It used to be the case that for any given monitor size, you knew the resolution you would be getting. 17 and 19in gave you 1,280 x 1,024 and moving up to a 20 or 21in LCD display would get you to the heady heights of 1,600 x 1,200. However, since the world has gone widescreen, it’s got a little confusing. Most widescreen displays start at 20in and have a resolution of 1,680 x 1,050 and the next size up is 24in at 1,920 x 1,200. However, we’ve recently seen a 21in Samsung offering 1680 x 1050 and we’ve also seen a 19in widescreen from Asus with an awkward resolution of 1,440 x 900. If you’re an iMac fan you’ll also get this resolution on the 17in model.
The screen I have in front of me adds to this confusion by offering up a resolution of 1,680 x 1,050 but on a 22in display. Not only that, but it does so at a record price. Despite having two inches on the likes of the Samsung SyncMaster 205BW, it’s actually slightly cheaper. As we received this monitor very early this is actually the RRP – the online price is likely to be even more competitive, making this screen truly bargain-tastic. It actually won't be available in the UK until the end of September, so look out for it then.
If you’ve not heard of Mirai it’s because it’s a brand that not been around very long, but it’s not the first time we’ve seen it pull off this bargain price trick. In our TV section you’ll find a review of a Mirai 27in LCD TV at an amazing £520, which managed to turn in a respectable picture quality performance despite its bargain basement price. Can Mirai do the same with this monitor?
Having not heard of Mirai before I saw this monitor I wasn’t expecting much in terms of design aesthetics and I was pleasantly surprised by its appearance. The 22in display is set inside a silver bezel that’s quite easy on the eyes. The bezel is quite thin at the sides and the icons over the OSD buttons are smartly presented. There’s a small discreet yellow light next to these and a small TCO99 sticker at the top right. For me, the look of the display is only spoilt by the Mirai logo itself, which uses an unattractive type face – but that’s just my opinion.
Some evidence of cost cutting is apparent in the simple circular black stand. The plastic is cheap looking but it’s not offensive. Naturally at this price, there’s no height adjustment whatsoever, but you can tilt the screen from leaning very slightly down to slightly back. If you wanted to turn the monitor to show something off then you need to move the whole thing.