Recently, I needed to upgrade my monitor. The little 14" thing that I had been using had served me well, but since it could barely fit one page of A4 on it, it was time for it to be relegated to the spare computer which I had Frankensteined into life out of bits of old motherboard and hard drives lying around in the garage. My new PC was on its way too, and I wanted a monitor that could handle anything I could throw at it.
I bought this from a little electronics shop just outside of Newcastle-Under-Lyme (sorry guys, service was great but I can't for the life of me remeber the name of the shop! If I do, I'll mention you here because you deserve the coverage). Anyway, it was a snip at just under £120 (inc. VAT), and there was no waiting around for it to be delivered. This is avaible on Amazon from numerous different sellers at wildly varying prices. It's best to shop around before parting with your cash
It comes in quite a robust box, with two polystyrene protectors. While most people don't like to clutter their houses up with bulky packaging, this is definitely worth keeping if you think you may move house or need to ship it off somewhere, as they are quite delicate. It looks like it could have done with a bit more padding inside, but since it wasn't delivered to me, this wasn't an issue.
This was incredibly straightforward. While there is no drivers CD, nor a manual included, if you have any experience setting up computers this is a doddle. Beginners may struggle, but tech support is avaible either on the Iiyama website, or there are tech-help forums out there.
The base of the monitor is a bit flimsy, and has to be attached before setting it up, and it does concern me that should it fall over, it might not survive the force of even such a small fall. I'll try to be careful, though!
The connection to the PC is via Digital Video Interface (DVI), meaning it is HD ready and transfers data in an uncompressed fashion. This is immediately evident when we come to...
For the price, there can be no complaints made about the clarity and resolution this monitor gives. The HD quality at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels is awesome. No fuzziness, no bleeding and certainly no dead pixels. Thank goodness for LCD screens - no more degaussing required after too much magnetic interference from the speakers.
I use my PC for work, surfing the net, creative writing, gaming and watching TV and movies, both streamed and on DVD. At just under 22" (calling it so is a bit naughty, as it's really only 21.5) this monitor is better than the flat-screen TV in my living room. My girlfriend and I have been watching the latest series of Torchwood online rather than on the TV as the quality it gives is so good - we've set up a little home cinema in the office!
For work, this suits my needs exactly. As a typesetter and proofreader by trade, I regularly need to have two pages of A4 visible on screen at once. The resolution and dimensions of this monitor allow this to be done with ease. I also need to be able to magnify smaller areas for graphic-design purposes, and again the huge tracts of screen allow this to be done without it cramping up. It's like being able to breathe again...
I won't go into too much boring techie detail here, but it has all the usual features - such as colour set-up, brightness, contrast, vertical/horizontal adjustment, language setup and other things. It also has an auto-setup optionm, which could help the beginner. It also has a secondary input/output feature, so you can link it to another monitor should you need to (and be lucky enough to have a sufficiently large desk!)
This is my only slight concern. While the performance of this monitor is awesome for the price, it does feel slightly flimsy. I'm a firm believer in getting what you pay for, and it does feel that in keeping the costs down. It's not awful, though, and should last a long time. It's power-consumption is low (~40 Watts), and is energy-star certified, so it's not going to melt the ice-caps in a hurry.
All in all, I'm very pleased with this monitor, as it does everything I need it to do, and was pretty inexpensive.