Also disappointing was the dynamic contrast mode, which ‘dynamically’ adjusts the backlight according to how light or dark the image displayed is. For gaming this proved very distracting, with the transitions in brightness clearly visible. Moreover, it didn’t have that great effect on either the black levels or the brightness beyond what was possible without it.
This was further evidenced when we hooked up an HD DVD player via the HDMI port. The good news is it played, so there’s no doubting the HDCP support, but though the Iiyama is just about good enough for gaming, high definition video really showed its weaknesses.
Blacks looked washed out, with the dynamic mode merely making them a darker shade of grey. Meanwhile the muted colours were similarly unimpressive and, combined with the average black levels, made for a below average experience. For whatever reason using the HDMI with the HD DVD highlighted the back light bleeding problems even more, with the lower segment of the screen particularly affected.
Firing up Casino Royale on the PS3 produced similar results and, though action was reproduced well, overall it only reaffirmed the feeling that the Iiyama doesn’t do HD video any justice whatsoever. For gaming then it’s good enough and will certainly allow you to play your games at high resolutions, including 1080p on a console. For video and also image work though, the Iiyama is just isn’t good enough.
Overall though this is to be expected, and there’s very little to choose between this and Samsung’s 245B. Both are merely proficient when it comes to image quality and features, but bring the 24in LCD closer to the mainstream market than ever before. Consequently, if you’ve previously thought you couldn’t afford a 24in display then this will certainly appeal, though if you do have the money the BenQ FP241W is still in an entirely different league to this or the Samsung.
Between the two, Iiyama has the edge on price but the Samsung on design and overall appeal – which is a difficult distinction to make. Still, if this whole exercise is about bang for your buck then the Iiyama is the better bet at today’s prices and this may tip the balance in its favour. Whether this will change in the future is impossible to predict but, with BenQ already planning its own TN powered 24in, it may be best to wait and see what it manages to produce.
At the time of writing, the Iiyama ProLite B2403WS is the best value 24in LCD you can buy. This certainly doesn’t make it best overall though, and plenty of compromises are made to get you that super cheap price. This makes it a good bet for the gamer on a budget, or the home office worker, who just wants a big screen with the resolution to match, but those with more discerning requirements should still look to the more expensive models.
Score in detail
Image Quality 6