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TopView A2281Wd+ review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £107
inc VAT

Some might call it old-fashioned, but this is a decent monitor at a sensible price.


22in screen size, 1,680×1,050 resolution, DVI: yes, VGA: yes, HDMI:

You’ve probably never heard of Topview before, since it’s a relatively new company. It’s part of Gigazone, the parent company of Gigabyte, and judging by the quality of the A2281Wd+, it knows a thing or two about making LCD displays.

There’s been a lot of hype surrounding LED-backlit displays over the last 12 months, but good-quality examples are few and far between. The A2281Wd+ shuns LEDs and has a traditional CCFL backlight. It also eschews Full HD for a resolution of 1,680×1,050 (a 16:10 aspect ratio) and lacks an HDMI input.

Gigabyte TopView 81

You could argue that the A2281Wd+ is outdated, and technically you’d be right, but there’s still a lot to like. Image quality is surprisingly good for a TN LCD panel (this is the most common type, especially at the budget end). Colours are vibrant without being garish, viewing angles are wide and contrast is better than many LED monitors we’ve seen. Subtly different shades of colours are easily distinguishable from one another, plus whites are very bright and blacks are more than dark enough for the price. When watching videos or playing fast-paces games, we saw no noticeable smearing or blurring, which makes the 5ms claimed response time believable.

The only criticisms concern the backlight, which isn’t perfectly even: there was a slightly dark patch on the right-hand side of our review model. A small amount of backlight bleed is visible along the top and bottom edges, although this is noticeable when showing black bars above a widescreen movie.

It isn’t too surprising to find a tilt-only stand and no speakers at this price, but while there’s no HDMI, you get VGA and DVI-D inputs. The latter is HDCP compliant, so you can still connect HDMI devices with an adaptor.

Gigabyte TopView 81 Ports

The one aspect of the monitor we dislike most is the on-screen menu. It’s not pretty, but the real problem is the awkward controls which are mounted on the bottom edge of the display. They’re uncomfortable to use and the menus are slow to respond. There are plenty of options for those who love to tweak, though.

As well as sRGB, the User preset for colour temperature gives you control over red, green, blue, yellow, cyan and magenta levels. There’s a gamma control as well as the usual dynamic contrast, which we preferred to leave disabled. The Eco menu is a misnomer, since it contains the image presets, including Standard, Text, Internet, Game, Movie and Sports. The only way to control power consumption is to reduce brightness manually. At 100 per cent, we measured 35W, but this reduced to 22W at 0 per cent – a perfectly usable brightness level.

Although the resolution isn’t much lower than Full HD (you lose only 30 pixels vertically, and 120 pixels off each side, horizontally), the A2281Wd+ faces stiff competition from the Iiyama ProLite E2208HDD. This has a more even backlight and a Full HD resolution, yet costs the same, making it the better buy.

Basic Specifications

Rating ****


Viewable size 22 in
Native resolution 1,680×1,050
Contrast ratio 1,000:1 (20,000:1 dynamic)
Brightness 300cd/m²
Horizontal viewing angle 170°
Vertical viewing angle 160°
Response time 5ms
Response time type grey-to-grey
Screen depth 64mm
Base (WxD) 210x210mm
Screen elevation 95mm


Portrait mode no
Wall mount option yes
Height adjustable no
Internal speakers none
Detachable cables yes
USB hub none
Integrated power supply yes
Kensington lock lug yes
Display extras none
VGA input yes
DVI input yes
S-video input no
Component input no
Composite input no
HDCP support yes
Audio inputs N/A


Power consumption standby 0W
Power consumption on 35W

Buying Information

Price £107

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