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With a bright, vivid image, a rock-solid, sturdy base, and pretty much any video port you could want outside of HDMI, the Gateway FPD2275W is an outstanding, versatile 22-inch LCD. For businesses willing to treat their employees to a $380 wide-screen display, the Gateway's matte-black bezel gives it a clean, corporate look, perfect for deploying throughout your offices. (Hey, a 22-inch wide-screen LCD that lets you view two documents side-by-side can only increase productivity.) The touch-sensitive (perhaps too sensitive) controls also lend it a sleek, updated look. It wasn't quite as able in CNET Labs as the recent 20-inch HP w2007, but it did best the 22-inch HP w2207. Although the warranty lasts but a year, we recommend the Gateway FPD2275W for any LCD shopper who has decided 22 inches is where he wants to be.
When you start creeping up in screen size, the stand the 12-pound LCD rests on becomes more important. The Gateway's oval base is wide and heavy and made completely of metal. This is a sturdy stand, and it keeps the display firmly rooted in place. Smooth, glossy sides contrast the matte black on the front and back. You get tilt adjustment, but that's about it; no swivel, no rotating to portrait mode, and no height adjustment without the aid of a monitor stand or phone book. Gateway does sell a $70 stand that gives you all of the above adjustments plus four USB 2.0 ports.
The LED touch-sensitive controls are a cool design touch but can be frustrating to use. We grew accustomed to the feel after a few minutes, but accessing the onscreen menu is an infrequent task that may have you relearning how to get the controls to respond. Navigating the up and down arrows was more difficult than it should be.
Pixel-response rate: 5ms
Contrast ratio: 800:1
Connectivity: DVI, VGA, component, composite, S-Video, four USB 2.0
Included VGA and USB cables (no DVI)
The Gateway FPD2275W is awash in video ports. In addition to VGA and DVI connections for desktops and small laptops, you get component, composite, and S-Video ports for pretty much any video device you may have in your living room--DVD player, Blu-ray or HD DVD player, game console, video camera. In addition, it supplies one upstream USB 2.0 port and four downstream USB 2.0 ports, effectively turning the hard-to-reach port on your PC (or Mac) into four USB ports around the lower-left corner of your display.
The display is HDCP compliant, which means you can view copyrighted content (read: Hollywood movies) on high-definition Blu-ray or HD DVD discs. The display's top resolution of 1,680x1,050, however, means you just miss 1080p output.
The Gateway FPD2275W received a composite score of 80 on our DisplayMate tests. We would have applauded that score had this monitor been available and reviewed this past April to compete against HP's 22-inch w2207, at the time a 75 and tops for its class. A score of 80 is still excellent, but the 22-inch ViewSonic VX2255WMB matches it, while the 20-inch HP w2007 finished way out ahead with a score of 87. On our other two main image quality tests, the Gateway turned in a respectable maximum brightness level that was nearly identical to the ViewSonic and a contrast ratio that was slightly lower. It excelled on our HD video test, showing a near flawless image during a Blu-ray of Swordfish. Casino Royale on DVD looked smashing, and F.E.A.R. showed no ghosts except for that creepy little girl.
Anecdotal testing didn't uncover any defects other than the expected backlight bleed. It was slight and visible on the top and bottom edges of the screen under the most adverse condition: in a darkened room with the desktop wallpaper set to black. It's not a problem when the lights are on or with brighter images. It does not detract from movie playback or computer work.
Service and support
Unfortunately, the love affair ends here. The Gateway FPD2275W garnered an 8 or above (out of 10) for design, features, and performance, but its one-year warranty makes it below average for support. Three years is the industry standard for LCDs; Gateway charges $29 if you want to tack on two more years. We also found Gateway's site too sales-oriented; our search for a FAQ page or drivers led us to pages that offered various pay services--not the type of answers we were after.