At a Glance
The first ViewSonic TV we've tested, this model impressed our jury with natural skin tones and an appealing picture.
The N3760w demonstrates that ViewSonic, famous for producing sturdy computer monitors, can make good TVs as well. PC World judges rated this 37-inch LCD HDTV's performance highly enough to give it a solid overall score in our TV viewing tests. It is inexpensive (with a street price of $1299, as of September 8, 2006), too, so budget-conscious fans of digital TV will find much to like about this set.
In our high-definition TV tests, the N3760w received among the highest marks we've seen for an LCD TV of this size, finishing in a virtual dead heat with another good performer, the Vizio L37HDTV. It excelled in producing pleasing and natural skin tones, avoiding the excessively pink fair skin and purple-tinged dark skin that some TVs are prone to creating. For instance, close-ups of a host and guest of a talk show showcased a good balance of tones, though shimmer on facial stubble was pronounced. Colors in a George Lopez excerpt were rich. Saturation was satisfying, and skin tones were again well-defined. One juror did notice a "rough pan" of the camera, meaning that the image blurred slightly when the action moved quickly from one part of the set to another.
In standard-definition tests, the TV set did well. Colors in a baseball game scene were vivid, with minimal (but still present) pixelation on the turf. The N3760w also performed admirably in DVD tests. A scene from Seabiscuit drew a comment from a juror that it had "great saturation" and "excellent detail." The set racked up extra points for faring well under the glare of bright lights, showing vivid colors even when all lights in the room were turned on. A few jurors observed a "muted" quality to the colors, calling it "not the punchiest" in high definition. But overall, the jury panel spoke well of this HDTV's a good and natural overall color quality, contrast, and brightness.
Our expectations of built-in speakers in a 37-inch LCD TV are low, but the ViewSonic's delivered especially weak sound. In the final horse-racing scene from Seabiscuit, audio sounded murky in what was supposedly an audio-rich scene. At times dialogue drowned out the background sound effects, producing stuttering gallops that faded in and out. And when the strings-and-brass-laden soundtrack began to crescendo, this weakness became even more pronounced. The N3760w definitely needs external audio to complement its fine video.
The set's all-black construction joins the pack of uninspired-looking, yet cleanly designed sets. Its matching rectangular black remote does its job well. The well-organized on-screen display menu is easy to navigate, practically eliminating the learning curve some OSDs require.
All in all, ViewSonic's N3760w offers a winning combination of good price and pleasing images in a 37-inch LCD HDTV.