Out of the box the monitor comes in two parts, with the screen and stand not connected. Happily, setting up the Iiyama is a simple case of clipping the display onto the stand, and once done it’s immediately secure and ready to use. As you might expect Iiyama includes all the cables you’re ever likely to need, with UK standard power lead, D-SUB cable, audio lead and a DVI-to-HDMI cable.
This obviously provides a hint as to connectivity, with Iiyama opting for D-SUB and a more marketable HDMI input instead of DVI. I say “more marketable” because this immediately opens up the popular “connect your games console, HD DVD, Blu-ray players etc” line, and naturally the HDMI port is HDCP enabled to provide this functionality. This is all very convenient, though it immediately strikes us as a lazy and ill conceived piece of marketing rather than an actually useful feature.
To begin with, as a PC connection HDMI is frankly rubbish. Presuming you might actually want to use the Iiyama with a PC, which isn’t unreasonable considering Iiyama does provide a DVI-to-HDMI cable, any kind of movement invariably results in the connection coming loose and distorting the image, or worse still just falling out. As you might imagine this can get pretty annoying, and it’s high time someone just included a DVI-HDMI adapter in the box which would enable the same functionality at little extra cost. Who, after all, is going to miss the ability the pipe audio to the pathetic 2 Watt speakers? Not I.
Putting my grumbles aside for a moment, let’s focus on some of the other features of the display. As previously noted this uses a TN panel, which are generally good when it comes to response times and motion, but not so strong on viewing angles and colour accuracy. Though Iiyama lists the display as producing 16.7 million colours, this shouldn’t be misconstrued as meaning that it uses an 8-bit panel. In fact Iiyama lists the ProLite B2403WS as being 6-bit +2-bit dithering, which is simply an ambiguous way of saying it isn’t 8-bit.
Elsewhere the specification is pretty solid, with a 300cd/m2 brightness rating, 1000:1 contrast ratio and a 3ms grey-to-grey response time. There’s also a dynamic contrast mode, which boosts the quoted ratio to 2000:1 – though as I’ll detail later the results are somewhat mixed.
Unusually, Iiyama has chosen to be rather honest about the quoted viewing angles, which are 85 degrees right and left, 85 degrees up and 75 degrees down. This is a pretty accurate assessment, and though there’s obviously some loss of brightness and washing out of colours, there isn’t any of the ugly colour shift that we sometimes see on the cheaper TN displays.