The sub-£150 LCD monitors sector has been receiving plenty of new blood in recent months. The 21.5in ViewSonic VX2250wm takes most of the best bits from what's already there, and melds them into a quietly impressive little screen.

At 21.5 inches, the ViewSonic VX2250wm is not the most expansive of displays, but it is wonderfully slimline and almost floats out of the box. And considering its relatively low price tag, it's attractive in its glossy framework and pleasing dimensions.

We didn't like the transparent plastic underlay on the Hanns-G HL231DPB, but ViewSonic here has adopted a similar idea and made it look good. There's a lot of lettering on the frame but, that aside, we suspect few will be unhappy with the ViewSonic VX2250wm's looks.

For all the advances in flat-panel technology, the inability of monitor makers to settle upon an efficient but usable menu system is a mystery. Adjusting the image quality is too often a mind-scratching experience that'll have many a user giving up and sticking to the factory default settings. Not so with the ViewSonic VX2250wm.

The ViewSonic VX2250wm shows you how it's done. Touch-sensitive buttons are clearly labeled, and you can glide effortlessly up and down the menu before firing into or out of each option. Very simple but incredibly easy to use, the only problem with this approach is that it highlights how sparse the menus are, with few setup options besides switching on the dynamic contrast or eco mode.

You can adjust colour temperatures, but there are no colour modes to let you choose a palette to suit the task in hand.

The screen resolution of 1920x1080 is standard now, and the relatively fine pixel pitch of 0.248mm makes for fine image detail. The ViewSonic VX2250wm's quoted contrast ratio of 1000:1 can be stretched to a preposterous ‘20,000,000:1' using the Dynamic Contrast Ratio option.

It's generally a given that a screen this cheap will come with abysmal viewing angles, but those of the ViewSonic VX2250wm are actually surprisingly good, with only the faintest signs of deterioration visible while sitting to the side of the screen. It's fairly responsive when rendering fast moving images too.

The colour palette isn't the most faithful we've seen, and the ViewSonic VX2250wm is better at handling darker images than lighter and brighter material. However, the results on the matt screen are often quite intense and exciting, with plenty of detail and good character definition that also makes this a rather able screen for reading and editing text.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

See also: Group test: what's the best LCD display?

See also: Group test: what's the best budget LCD display?

ViewSonic VX2250wm: Specs

  • 21.5in flat-panel
  • 1920 x 1080
  • 0.248mm pixel pitch
  • 5ms response time
  • 1000:1 contrast ratio (‘20,000,000 with Dynamic Contrast Ratio')
  • 170/160 degree viewing angle
  • brightness 250cd/m2
  • VGA, DVI connectors
  • 521x190x403mm
  • 3.5kg
  • 3-year warranty
  • 21.5in flat-panel
  • 1920 x 1080
  • 0.248mm pixel pitch
  • 5ms response time
  • 1000:1 contrast ratio (‘20,000,000 with Dynamic Contrast Ratio')
  • 170/160 degree viewing angle
  • brightness 250cd/m2
  • VGA, DVI connectors
  • 521x190x403mm
  • 3.5kg
  • 3-year warranty

OUR VERDICT

The lack of colour modes slightly cuts down the versatility of the ViewSonic VX2250wm screen. And that's a shame, because otherwise this is a well-tuned flat-panel that delivers handsomely in most areas. For those shopping at around the £140 mark, this is our recommendation.

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