Gateway FHD2400 (24-inch) review: Gateway FHD2400 (24-inch)

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2.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good A lot of connections including component and HDMI, plus four USB ports; screen coating smoothes out images; speaker bar option for built-in sound; pleasing aesthetic design.

The Bad Poor performance in key DisplayMate tests; backlight bleed through on dark scenes that you can clearly see under normal lighting conditions; optional speakers exhibited some distortion.

The Bottom Line Although this 24-inch LCD delivers with an abundance of features and a sleek design, the Gateway FHD2400 stumbled in the labs. No single performance problem is a deal breaker, but there are enough of them to prevent a stronger recommendation.

5.7 Overall
  • Design 7.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 4.0
  • Service and support 7.0

Editors' Note: There was a mistake made with the original calculation of this monitor's rating. The mistake has now been fixed, and the overall star rating has been adjusted to reflect the fix. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Despite a host of video connections, including HDMI, and HDCP support, the $550 Gateway FHD2400 is not a good multimedia display choice. This 24-inch LCD carries a reasonable $550 price and will suffice for basic productivity and gaming usage. The rich feature set includes an optional $50 speaker bar that attaches to the bottom, a pivoting screen, and HDMI and component inputs. Despite its many features, the overall performance of the system leaves a lot to be desired. It scored relatively low on our suite of labs-based tests and exhibited some errors during our anecdotal tests. Image flaws are most evident in the FHD2400 when viewing movies or doing graphics work.

Design
The Gateway FHD2400 is fairly sleek looking. It has a glossy, black bezel on its top and sides offset by a silver metal overlay that runs along the bottom with Gateway's logo on it. From its back, you can see the similarly glossy neck of the stand, which also includes the Gateway logo. By simply snapping the optional speaker bar to the bottom of the bezel, you are able to listen to audio from your PC--or whatever HD device you have hooked up--solely through your display.

The footprint of the stand is 10 inches deep and 11.8 inches wide at the front of the display. The stand is sturdy when the screen is at its lowest; however, when raised to its full 5.25 inches, it becomes a bit wobbly. Adding style points to the FHD2400 are the power and OSD menu buttons lit by a cool blue LED on the bottom-right side. The screen pivots 90 degrees to the left so that it can be viewed in portrait mode, and it can tilt back 45 degrees. The glossy finish on the screen has the benefit of smoothing out jaggy images. We notice this effect the most while playing World of Warcraft. On a matte display, polygonal models can look jagged along the edges with the system configuration we use. However, the FHD2400 smoothes much of the jaggies thanks to the coating. We did not notice that this had any effect while watching a DVD or Blu-ray Disc.

With the speakers attached, we're greeted to a chime sounding not unlike a doorbell when we pressed the OSD button to begin calibration. The onscreen display provides controls for adjusting the volume of the speakers, in addition to the usual display settings including brightness, contrast, and color. The menu is easy to navigate after a few minutes of practice, but we ran into a problem when calibrating the display. The menu is quite layered and it takes several steps to get to the contrast function. The problem is that when you're in the contrast control and want to take few seconds to evaluate any changes you've made, the OSD disappears and to get back to contrast you have to take those steps all over again. It would have been nice to have a way to lock the OSD menu onscreen for more than few seconds. This is a minor quibble, however, as most users don't calibrate their displays and just use the default settings. If you are one to calibrate your monitor meticulously, you'll find it to be a headache. There are some presets included, but they change only the color calibration--not contrast or brightness.

Manufacturer's specs
Resolution: 1920x1200
Pixel-response rate: 3ms
Contrast ratio: 1000:1
Connectivity: DVI, VGA
HDCP compliant? Yes
Included video cables? DVI

Features
The Gateway FHD2400's connection options are more extensive than we expected for a $550 24-inch display. These options include the usual suspects, DVI and VGA, plus basic S-Video and composite video connections. In addition, you get component and HDMI for your HD needs; the display's 1,920x1,200 native resolution means you can display 1080p video (it supports HDCP). Also included are a built-in four-port USB, and a headphone and a microphone port. The only thing we find missing is an optical audio port.

Performance
Given its sleek appearance and bountiful connections, the Gateway FHD2400 did not score as highly as we had hoped in the labs. In our DisplayMate performance tests, it had trouble in two key areas. The first area was the display's video bandwidth. The bandwidth test measures the monitor's capability to produce broad detail as well as fine detail. Its low score indicates that it will not be able to produce fine image detail very well. This can result in very detailed but relatively distant images looking blurry in photographs and movies. The other lackluster area was in its grayscale reproduction. The grayscale test evaluates a display's capability to produce true black while still reproducing the darkest grays of the grayscale. Even at its highest brightness setting, we had trouble seeing any dark grays lower than level 12. Ideally, we'd be able to see dark grays at level 4 or lower. This low score means that detail is lost in a movie's darker scenes. Color reproduction on the display was good, but we would have liked to see less color compression and colors that were less drab and had more brightness to them.

While watching the Kill Bill DVD we found the colors to be muted and didn't pop as much as they should have. One of the scenes we used for evaluation--where Uma Thurman and Vivica A. Fox have a conversation in a kitchen--there are many colors in this scene and they looked blander than what we had expected. Blu-ray Disc playback was detailed and sharp, although there was an oversaturation of red on many of the character's faces in the Swordfish disc we used for testing. Both Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry's skin tones were too red in the scene at his trailer where she teaches him to golf.

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