Features & Build Quality
- Diagonal: 22 inches
- Type: TN+Film TFT LCD
- Backlight: CCFL
- Native Resolution: 1,680 x 1,050
- Contrast Ratio: 1,000:1 (3,000:1 dynamic)
- Brightness: 300cd/m²
- Pixel Response: 5ms (typical)
- Viewing Angles: 170/160 degrees H/V
- Inputs: D-Sub, 3.5mm stereo audio
- Chassis adjust: Tilt
- Extras: 2x1W stereo speakers, VESA standard mount
- Warranty: Three years (parts and labour)
Upon removing the HG221AP from its box and attached the removable stand, we realised that it didn't have the best build quality in the world – but I guess that's to be expected on a monitor that costs just over a hundred quid. With that said though, it wasn't so bad that we turned our heads in disgust.
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The biggest build quality-related issue we found was when we started fiddling with the buttons. The panel wobbles around on the base a little, which is a worry if you're someone who adjusts your monitor's positioning on a regular basis – the monitor does only have tilt (from -5° to 25°) capabilities though, so this isn't a deal-breaker. With that said though, it did remind us of the bobbing Vault-boy model that comes in the Fallout 3: Collector's Edition
box, since the two 'bobbed' at about the same speed.
With the HG221AP being built to a cost, we expected feature omissions – it's to be expected – and the most obvious chop was support for either DVI or HDMI. The display comes with just a D-Sub video input and, generally speaking, that can cause its own set of issues on some graphics cards since you're converting from a digital signal, to an analogue signal and then back to a digital signal before the image is displayed on screen. But if you're just looking for a monitor to connect to your laptop, you've more than likely got a D-Sub port anyway.
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We tested the display on three different systems – one with an Nvidia GeForce 9600 GT, one with a Radeon HD 4870 1GB and also my Lenovo ThinkPad X60s, which uses the Intel 945GM integrated graphics chipset. All three worked fine with the display once we'd figured out some rather strange behaviour and awful image quality issues that amounted to a bug in the firmware
– we had set 1,680 x 1,050 in Windows, but the display was in fact only running at 1,400 x 1,050. Why? All I know is that I lost hair trying to figure this one out!
(Update: HannsG informs us that the firmware bug has been fixed on production HG221AP models - it turns out that our sample was from the first batch, which is where the problem was first spotted.
The D-Sub connector accompanied by a 3.5mm audio input, which is for the HG221AP's built-in speakers – there is no 3.5mm audio out for headphone connectivity unfortunately. As we've come to expect though, the speakers are nothing special at all – they're tinny and lack depth, but that's nothing new. We've only seen one
which had speakers that were only rubbish as opposed to completely rubbish.