The FPD2185W accepts analog and digital signals (though it ships with only an analog cable) and is HDTV ready. The back of the monitor accommodates signal ports for composite, component, and S-Video connections, plus a USB 2.0 hub that contains one upstream and two downstream ports. Two more downstream USB ports are located along the FPD2185W's right side, just underneath the control panel, making the FPD2185W one of the most well-connected LCDs we've seen.
The Gateway FPD2185W performed excellently in CNET Labs DisplayMate-based tests. Tested at its native 1,680x1,050 resolution, the FPD2185W showed off its contrast ratio with text that popped off the screen with exceptional clarity. Even small-size serif fonts looked dark and clear, their legibility unimpaired by digital noise. The FPD2185W's grayscales were a cut above the usual as well, featuring solid blacks, crisp whites, and a smooth range of in-between tones, with only a smattering of faint off-color tints. Colors also looked bold and vivid, though we did notice that color scales showed a lack of tonal differentiation at the dark end of the spectrum, and at the light end, blue tended to slip into violet. Overall, the FPD2185W's uniform screen showed no notable shadows or other irregularities.
While gaming backgrounds were outstanding, with sharp clear details and no streaking or ghosting, we noticed lots of pixel movement, ghosting, and a lack of sharpness in our DVD test.
The Gateway FPD2185W's one-year limited warranty is two years shy of the industry-standard three years. However, you can purchase a three-year extended warranty for $30--a reasonable upgrade fee considering the monitor's low price. Gateway conveniently places a tag listing Gateway's customer-service URL and the tech support phone numbers and hours on the back of each FPD2185W. Tech support via phone is available from 5 a.m. to midnight PT, seven days a week.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)