So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
BenQ Australia FP222W
- Decent specifications, above-average response rate, good brightness and contrast ratings, attractive and colourful graphics, precise text
- Confusing menu system, buttons should have been on the front
While the FP222W specifications aren't outstanding, they're not disastrous either, and the BenQ works well within its limited remit. This is only the beginning of the 22in revolution, but if you don't want to wait to see what's coming out in a few months, the FP222W will give you a taste without emptying your bank balance.
Price$ 699.00 (AUD)
The flat-panel market has gone haywire. It seems that 20in is no longer enough, with manufacturers falling over themselves to jump up to 22in, and there are some modestly priced examples, such as the BenQ FP222W. Mind you, we're not complaining.
After all, whereas non-widescreen 19in LCDs are confined to a rather restrictive native resolution of 1280 x 1024, the BenQ can go up to 1680 x 1050. This makes it potentially interesting not just to gamers and video enthusiasts (who'll adore the large resolution and widescreen facilities), but also to office workers in search of extra workspace. Indeed, this sleek, tasteful screen wouldn't look out of place in an office.
The menu system is rather confusing, and it would have been more convenient if the buttons were situated on the front. But the specifications are very decent, with an above-average response rate and decent brightness and contrast ratings.
And whereas some 22in flat-panels that we've seen have been rather patchy on image quality, the BenQ manages to provide reasonably attractive, colourful graphics, while text is also pretty precise. Obviously you're not going to get sizzling pictures at this price, but the BenQ could have been a lot worse. And the colour modes (easily adjusted via a dedicated button) make it simple to strike the right balance.
As well as the standard FP222W, there's an FP222Wa model that comes without a DVI (digital visual interface). The two models are fairly close in terms of image quality, but we'd recommend going for the FP222W so you can connect it to home-entertainment gear at a later date. You shouldn't expect ravishing results from an affordable 22in flat-panel, but the BenQ comes as a pleasant surprise.
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