The Gateway FPD2185W is a 21-inch LCD monitor that costs $599.99 and is one of the least expensive LCD monitors in the 20-plus inches category. It offers excellent image quality and plenty of adjustability, features and connections.
The FPD2185W has a matte black finish and glossy charcoal colored sides, with smooth rounded edges, which give it a classic look. A bezel runs along the top, sides and bottom. The screen is enclosed by a strip of glossy black plastic.
The monitor offers every adjustment you can possibly need. It can be pivoted from landscape to horizontal and tilted 5 degrees forward and 20 degrees backwards. It can be swiveled 35 degrees to the left or right and the height can be adjusted by 4.5 inches. All these adjustments can be made effortlessly.
You have to turn the monitor to see which button you are pressing because the control panel on the right side of the panel is not visible. You can use the onscreen menu to switch inputs or adjust the contrast, brightness and RGB settings.
A good printed user guide is provided, but it takes some time to get used to the menu controls. The monitor is HDTV ready and accepts both analog and digital signals, though it comes with only an analog cable. On the back of the monitor there are signal ports for component, composite and S-video connections.
A USB 2.0 hub with one upstream and two downstream ports is also included. Two more downstream USB ports are provided on the right side, under the control panel. The connectivity of the FPD2185W is among the best on LCD monitors.
At its native 1,680 x 1,050 resolution the monitor offers a good contrast ratio and even small serif fonts can be easily read. It offers superior grayscales with crisp whites, solid blacks and a smooth range of shades in-between. There are only a few off-color tints.
The colors are vivid, though there may be a lack of tonal differentiation in the darker range. In the lighter range, blue tends to shift into violet. On the whole there is no major problem with the colors.
During gaming, the backgrounds are excellent with clear and sharp detail and no streaking. With the DVD, however, there is a lack of sharpness, ghosting and a lot of pixel movement.
The monitor comes with a one-year limited warranty, which is less than the standard three years. The warranty can be extended to three years for $30, which is reasonable. Technical support is available via phone from 5 a.m. to midnight PT.
The Gateway FPD2185W offers plenty of features with outstanding image quality and adjustability, at an attractive price – a combination that is hard to beat.