The TopView A2281Wd+ is most affordable 22in monitor from a new brand with plenty of heritage in the PC accessory market
TopView is a new brand of monitors to the UK, a sub-brand of Gigazone – best known in this country for its Gigabyte PC motherboards. But based on our first sample TopView deserves to become a more familiar name in the future.
The TopView A2281Wd+ sits at the higher end of the range, a classic 22in value design dressed in a shiny black plastic frame. Some monitors of this size now boast full-HD 1920x1080 resolution, but this model is one notch down at 1680x1050, a size that gives the slightly squarer 16:10 rather than 16:9 aspect ratio.
Priced at just £110, we shouldn’t demand too much in features or even performance from the TopView A2281Wd+; yet with expectations managed, we were certainly impressed by the monitor’s intrinsic image quality.
Like most monitor brands, TopView makes mendacious claims for contrast ratio, in this case 20,000:1. In actual use we were impressed by the brilliance of the whites and the darkness of blacks. Whereas many recent (and more expensive) screens are using white LED backlighting, this TopView A2281Wd+ uses traditional cold fluorescent lighting.
And it certainly is well lit, as well as very even. In fact we had to turn brightness levels to nearly ‘zero’ for comfortable screen reading. And note that at the zero setting, the panel does not go black. Colours were vivid but never lurid.
Reading text from the TopView A2281Wd+was made easy by the overall clarity though, with black text actually appearing as black rather than dark grey. And off-axis viewing angles were not at all bad for a twisted-nematic type panel.
Eco mode is TopView’s greenwash name for various preset picture settings, including Internet, Game and Movie mode. We set the screen to a comfortable level of brightness for PC work, where it consumed 25W electricity. Change this to Sports mode, for instance, and watch the brightness increase dramatically; power consumption in our tests rose here to around 35W.
Overall build quality of the TopView A2281Wd+ is quite satisfactory for the price, and we find the usual non-height adjustable stand, but with a modicum of tilt available. Picture adjustments are made through a row of five stiff plasticky buttons under the bezel. Monitor connection options are either DVI or D-Sub VGA. There are no built-in speakers.
The TopView A2281Wd+'s on-screen display menus are somewhat crude looking but functional. There you’ll find adjustments for such features as colour temperature, brightness and contrast. A ‘color boost’ function lists effects such as Nature Skin, Green Field and Sky-blue, but we preferred to fine-tune image through the other options.
'Demo mode' here can be useful though, as it gives a split-screen effect to preview before and after processing.
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