Bringing VR out of office and study spaces will serve to help it attract the new audiences it needs to continue growing
- Has an HDMI port, 16:10 aspect ratio comes in handy when working with multiple windows, excellent contrast
- Light reflects off the screen and the bezel, the greyscale had a slightly pink coloured tinge to it, the specific image modes caused some over-sharpness
Overall, we don't particularly like the glossy finish of this monitor, which tends to be distracting when the room lights are on, but its image quality was quite good. It's suitable for viewing images, videos, even gaming and, of course, office work.
Price$ 899.00 (AUD)
There's no shortage of gloss on this monitor. Its screen, bezel and base are all glossy and, as such, very prone to light reflections. That isn't a good thing for a monitor, where reflections can make it hard to view text and images, but this monitor is aimed at users who have more than just PC usage in mind.
The 220XW includes an HDMI input in addition to DVI and D-Sub ports, so it can be used in a home-theatre setup. Because it's a 22in widescreen monitor with a 16:10 aspect ratio, it has a native resolution of 1680x1050, which isn't enough for full high-definition content. In any case, the monitor's digital ports (DVI and HDMI) do have HDCP support so Blu-ray or HD-DVD movies will be playable when these connections are used. Blu-ray content can also be played back through the analogue D-Sub port where the quality of the image is still very good.
We tested the monitor on a PC equipped with an ATI Radeon HD 3870-based graphics card, using the sRGB colour setting of the screen and custom brightness and contrast settings. Running DisplayMate, it passed the greyscale and black level tests almost faultlessly. The only problem we noticed was a slightly pink coloured tinge in the greyscale. There was also some image noise; in particular, a slight shimmering was noticeable in dark colours. But as far as its contrast was concerned, all levels of grey were visible. This result was reflected in the Extreme greyscale test, where all light-grey blocks on a white background and dark-grey blocks on a black background were clearly visible. Furthermore, photos with shadowed areas and gradients were displayed without any stepping or loss of detail.
The monitor's primary colours were slightly oversaturated, but this made our test photos look rich and vibrant. Its uniformity, as judged from directly in front of the screen, showed the corners and edges of the screen to be almost as bright as the centre. However, viewing from the sides showed up a patch of paleness near the middle of the screen, which was off-putting, particularly when displaying dark images. Reflections from room lights were also a cause of annoyance.
Image settings can be tweaked at the press of one button, using the SmartImage button on the bezel, and it has four different modes to choose from: office, economy, image and entertainment. The first two are the most comfortable on the eyes, while the image and entertainment modes tend to sharpen the image a lot more, which makes text look particularly horrid. Funnily enough, the brightness level is dropped in the 'entertainment' mode, which means the 'economy' setting isn't actually the most economical.
Indeed, power consumption was measured as being 24W when running in 'entertainment' mode, while 36W was chewed up in 'economy' mode. At full brightness, the monitor will consume up to 40W of electricity, which is a good figure.
The monitor can also change modes dynamically, depending on the content, but we found that all the modes affected the sharpness of the image, and the best picture quality was attained with SmartImage set to off. However, 'entertainment' mode was good for watching movies in a darkened room and, of all the modes, 'office' was the easiest on the eyes.
Physically, the 220XW has a short stand, which only tilts. Stereo speakers reside on the bottom-edge of the screen and a volume knob is conveniently placed on the bottom-right corner of the screen. They're adequate for close-up listening when sitting at the PC, but not good enough to be used for movies and gaming.
The monitor has dynamic response time, which adjusts depending on the content, and motion blur tests consisting of scrolling text, fast and slow-paced videos and games showed only slight hints of ghosting, but nothing that will cause dizziness.
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