MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.
BenQ Australia T221W
Basic LCD at a price that's kind to your wallet.
- Price, 5ms response with minimal ghosting, one touch switching between DVI and D-Sub
- Stand isn’t height adjustable, poor controls, no DVI cable included, poor viewing angles and colour
As long as you’re not expecting blistering performance then BenQ’s T221W does an average to good job. For the price it commands, we weren’t expecting much more.
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
With a price tag of just $299, BenQ’s T221W is one of the cheapest LCD monitors on the market. While its performance is far from outstanding, this monitor is all about the minimal damage to your wallet.
In terms of design, the T221W is understandably straightforward. There’s no bling here, with BenQ utilising a simple matte black bezel and stand. Despite the low price point the monitor's build quality certainly is decent. Unfortunately, the budget pricing has resulted in a base that isn’t height adjustable; the screen can only be tilted forward or back. On its rear the T221W has slots for a standard VESA wall mount.
A slight annoyance is the controls, which are located on the bottom of the bezel. They are fairly straightforward, but the user guide is a valuable resource when first setting up the T221W; aside from the power key, the rest of the buttons aren’t labelled so using the on-screen display (OSD) is a hit and miss affair.
The T221W includes DVI and VGA ports, but BenQ doesn’t include a DVI cable in the sales package. Conveniently, a hot key allows one touch switching between D-Sub and DVI signal inputs. Built-in speakers are included, but like all monitor speakers they are best left unused.
The T221W’s specifications sheet reads like a standard LCD should, but naturally there are no outstanding features. It has a native resolution of 1680x1050 and a number of preset image themes, including General, Movie, Picture and Games. The usual array of options includes brightness, contrast, colour temperature and white balance.
We found the general image mode to be best for day-to-day use such as word processing and Internet browsing. Text is reasonably accurate with minimal noise, though there is a slight visible aberration around the edges of text in some instances. The biggest weaknesses of the T221W are its horizontal and vertical viewing angles, which are both relatively poor. Even a slight look towards either side of the monitor causes prominent colour shift. If you’re looking for a monitor that may be viewed by more than one person at a time you’d be best advised to look elsewhere.
Image quality is slightly below average. Backlight bleeding, particularly around the top and bottom edges of the screen, is an issue. Colour temperature is also hit and miss; you can tweak these settings manually for the best effect, though a blue tinge still seems to plague the display even after individual colour settings have been altered.
A 5ms response time means the T221W is definitely capable of some gaming. Ghosting is a slight issue, though it isn’t as prominent as plenty of other models on the market. Although not targeted at gamers and recommended for basic use, the T221W is certainly no slouch in this regard — a nice touch considering the price point.
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