So with similar ergonomics and worse looks, what justifies the E2209HDS’ higher price over the older model? Well, in addition to the VGA and DVI ports found on the E2208HDS, this display adds HDMI. To be honest though, triple video inputs are no longer the luxury they once were, and most similarly-specified monitors offer them.
There are 3.5mm inputs and outputs present too, so you don’t have to rely on the E2209HDS’ built-in speakers – and that’s a good thing, since the efforts on this monitor are particularly poor. If it hadn’t been for the relatively impressive set found on the recently-reviewed Asus VW246H we might have been more inclined to forgive the pathetically weak volume, lack of any clarity or depth and tinny bass. Admittedly the VW246H is a 24in monitor, but even by the usual 22in standards these speakers don’t hold up well.
Of course a monitor isn’t really about audio quality, so let’s see how it does on the visual side of things. Initial impressions here were rather poor here too, since there is noticeable contrast shift with even subtle horizontal adjustments. Conversely, vertical viewing angles are strong for a TN, and from the ideal angle the E2209HDS delivered a decent greyscale performance. Just a hint of backlight-bleed along the bottom edge affects an otherwise even backlight distribution, but both banding and dithering are minimal.
Out of the selection of image presets (which include Text, Internet, Game, Movie, Sports and Standard modes) only Standard allows you to adjust brightness, contrast and colour temperatures and should be the one to use for any entertainment material. Advanced Contrast Ratio (Iiyama’s dynamic contrast system) is turned off by default in all modes – a good thing since turning it on costs you too much dark detail to be worthwhile.