Chimei CMV222H (engineering sample)

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Chimei CMV222H (engineering sample)
  • Chimei CMV222H (engineering sample)
  • Chimei CMV222H (engineering sample)
  • Chimei CMV222H (engineering sample)
  • Expert Rating

    2.50 / 5

Pros

  • HDMI, Component, S-Video and composite inputs

Cons

  • Poor image quality, Noticeable image noise, Mis-aligned media card reader

Bottom Line

It remains to be seen if Chei Mei can sort out the image problems we observed in this engineering sample for the shipping version of this monitor. We hope it does, because its vast inputs make it a decent choice for an environment where multiple devices will be plugged in to it. We'll be updating this review (and our rating) once the shipping version becomes available to us.

Would you buy this?

NOTE: Below is a review on the preproduction model of the 222H. Click here to read the full review of the shipping model.

For $559, this 22in widescreen LCD monitor is sure to be enticing. It has plenty of inputs, it looks good and, of course, it's big. It hasn't hit our shores just yet; the model we've reviewed here is only an engineering sample. Our tests of this sample indicate that it's not quite ready for prime time, as there are still a few issues with its image and build quality that need to be resolved. As such, we're going to reserve our final judgment until we can get our hands on a production model later this month (this review and the rating are likely to change as soon as the shipping version is tested).

On the surface, the CMV 222H is all good. It has HDMI, D-sub, Component, S-Video and composite inputs, a built in media card reader, built in speakers and a stand that can swivel, tilt and rise. But upon closer inspection, it doesn't have a DVI port, its colours are a little off, it produces a noisy image and, comically, its media card reader is misaligned. We almost lost a CompactFlash card inside the unit during our tests. This was due to the big gap between the misaligned media card reader and the rear panel of the monitor. We ended up bending a couple of pins in the Compact Flash slot because we had to slide the card in on an angle. Hopefully, the shipping version of the monitor won't suffer from misalignment.

We used DisplayMate Video Edition to set up and test the monitor, along with digital photos, DVDs and 3DMark06 (to check for ghosting). We ran opur tests at the native resolution of 1680x1050 by connecting it to an ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT graphics card and tested it with its D-sub and HDMI connections, both of which produced similar results.

Using the D-sub connection, the screen's black and white levels were rich and bright, respectively, and made for comfortable viewing, but its dark greyscale levels were discoloured with yellow. The mid-range and light-grey levels were discoloured with purple, as well as a little bit of yellow. This was especially evident in DisplayMate's 16-level greyscale intensity test, and also in its 256-level intensity ramp test.

Changing the colour temperature to 9300 Kelvin made the overall image too blue; 6500 Kelvin made the overall image too yellow, while 7500 Kelvin was in between those extremes. Using equal values for red, green and blue in the monitor's 'user' colour setting, all of DisplayMate's greyscale tests showed this problem. The yellow and purple discolourations weren't removable by manipulating these settings.

During regular usage, the entire screen, (particularly dark grey colours, light-green coloured images and white screens) suffered from noticeable image noise, which we couldn't get rid of by adjusting the pixel phase and clock settings in the monitor's on-screen display. At times, this made the screen look like it was flickering. Noise was particularly evident across the top of the screen. The pixel tracking and timing test in DisplayMate showed the same result -- noise.

Text reproduction was another sore-point, with letters less than 14-point font size exhibiting noticeable purple fringing. Overall though, text was readable, but a little muddy. This was also obvious in Windows Vista's menu-item labels, which weren't sharp enough. The monitor does allow the sharpness of the screen to be adjusted, but we didn't notice any differences when playing with this setting.

DisplayMate also showed a peculiar ghosting along vertical black lines on a white background. This is something we haven't seen from other monitors and it made the screen look dirty, especially while reading black text on a white background.

In the extreme greyscale test, where dark grey colours are shown against a black screen and light grey colours are shown against a white screen, the monitor's brightness and contrast was spot on. All grey levels were visible without us having to fiddle around with the settings. A selection of digital photos showed that the monitor is capable of reproducing images laced with dark and light-coloured details, but the discolouration problems we noticed in the DisplayMate tests were still evident.

Using the HDMI connection, the results were the same as the D-Sub tests. Grey levels were once again discoloured in yellow and purple, text wasn't displayed any better and the noise in the image was still present.

The screen's coating isn't glossy, so reflections from room lights aren't a problem, and its 170/160 degrees horizontal/vertical angles specification is on-par with other 22in monitors that we've seen. When viewed from the sides, the end furthest away looked much darker than the near end of the screen, but the content of the screen remained viewable.

Blur from fast-moving images wasn't a problem in 3DMark06, nor when watching DVDs, and scrolling long pages of text didn't produce a headache-inducing motion blur either.

It remains to be seen if Chei Mei can sort out the image problems we observed in the engineering sample for the shipping version of this monitor. We hope it does, because its vast inputs make it a decent choice for an environment where multiple devices will be plugged in to it. We'll be updating this review (and our rating) once the shipping version becomes available to us.

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