Lenovo ThinkVision L2251x Wide review: Lenovo ThinkVision L2251x Wide

Lenovo ThinkVision L2251x Wide

Eric Franklin

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 Lenovo ThinkVision L2251x Wide can be found for as low as $278 from major online retailers. The monitor provides good performance in games, movies, and general tasks and includes a plethora of ergonomic options. Users looking for extras will be pleased by the built-in Webcam and microphone, as well as the multiple USB ports. Unfortunately, the monitor includes limited video connection options. VGA and DisplayPort are your only choices, so if you prefer a digital connection--and unless you have a DisplayPort compatible Video Card--you'll need to invest in an adapter. The Lenovo ThinkVision L2251x Wide is a well-performing monitor with a pleasing assortment of features that unfortunately will require an additional investment for most.


Lenovo ThinkVision L2251x Wide

The Good

The Lenovo ThinkVision L2251x Wide has an abundance of ergonomic options, four USB ports, and a built-in Webcam.

The Bad

The Lenovo ThinkVision L2251x Wide's lack of DVI port means most interested parties must invest in an adapter in order to use it. Also, its 16:10 aspect ratio and lower resolution will disappoint some.

The Bottom Line

The Lenovo ThinkVision L2251x Wide is a feature-rich monitor with good performance that will unfortunately require an additional small investment for most.

Design and Features
The 22-inch Lenovo ThinkVision L2251x Wide has a medium gray chassis with a matte finish. The bezel is short--0.6 inch wide on the right and left sides, and the panel measures 1 inch in depth. The back of the display--which houses the connection options and ventilation system--extends the panel another 1.1 inch, bringing the full monitor depth to about 2.1 inches. On the top of the bezel, in the center, sits a built-in Webcam and microphone. On the left side of the panel sit two USB ports aligned vertically.

The bottom right-hand corner of the bezel includes the OSD array consisting of a Menu button (which doubles as the Enter button), Right and Left directional buttons, a Back button, and a Video Source button. The right button also doubles as a shortcut to brightness and contrast settings.

There are four color temperature presets as well as the capability to change the red, green, and blue values directly. The color presets include Neutral, Reddish, Bluish, and SRGB, but the display lacks presets for specific tasks, like movies or gaming. We found Neutral was the best all-around color preset. The usability of the OSD doesn't stack up to those used in Dell's recent offerings, but the learning curve is relatively short, and each button is responsive and tactile.

The half oval-shaped footstand measures about 10.8 inches wide by 7.8 inches deep. With the screen height at its highest, the ThinkVision L2251x Wide's wobbling was very prevalent when we knocked the panel from the side. With the height at its lowest, we saw minimal wobbling. Also, the distance from the bottom of the bezel to the desktop is 0.8 inches with the screen height at its lowest; at its highest, it's 5.2 inches. The panel swivels about 45 degrees left and right and tilts back about 20 degrees. The panel also pivots 90 degrees to the left for portrait mode. Lastly, the panel can be unscrewed from the stand and mounted on the wall, VESA-style.

The monitor includes only VGA and DisplayPort for connections, along with an audio-in port, an extra USB downstream port and one upstream. The ThinkVision L2251x Wide doesn't include a DVI port. This fact left us perplexed, as DisplayPort hasn't exactly saturated the video card market, so the chances that the average consumer's computer will have one, is still fairly low. As it stands, most will need to invest in a DisplayPort to DVI adapter for the monitor to function.

The Lenovo ThinkVision L2251x Wide's 16:10 aspect ratio supports a 1,680x1,050-pixel native resolution, which is different from most monitors made these days that usually support a 16:10 aspect ratio.

We tested the Lenovo ThinkVision L2251x Wide with its DisplayPort connection. The display posted a composite score of 88 on CNET Labs' DisplayMate-based performance tests. The ThinkVision L2251x Wide's most egregious offense was in our Low Saturation Colors test, which tests a monitor's ability to retain full colors on a white background. While the ThinkVision L2251x Wide was able to display the grayscale up to level 252, it did show color tint problems with this test in the form of a red push. Lowering the contrast did alleviate the tint problem, but what was supposed to be peak white looked more like light gray instead.

The ThinkVision L2251x Wide achieved a brightness score of 260 candelas per square meter (cd/M2) and a high contrast ratio of 1,095:1.

We checked out "Kill Bill, Vol. 1" on DVD and a number of 1080p movie files from Microsoft's WMV HD Showcase. During movies, we saw color, that while not as vibrant or accurate as that seen on the Samsung SyncMaster XL2370, was better than what we've seen with the average monitor.

We looked at World of Warcraft (WoW) and Unreal Tournament 3 and noticed no signs of input lag or any streaking or ghosting during fast movement. World of Warcraft had fairly vivid colors, although they were slightly drab compared to the Samsung SyncMaster XL2370. Also, since the ThinkVision L2251x Wide has a lower native resolution, we noticed more aliasing and some blurriness in the text that we don't see on monitors with higher resolutions.

The optimal viewing angle for a monitor is usually directly in front, about a quarter of the screen's distance down from the top. At this angle, you're viewing the colors and gamma correction as they were intended. Most monitors are not made to be viewed at any other angle. Depending on its panel type, picture quality at nonoptimal angles varies. Most monitors use TN panels, which get overly bright or overly dark in parts of the screen when viewed from nonoptimal angles. The Lenovo ThinkVision L2251x Wide uses a TN panel, and when viewed from the side or bottom, we perceived the screen to darken about 6 inches off from center. Of course, when viewed from the optimal angle, we had no problems.

In our power consumption tests, the Lenovo ThinkVision L2251x Wide had a fairly low On/Default power draw of 17.5 watts, compared to the Samsung SyncMaster XL2370's 30.09 watts. Based on our formula, the ThinkVision L2251x Wide would cost a low $5.59 per year to run, compared with the XL2370's $9.96 per year.

Juice box
Acer T230H Average watts per hour
On (default luminance) 17.5
On (max luminance) 22.6
On (min luminance) 10.6
Sleep 0.49
Calibrated (200 cd/m2) 16.96
Annual power consumption cost $5.59
Score Good

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Find out more about how we test LCD monitors

Service and support
Lenovo supports the ThinkVision L2251x Wide with a great three-year warranty that covers the backlight. This is identical to the warranties that Dell provides for its monitors. Lenovo offers 24-7 toll free phone support, but, unfortunately, unlike Dell, Lenovo doesn't include e-mail or chat support. We weren't able to find drivers and the manual for the ThinkVision L2251x Wide on Lenovo's Web site at the time this review was written.


Lenovo ThinkVision L2251x Wide

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 6Performance 7Support 8
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