, more expensive monitors I’ve reviewed. Likewise, I didn’t see any ghosting even in rapid movement shooters. I admit to not having the best eye, so perhaps in specialized tests something might get picked up, but in real world use none of that matters: with the response time set to “high” in the OSD, the GN32D performs excellently.

The monitor is also quite a bit brighter than the GN32Q. This is especially visible when the two displays are side by side. I’m not sure which element is the exact cause of this but it’s a clear and very meaningful improvement that is especially visible in the whites.

Around the back, we find a three-bar built-in backlight. It’s moderately bright but won’t wash out your whole wall. If that’s not your style, these can also be turned off (or set to flash) through the OSD. We can also see the vastly improved mount from the GN32Q. After assembling the stand, the hexagonal mount screws into place and snaps into position on the display.

The stand is sadly very limited. It’s honestly the biggest drawback of the whole package, so I’m hopeful we see a revision on this in the future. While it is very sturdy and allows for a decent upward tilt, height and rotation are out of the mix. Thankfully, the GN32D ships with a 75x75 VESA adapter for wall mounting or using an aftermarket stand.

Connections are also a bit more limited with only single inputs for DVI, HDMI 2.0, and DisplayPort 1.2. It’s not as many as some we’ve seen but for the price, it’s not bad. If you’re planning on running your PC and multiple consoles, however, you’ll want to look into an HDMI splitter. Also note that there are no speakers on this PC; however, if you allow audio through your video connection, the 3.5mm jack is a convenient place to plug in a pair of headphones.

Lastly, and this might seem small, but I have to give credit to Viotek for opting for an internal power supply on this one. The GN32Q used an external power brick that was a constant pain to hide away on a desktop. This is much cleaner and in line with other displays at this price.

Final Thoughts

For $379.99, the Viotek GN32D is one of the best value gaming models on the market today. It looks great, performs just as well, and includes a number of features usually reserved for more expensive models. If 32 inches seems too big, I’d urge you to give it a try. If you have the space for it, it’s a massive upgrade for any kind of gaming or streaming you might enjoy and thanks to the high resolution VA panel, you can count on an excellent, lag-free picture through it all. Just be aware that if you need height adjustment, you’re going to need to look into an aftermarket stand.

Pros

  • One of the best prices we’ve seen for these features
  • Excellent resolution/refresh rate
  • No discernable input lag or ghosting
  • VESA compatible (75x75)
  • Generous Pixel Perfect Promise is a great safeguard against dead/damaged pixels
  • Many improvements over the GN32Q - all around better picture

Cons

  • No height or rotation adjustment on the stand
  • Needs some calibration out of the box for color accuracy (but can be made quite good)

The product discussed in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of review.

Christopher Coke / Chris has been a fan of MMOs since the mid-1990s when he cut his teeth on MUDs. These days he scours the internet for the latest and greatest multiplayer gaming experiences.