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Eizo FlexScan S2242W review

Verdict:

The Eizo FlexScan S2242W has a few small flaws, but none where it really matters.

Review Date: 24 Mar 2009

Price when reviewed: (£409 ex VAT)

Reviewed By: Keith Martin

Our Rating 4 stars out of 5

Eizo's monitor range is well-respected among those looking for more accurate colour than that delivered by most LCD monitors, so we were keen to put the company's new 22in FlexScan S2242W through its paces.

This is another of Eizo's 'industrial chic' designs, a chunky rectangular unit that rests on a sturdy central pillar. It's aimed at the discerning designer, photographer or publishing professional, and at £470, this is not the cheapest display of this size, but after putting it to the test, we found that the performance fully justifies the cost.

The colour fidelity of this screen is well worth noting. It did very well in matching and comparison tests, and Eizo claims that it can reproduce 95% of the full Adobe RGB (1998) colour space, which is impressive and matches its larger, more expensive displays. Use a colorimeter, such as a X-Rite Eye-One or ColorVision Spyder device, to keep this freshly profiled and you'll be able to work and check colour in confidence.

One of the unusual things about this display is the resolution, an impressive 1920 x 1200 pixels rather than the 1680 x 1050 that's more usually used at this size. You should note that this monitor's sibling, the FlexScan 22in S2232W, doesn't have a 1920 x 1200 resolution, so make your purchase carefully. This pixel count is normally common in 24in screens, so Eizo bills this as providing '24in resolution on a 22in footprint'. Marketing spin aside, it's welcome having that little bit more available.

This display is fitted with a DVI port and a VGA port. While this isn't meant as a true dual-input device, like most screens of this type, the input can be switched using the on-screen display controls accessed using the small buttons along the front bezel. We found these controls to be somewhat fiddly, even briefly frustrating on occasion, but they aren't likely to be required regularly so it isn't a significant issue.

You'll notice this monitor's unusual feature the moment you put it on a desk: the ability to rotate between landscape and portrait orientations. This rotation isn't something that everyone is likely to want, but it could be useful in some circumstances. This ability is recognised by the Mac OS and, although the display image isn't turned automatically, you do get a Rotation menu in the Displays panel in System Preferences.

This trick is used in other Eizo monitors, including the huge CG301W we reviewed a year ago. Like that display, the rotation mechanism performed smoothly, but allows an extra few degrees of turn rather than stopping precisely at the horizontal or vertical point. It isn't hard to operate, but you'll need to stop and fine-tune the position each time you rotate it.

The display is billed as being particularly green, with an EcoView feature helping to keep power consumption down to a little over 40W, roughly a third less than with the feature disabled. The Auto EcoView setting uses the light sensor built into the front bezel to balance the screen brightness according to the ambient light levels. From a user's point of view this brightness balancing is useful in varying lighting conditions, much like the similar feature found in MacBook Pro laptops. What's not so ideal is the green rating graphic that appears in the display's corner to show the current power use. It is possible to turn this off, but this involves poking through the clunky on-screen display controls.

Other features include a two-port USB hub and a pair of 0.5W speakers, which are built into the display's case.

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