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BenQ V2220 - 21.5in Ultra-Slim Monitor
When flat-panel LCD monitors first came out they were much thicker than they are now; indeed, compared to the average modern TFT screen they were positively bulky. In time, though, they've become thinner and thinner and BenQ has led this charge with the likes of the BenQ V2400W. Back in 2008 it was the thinnest around, but its 60mm thick chassis pales in comparison to the BenQ V2220 we're looking at today, which thanks to its use of LED backlighting measures a mere 15mm.
Like the BenQ G2222HDL we reviewed recently, it's a 21.5in display and has a Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) supporting native resolution. Unlike its more dowdy, cheap and cheerful counterpart, though, it offers a little style and (on paper) better specifications. We say "on paper" because of the V2220's second claim to fame: the world's highest dynamic contrast ratio (for a desktop monitor) of a frankly ludicrous 10,000,000:1. Yes, in case you lost count of the zeros or thought it was a typo, that's ten million. This is partly down to the use of LED backlighting, but also some extremely liberal marketing - in reality the native contrast ratio is a thoroughly unmarketable 1,000:1.
Another benefit of LED lighting is power efficiency, but though BenQ posits the V2220 as environmentally friendly it doesn't get any medals for "best" or "most" in this third category due to its 25W maximum power use. It's still quite frugal compared to many larger, more expensive monitors, but even the minimum 15W draw achieved using the Eco mode can't match those marketed specifically as 'eco' models. If this is a big concern for you there is an eco version of the V2220, though its design is a little different.
Unsurprisingly, from the moment you take it out of its box the slimness is the most eye-catching feature about the V2220. An extremely narrow, rounded and angled stand helps accentuate the svelte impression further. It's also very light when compared to most monitors. In some respects it looks very similar to the likes of the Samsung EcoFit SyncMaster P2370. It assembles in a similar manner too, with the chassis and leg simply clicking into the weighty base to be secured with a neat hinged thumb-screw.
According to the literature the monitor's piano black exterior is "inspired by the finish on lacquer ware" – and here we were thinking it was inspired by every other piece of glossy plastic product around. Shiny bezel haters will be tearing at their hair, but the finish does help to bring out the V2220's clean lines. Overall, it's an attractive piece of design.