There are countless trends competing for attention in the gaming notebook and laptop space but not all of them are either useful or benefit the core gaming experience.
MAG Innovision XP2211W
- Very good colour output, two VGA ports
- Vertical viewable angle is restrictive, corners are dark
It provides very good colour output, has a decent pixel response time, but has slightly restrictive viewable angles. Nevertheless, if you're after a big monitor with a small price tag, this one is a good place to start.
Price$ 529.00 (AUD)
MAG's new 22in XP2211W is an affordable, widescreen monitor for those who want a larger display for a relatively cheap price. It has a native resolution of 1680 x 1050, a DVI input as well as an analog D-Sub input and its bezel has a plain design with basic on-screen display (OSD) controls.
Its listed specifications are impressive considering its price point. The 22in panel has a 5ms pixel response time and can display 16.7 million colours. Many fast panels are listed at 16 million or 16.2 million colours, (these are known as 6-bit panels, which use a form of dithering in order to produce the colours that you see on the screen), so this should make it appealing to gamers and photo hobbyists alike. Its 300cd/m2 brightness rating and its 700:1 contrast ratio should provide decent viewing conditions in brightly-lit rooms. We tested the monitor in a fluorescently-lit office environment using a GeForce 7600GT-based graphics card connected to the DVI port. DisplayMate for Windows Video Edition was used to gauge the quality of the image.
The black level test in DisplayMate showed a nice separation between dark grey and black colouring and the blacks were acceptably dark. The extreme greyscale test, which pits dark grey colours on a black background and light grey colours on a white background, showed that the monitor has good brightness and contrast levels. Almost all levels of grey were visible, although we did have to tone down the contrast a little bit to get all the light grey levels showing on the white background.
We didn't notice any discolouration in the grey shades. Colour scale tests showed a clear distinciton between each colour in the scale until it reached the bright end of the spectrum, where it was harder to make out the differences in intensity.
Screen uniformity was acceptable, although we did notice that the corners of the monitor were slightly dark. The backlight was also slightly noticeable at the top of the screen, towards the middle, but not enough to become a distraction.
The viewing angles from the side were quite good, and we could easily read text while sitting to the side although there was some slight colour shift as we moved further away from the centre. The vertical viewing angle also showed changes in contrast when sitting directly in front, especially when the viewing height changed slightly. The basic stand makes the monitor sit low on the desk, but does allow for it to be tilted, so that you can find the sweet spot for your seating position. We found it was better to view the monitor from slightly up above, in order to minimise contrast issues.
To test out the 5ms response time, we used Windows' scrolling marquee screen saver. We scrolled black text on a white background and white text on a black background at medium speed across the screen. White on black text showed clear signs of blurriness and the edges of the letters were very soft, but there was minimal trailing. Black text on a white background looked very soft as it scrolled, but the letters kept their form and there wasn't excessive trailing. However, the results in this test are slightly below what we have noticed with other fast-panel monitors. While watching video, we didn't notice any problems due to blurring. Games played at high frame rates may result in some noticeable blurring, but nothing excessive.
For our colour tests, we viewed a selection of photographs with large colour gamut and shadowed areas and found the performance of the screen to be very good. Dark areas of photos showed all the details we expected and colours were not over saturated. We tested the monitor with its colour set to 'native' in the OSD, but you can also choose 'warm' or 'cool' settings as well as set your own red, green and blue levels. Fine details were not lost in our photos. In particular, photos with textures and feathers and were well-defined.
Large monitors can be a boon to productivity and this one will also take it easy on your bank balance. We like the colour output of this screen and its pixel response time produced decent results. For these reasons, this monitor is definitely worth considering.
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