LCD monitorRobin Morris | Wednesday, July 29 2009
These are rich times indeed for those in pursuit of a modestly priced but surprisingly effective flat-panel. The BenQ E2220HD is such a device, not that you’d know it was cheap to look at it. Its subtle curves give it an air of quality that belies the tiny price tag. In fact, we found this display online for a mere $314 – a veritable bargain considering it sports not only VGA and DVI, but HDMI.
The menu system is visual and reasonably easy to navigate, although the buttons are hidden away on the underneath of the BenQ E2200HD’s display, and it’s not always easy to hit the right one. You have a choice of different colour modes, and these can be accessed at the touch of the button (although there’s no way of telling which button).
It’s nice, though, to have the versatility – if you’re often switching from text-work to gaming or photo work, for example, you’ll be glad of the dedicated button.
It’s become almost mandatory for new screens to come with full HD 16:9 support, and a good thing too. The BenQ E2200HD doesn’t disappoint, with its 1,920 x 1,080 resolution just the ticket for HD cinephiles. The manufacturer’s quoted 10,000:1 contrast ratio is on a par with those of more expensive screens and the brightness rating of 300cd/m2 is pleasing, although, again, no more then standard these days.
What’s most surprising about today’s screens is how vivid and colourful most of them are. The BenQ E2200HD is flush with colour and images are suffused with a variety of radiant hues. But it’s not just graphics that work well with the BenQ. Its text output (in the right mode) is clean and easy on the eye – before writing this review, we spent over a fortnight working on close-up text with this flat-panel, and rarely did we feel like swapping it for the far more expensive 24-inch model we had sitting by the side of the desk.
Viewing angles are always an issue with cheaper LCDs, and you’ll have to sit slap-bang in front of the BenQ E2200HD for the best picture. However, since you’re typically looking at considerably higher cost if you’re to avoid this fate, we won’t quibble too much. A height-adjustable stand (or a merely taller one) might have helped but, again, you have to expect compromises.
The BenQ E2200HD is another very nice example of a budget HD-capable panel. It’s cheap, performs admirably and offers a level of physical quality that exceeds the price bracket. All of which leads us to recommend this as a fantastic buy.
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