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Gateway HD2201 review: Gateway HD2201

Gateway HD2201

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Eric Franklin
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Eric Franklin

Senior Managing Editor / Mobile

Eric Franklin leads the CNET Reviews editors in San Francisco as managing editor. A 20-year industry veteran, Eric began his tech journey testing computers in the CNET Labs. When not at work he can usually be found at the gym, at the movies, or at the edge of his couch with a game controller in his hands.

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The Gateway 22-inch HD2201 can be found online for $240. For that low price, the monitor provides VGA, DVI, and HDMI connections. It also delivers great performance in both games and movies, and for an extra $40 you can add an optional speaker bar, which surprised us with its rich audio. The NEC AccuSync LCD22WMGX and the Samsung SyncMaster T220 cost about $350 and $300, respectively, online. The NEC has worse overall performance than the Gateway and although it has some useful photo-viewing features, it does not include an HDMI connection. The Samsung's performance is more or less on a par with the Gateway's, but it skimps on HDMI. The 22-inch Dell SP2208WFP has great performance, a Webcam, and HDMI--but it's more expensive at $350. Even at $280--with the speaker bar--the Gateway HD2201 is the best value for a 22-inch monitor currently.

7.5

Gateway HD2201

The Good

Low price; great games and movie performance; good quality sound from optional speaker bar.

The Bad

Bad lower viewing angle; OSD buttons are not very responsive; time consuming to navigate the OSD.

The Bottom Line

The 22-inch Gateway HD2201 monitor boasts great movies and games performance, includes both HDMI and DVI connections, and has a low price.

Design and features
The Gateway HD2201 22-inch monitor looks like a mini version of the company's XHD3000 ExtremeHD 30-inch display. It does not, however, include a screen-rotation feature. As with the XHD3000, there are no pivoting or height adjustment options either.

These adjustments options are rare in 22-inch displays though; neither the NEC AccuSync LCD22WMGX nor the Samsung SyncMaster T220 includes them. The screen tilts back 30 degrees, as do the NEC and Samsung units. The foot stand is about 10 inches wide and 7.5 inches deep and although it weighs about 14 pounds--with the speaker bar--it wobbles quite a bit when knocked from the sides.

The bezel is a glossy black and its sides are only about 0.7 inch thick, but there's a gray overlay on the outside of the bezel that makes the screen an inch or so wider. The top side of the bezel has a convex shape, while the left and right sides are flat. The bottom has a silver metal overlay on it with the Gateway logo.

The screen has a glossy coating that can make images look smoother on displays. We have found in the past that a glossy screen's reflections can be more trouble than they're worth, but with the Gateway the reflections were minimally noticeable.

The connection options include DVI, HDMI, and VGA. The video connections are fairly easy to get to as they are to the right of the neck of the stand. Since the native resolution is only 1,680 by 1,050, you won't be able to watch 1080p content without scaling the image.

The included removable speaker bar not only supports sound through the PC, but through any HDMI or RCA device that hooks to the monitor. The bar includes a headphone jack on either side and a volume dial on the right.

The On Screen Display buttons are flat, touch-sensitive, and glow with a cool blue LED. This helps when calibrating the display in a dark room. Navigating the menu, however, is frustrating at times. The buttons are not very responsive, and there is no option to control the amount of time the OSD is onscreen. Additionally, some of the options like Ultra Contrast are buried deep within the menu and can be a time-consuming experience to access. This is especially frustrating when the option is an on/off option and should have an easily accessible switch outside of the menu or at least within the first level of it.

Manufacturer's specs:
Resolution: 1,680x1,050
Pixel-response rate: 5ms
Contrast ratio: 2,000:1 (Ultra Contrast)
Brightness: 300cd/m2
Connectivity: HDMI, VGA, DVI
HDCP compliant? Yes
Included video cables? DVI, VGA

Performance
We tested the Gateway HD2201 with its DVI connection. The display posted a composite score of 84 on CNET Labs' DisplayMate-based performance tests, which edged out the Samsung SyncMaster T220's score of 83 and the NEC AccuSync LCD22WMGX's 78. In most of the individual DisplayMate test screens, these three 22-inchers achieved similar performance. Both the Gateway and the Samsung were able to break away in color, however. The Gateway, in particular, exhibited a richer color palette than the NEC, which is most likely due to the Gateway's low black level. The black level of a display can positively or negatively affect the rest of the colors in the grayscale. A high-black level will distort the colors so that, for example, you'll see pink when you're supposed to see dark red. A low black level assures that colors are presented more accurately. During the intensity color ramp test however, we saw evidence of color banding with the Gateway.

In real world tests, this was not a problem. We noticed when watching Kill Bill Vol.1 that flesh tones looked the most accurate on the Gateway. Thanks to its relatively high black level, Uma Thurman's face on the NEC looked too light, and on the Samsung we noticed a definite red color push. The Gateway had a more balanced color mix and its low black level assured that her face was not too light.

This trend carried over into World of Warcraft. Colors on the Gateway were deeper and fuller than the NEC, whose colors were too light. Where grass was a deep green on the Gateway, it had a slight yellowish tint to it on the NEC.

The Gateway H2201 includes a feature called Ultra Contrast that will purportedly give the monitor a 2,000:1 contrast ratio. When we used it in games and movies, we saw only that the screen got lighter and the colors became drabber as the black level rose.

We found that the best settings for viewing games and movies on the display were the Warm color temperature, Ultra contrast: off, Contrast: 45, and Brightness: 32 (more or less brightness depending on how much your eyes can take).

Gateway's official maximum brightness for the HD2201 is 300cd/m2. In our own tests, we got close with a reading of 292cd/m2. The NEC was almost as bright with 281cd/m2, while the Samsung could only muster 265cd/m2. Gateway claims a viewing angle of 160 degrees; however we noticed that the screen begins to lose color detail about 2 feet to the left or right side. At a lower viewing angle, it's more immediately noticeable. Just a couple of inches from the optimal angle (1/4 of the screen distance down), and the top of the screen gets dark and unwatchable.

The included speaker bar provides crisp sound that isn't distorted or tinny when playing music or watching movies. The maximum volume is high, but not to the point that things get distorted. It's about the maximum level you'd want unless you're trying to annoy someone in the same room.

Juice box
Gateway HD2201 Average watts per hour
On (Default Luminance) 36.36
On (Max Luminance) 40.53
On (Min Luminance) 23.32
Sleep 0.61
Calibrated (200 cd/m2) 34.1
Score Fair
Annual energy cost (@$0.1135/kWh) $11.86

Brightness in cd/m2
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Contrast ratio
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Gateway HD2201 22"
856:1 

DisplayMate Tests
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Service and support
The monitor includes a one-year limited warranty that covers parts and labor. Gateway backs this up with 24-7 toll-free phone technical support as well as technical support via e-mail.

Find out more about how we test LCD monitors.

7.5

Gateway HD2201

Score Breakdown

Design 6Features 8Performance 8Support 7Setup 0