Design and features
Dell's 2209WA is a screen, we expect, that will be snapped up rather quickly. It's an eIPS based, 22-inch screen with a resolution of 1,680x1,050, 300cd/m² brightness, 1,000:1 typical contrast ratio monitor, with a 6ms grey-to-grey response time — and it's only AU$459.
Dell quotes an 83 per cent coverage of the CIE1976 gamut — for reference, the 3008WFP weighs in at 117 per cent, and the 2709W and 2408WFP at 110 per cent of CIE1976. Regardless, colour representation is excellent without the tendency to ramp the reds and greens, a trait often seen with today's "wide gamut" monitors.
The panel itself is set in quite deeply from the surface of the bezel — around 8mm — which causes a few problems. Firstly, the bottom of the screen appears to be darkened slightly, like a shadow, and secondly the inside of the bezel tends to reflect the contents of the screen, which can be distracting. Neither of these are deal breakers, but can annoy. We found we adjusted after a period of use.
Inputs are limited to DVI and VGA, curious considering Dell's pushing of DisplayPort. A USB hub is built-in, with four extra USB ports being supplied as a result — two on the left-hand side, two on the underside of the monitor. There's also a small card that extends from behind the USB ports on the left — this contains monitor info on the front, and various certifications on the back. This is handy if you have to get support for your monitor — all the details are now right in front of you, rather than having to turn the screen around. Incidentally, the info card listed our review sample as a first run revision, A00.
At the bottom right of the screen the menu buttons are featured, with the power button at the bottom. The power button is the only one that's lit, in blue at that, while the others stay lifeless unlike the 2709W. Also unlike the 2709W, these buttons are mechanical, not touch based — but the on-screen display is still similar.
Offered in the menu is brightness and contrast settings, colour space settings (RGB/YPbPr), a mode selection between "Graphics" and "Video" and some preset video modes. We'd suggest you forgo the included "Standard", "Multimedia", "Game", "Warm" and "Cool" settings, and go straight for "Custom". Switching from Graphics to Video mode, hue and saturation options appear, as well as a few other preset video modes you should never use, and that's about it.
Disappointingly, there's no 1:1 scaling mode offered — only "Fill" and "4:3" modes. Interestingly, sharpness adjustments are allowed on DVI, and thankfully the pure marketing exercise that is dynamic contrast can be turned off.
The stand is extremely solid, with a black square foot and silver neck. It offers swivel, tilt, height and rotate functions, and the panel can be detached from the stand — a lot of these are a rarity on 22-inch monitors. Cable management is offered through a hole in the neck.
The 2209WA ate DisplayMate for breakfast, then flew in more DisplayMate to have for lunch, showing smooth gradients and displaying all 255 monochrome shades. Movie watching was a joy, as was our Half-Life 2: Episode 2 gaming session, with no noticeable detractions.
The 2209WA is a monitor with very few flaws. While we'd love to see 1:1 scaling, and the inset screen may cause some users grief, we wouldn't mind two of these sitting on our desk. This is the best 22-inch monitor we've seen.
The Dell 2209WA should be available online in Australia from January 20.