Mag Innovision GML2226 review: Mag Innovision GML2226

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The Good The Mag GML2226 is low priced with decent movie and games performance.

The Bad The Mag GML2226 and includes only a VGA cable, has an unattractive default preset, and lacks ergonomic options.

The Bottom Line The Mag GML2226 is a budget monitor with decent performance, but there are better options out there.

6.2 Overall
  • Design 6
  • Features 7
  • Performance 6
  • Support 6

The 21.5-inch Mag Innovision GML2226 is available at the low price of $200. That amount gets you a monitor with improved performance over the recently reviewed 24-inch Mag GML2427, particularly in games and movies. Unfortunately, it shares some of its sibling's shortcomings as well: an unattractive default preset, a lack of ergonomic options, and the absence of a DVI cable. For budget-conscious buyers, we'd recommend the Dell ST2310. It has better performance and support than the GML2226.

Design and features
The 21.5-inch Mag GML2226 has a glossy, black chassis, and despite its 0.6-inch panel depth, a somewhat boxy look. The panel width measures 20.3 inches long, and the surface of the screen itself is a slightly frosted and smooth matte. The bezel measures 0.6 inch long on all sides. The distance from the bottom of the bezel to the desktop is 2 inches. The panel tilts back about 25 degrees, but unfortunately there's no pivot, swivel, or screen height adjustment.

On the back sits a 5-by-5.5-inch panel that protrudes about 0.5 inch from the display and houses the connection options, which include only VGA and DVI. Accessing these connections was easy, since they face directly back and not down like on most monitors. The 7-by-7 panel has four screw holes to give the option of mounting the display (VESA-style) on the wall. The circular footstand measures about 8.75 inches in diameter. Wobbling proved prevalent when we knocked the panel from the side, but thanks to the screen's low and unadjustable height, it never felt in danger of toppling.

The On Screen Display (OSD) follows a simple design that takes some getting used to. The OSD array consists of a Menu button, Up and Down buttons, and an Auto button, with each button located on the bottom right-hand side of the bezel. With no "back" button, it's necessary to navigate to "Exit" to leave a menu screen, a process that proved more and more tedious each time it was necessitated. Picture options consist of brightness and contrast and you can set the color tone to Cool, Native, Warm, or SRGB. We found the Warm setting, far and away, the best of the bunch as the Cool--the default setting--had a much too bluish tint.

Also included are settings that allow you to change the red, green, and blue attributes individually. There are four presets including Night, Scenery, Theater, Game, in addition to a Dynamic Contrast setting that works independent of the current preset. The DC preset is mostly useless, as it only darkens the screen to a point that most details can't be seen. Each preset changes the color temperature and brightness of the display to be appropriate for the task at hand.

The Mag GML2226's 16:9 aspect ratio has a 1,920x1,080-pixel native resolution. The 16:9 monitor trend currently sweeping the market has given many smaller monitors higher resolutions than they were capable of at 16:10. A 22-incher with a 16:9 aspect ratio, now has a potential high-def, native resolution of 1,920x1,080 (1080p) pixels as opposed to 1,680x1,050.

Manufacturer's specs:
Resolution: 1,920x1,080
Pixel-response rate: 5ms, 2ms (GTG)
Contrast ratio: 1,000:1
Brightness: 250cd/m2
Connectivity: DVI, VGA
HDCP compliant? Yes
Included video cables? VGA
Backlight type: LED
Panel type: TN
Aspect ratio: 16:9

We tested the Mag GML2226 with its DVI connection in the Warm color temperature preset, via a DVI cable; however, the display only includes a single VGA cable. The display posted a composite score of 85 on CNET Labs' DisplayMate-based performance tests. This is one point higher than the GML2427's 84, but the 21.5-incher's performance was improved over the GML2427 in several ways. The default color temperature on the display is Cool and at this setting, the screen delivered a very bluish tint that muted the colors and gave the screen an overall drab look. In the Warm setting, the screen's performance was much more palpable. Although the GML226's black level was not as deep as the XL2370's, it was improved over the GML2427's excuse for black, which was closer to medium gray.

The Mag GML2226 achieved a brightness score of 276 candelas per square meter (cd/m2)--lower than the XL2370's 344 cd/m2 and the GML2427's 221, and slightly higher than Mag Innovision's claimed maximum brightness for the GML2226 of 250 cd/m2.

We looked at "Kill Bill, Vol. 1" on DVD, and a number of 1080p movie files from Microsoft's WMV HD Showcase. Movies on the GML2226 were much improved over the GML2427, particularly in black level and color saturation.

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