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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.
|Pixel-response rate: 5ms, 2ms (GTG)|
|Contrast ratio: 1,000:1|
|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.
Unreal Tournament 3 and World of Warcraft (WoW) both looked good running at 1,920x1,080 and showed no signs of ghosting or input lag. The display has a lower brightness than does the XL2370, but not as low as the GML2427. The GML2226 also has deeper blacks, making the color in games pop more than they did on the GML2427. Also, the "film" we mentioned in the GML2417 review that seemed to cover the entire screen was nonexistent here. We recommend using the monitor's Normal preset for games; the Game preset seemed to saturate the colors, and in WoW, game text showed noticeable aliasing. The GML2226 delivers a much more satisfying gaming experience than its 24-inch sister does, but it still fell short of the XL2370's performance.
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 made to be viewed only at that angle. Depending on its panel type, picture quality at nonoptimal angles varies. The Mag GML2226 was made with a TN panel, and when it is viewed from the sides or bottom, we perceived the screen to darken about 4 inches off from center, and we noticed that from the left, right, and top, the display darkened, and colors shifted quicker than they did on the SyncMaster XL2370. Of course, when viewed from the optimal angle, we had no problems.
|MAG GML2226||Average watts per hour|
|On (default luminance)||20.5|
|On (max luminance)||23.79|
|On (min luminance)||7.33|
|Calibrated (200 cd/m2)||18.4|
|Annual power consumption cost||$7.05|
In the power consumption tests, the Mag GML2427 drew 20.5 watts in its Default/On mode--less than the XL2370's 30.09 watts and slightly less than the Mag GML2427's 21.9. Based on our formula, the GML2226 would cost $7.05 per year to run, compared with the XL2370's $9.96 per year and the GML2427's $7.03 per year.
Find out more about how we test LCD monitors.
Service and support
Mag Innovision backs the GML2226 with a three-year parts-and-labor warranty that only covers the backlight for one year. It also offers support through a toll-free number and e-mail support. Documentation and support software for the GML2427 were easily accessible on Mag's Web site, but the toll-free number (888-283-1311) was nowhere to be seen.