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Monitors

BenQ M2200HD: 16:9, 1080p monitor joy

Monitors with 4:3 or 16:10 aspect ratios are dying out. The future is all about 16:9 displays like the new BenQ M2200HD, which we had the pleasure of testing recently

Monitors with a 4:3 aspect ratio have all but died a slow, painful death, and 16:10 models like the one you're using now are on their way out, too. The future is all about 16:9 displays like the new BenQ M2200HD, which we had the pleasure of testing recently.

This 21.5-inch bad boy runs at a native resolution of 1,920x1,080 pixels -- the same as you get on 'Full HD' 1080p televisions. This means it's ideally suited to watching high-definition movie content -- particularly Blu-ray or HD DVD movies, which are designed to run at that particular aspect ratio and resolution.

Gamers should be aware that the M2200HD's 1080p resolution isn't best suited to games. The majority of titles run at 16:10 or -- worse still -- 4:3. It isn't all doom and gloom, though -- most newer titles do have some form of widescreen support, even if it means you have to add a special parameter to the command line, edit an .ini file, or install a third-party mod. The Widescreen Gaming Web site should give you some idea of what games are supported.

Image quality on the M220HD was generally very impressive. It did particularly well in our DisplayMate tests, capably differentiating between like tones and colours. It fared well in movie-playback tests, too, with its 5ms response time helping to smoothly and accurately play fast-moving scenes. It also has a 2ms grey-to-tray response time -- that is, the amount of time it takes the monitor to transition from one mid-value colour to another.

It's not perfect -- the horizontal and vertical viewing angles aren't quite up to our standards, but you probably won't notice that if you don't sit at too extreme a viewing angle. Still, we've got to give props to BenQ for including an HDMI output port alongside both DVI and D-Sub outputs, as well as an integrated three-port USB hub, detatchable webcam and headphone port on the left-hand side.

The M2200HD is available now for around £175.