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With 22in LCDs becoming so popular of late, there's no shortage of fairly bog standard affordable options out there. However, very little divides them and in truth truly noteworthy examples are few and far between. Of all, Samsung's 226BW and HP's w2207 have been the most eye-catching, while the legendary Samsung 215TW continues to confound all other efforts. Strangely, though, manufacturers seem reluctant to use some of the higher grade panel technologies in 22in displays, perhaps thinking that punters won't pay the premium for a really good 22in screen when they could make the step up to a 24in monitor.
Wherever the truth lies, this sector remains incredibly competitive. Thus, companies must work a little harder to make their products stand out from the crowd. Enter Mirai, with its first offering under the Chimei marque. Its previous effort, the DML-522W100 was sold under the Mirai moniker and it was a cheap and cheerful model. Is this latest offering, the CMV 222H, an improvement on previous offerings?
Taken at face value it's like any other 22in display, with a 1,680 x 1,050 native resolution and a bog standard 18-bit (3 x 6-bit) TN panel capable of producing 16.2 million colours. However, Mirai has taken the distinctly unsubtle approach of adding a bundle load of connectivity to try and tempt consumers its way. As such, unlike most 22in LCDs that trot happily along with DVI and D-Sub, the Chimei CMV 222H features HDMI, D-SUB, Component, Composite and S-Video inputs. To further sweeten the deal a card reader that supports SD, MMC, Memory Stick, Compact Flash, Smart Media and xD formats is included, along with a ubiquitous 3.5mm audio jack for feeding audio to the typically puny integrated speakers.
Amazingly, all this connectivity will cost just shy of £255 before delivery. This, you would rightly surmise, is a pretty good price for a display this versatile, though those with any sense would rightly suspect that there must be something about the CMV 222H that wasn't quite up to scratch. And indeed, you'd certainly be right in this respect.
First, though, despite the suspiciously low price, the CMV 222H is not at all the ugly duckling you might imagine it to be. It's not the definition of style by any means, but it has a simple and inoffensive charm to it. It has a nice slim bezel, finished in smooth to the touch matte black. In addition, since no product is complete without some glossy black action, there's a strip of the stuff on each outside edge, though you're hardly likely to notice it there. To complement the black bezel, the base is finished in silver, while all control buttons are hidden on the right outside edge for a sleek button-less front fascia.
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