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ThinkVision C220p review: ThinkVision C220p

With its great image quality, gamers and graphics pros will be very happy with this CRT. They'll be even happier when they see its price tag.

Kristina Blachere
2 min read
IBM ThinkVision C220p
Graphics pros have a great advantage when it comes to buying a monitor: high-quality jumbo CRTs can be had for a song. But the downside is that the most design-conscious potential users are forced, for the sake of image quality, to suffer bulky, aesthetically unappealing form factors. For a 22-inch flat-screen CRT, the IBM C220p is not bad-looking (black being a slimming color even in monitors). It also has good image quality and is about half the price of a comparably sized LCD.

As you might expect from a monitor with a cathode-ray tube big enough for a 22-inch viewable area, baby got back. In fact, the IBM C220p weighs more than 67 pounds and measures 20.19 inches wide, 20.33 inches high, and 19.04 inches deep, yet it's surprisingly agile for its bulk. With most CRTs, adjusting the forward tilt and the side-to-side swivel requires considerable upper-body strength, but the C220p glides so smoothly on its base that you can tilt it back and forth and swivel it about 180 degrees with only the lightest touch. There's also a notch engraved in the base to help you line it up for optimum swivel range.


ThinkVision C220p

The Good

Good image quality; reasonable price; DVI-A and D-sub inputs; very easy to adjust.

The Bad

Bulky form factor.

The Bottom Line

For gamers and graphics pros who don't have $1,800 to spend on a top-of-the-line CRT, the IBM C220p offers a spacious, good-looking, modestly priced alternative.

Four buttons on the C220p's bottom front bezel launch and navigate the onscreen menu (OSM). The buttons also serve as hot keys to switch between the D-Sub and DVI-A inputs (DVI-A cable is included) and control the brightness and contrast functions. The OSM is easy to navigate. All of the buttons have finger-size grooves in them for an easy fit, and one of the buttons is designated for exiting submenus, so you don't have to scroll around to exit the OSM. All of the menus in the OSM contain nontechnical explanations about each setting. For example, the Purity setting improves the image quality in the corners of the screen, and Convergence reduces colored shadows on letters or lines.

Gamers, CAD/CAM users, and other graphics pros will appreciate the IBM C220p's image quality. It's not quite on the level of the Sony GDM-C520K's, but at one-third the price, the C220p is an excellent alternative for designers on a budget. The display is fairly crisp for a CRT (LCDs always do better on the text and focus portions of our DisplayMate-based tests), and the geometry is also very good. The C220p really shines in the grayscale, white-level, and color-scale tests. The display reproduces nice true whites and blacks, and it shows an even progression on the grayscale screen. Color hues remain consistent across a range of intensities. Web graphics look very smooth and blended, and colors are warm and rich. After some informal, after-hours testing, our Labs technician reports that gaming with the C220p is a dream, thanks to its vibrant color and smooth video performance. The maximum resolution for the C220p is 2,048x1,536.

The IBM C220p comes with a standard three-year warranty. Phone tech support is available 24/7, and IBM's Web site contains drivers, troubleshooting tips, and e-mail support.


ThinkVision C220p

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 8Performance 8Support 7