After the migration to 16:10 aspect ratio, from TV-age 4:3 computer monitors, we're now seeing many new displays at a more cinematic 16:9 ratio. Not true cinema widescreen, mind. Despite the hype from the panel manufacturers, these 16:9 screens are not ‘perfect' for watching HD movies, since most films from Blu-ray will be at an even wider aspect of 2.35:1. But it's a step in the right direction in this entertainment-led age, well suited to modern TV and satellite broadcast standards.
Iiyama's ProLite E2208HDS is a 16:9 model - not so unusual there, except in its size. At a nominal 22in, the Iiyama ProLite E2208HDS one of the smallest 1080 monitor of Full HD persuasion we've seen yet.
It's a basic but relatively high performance design, using a TN (twisted nematic) type panel mounted in an unassuming dark frame with gently rounded corners, mounted on a fixed-height stand. From desk level to panel top edge is about 37cm, suggesting that an added riser below would help with comfortable day-long viewing for most users.
As well as possessing a useful native resolution for HD video viewing, those added pixels on the Iiyama ProLite E2208HDS mean more screen space for normal computer activities, from web browsing - although not quite wide enough to squeeze two typical web pages side-by-side - to multitasking with email, IM and other apps open side by side.
For inputs the screen offers one DVI and one VGA, the former said to be DHCP compliant so it shouldn't be phased by the DRM on Blu-ray films. There are tiny built-in speakers mounted behind the Iiyama ProLite E2208HDS's panel, upward firing, but sound quality is particularly poor so you'll appreciate external speakers for anything more ambitious than system alert sounds.
Picture quality is good for the TN technology choice, with very even and uniform backlighting right across the panel, and relatively smooth colour gradients.
Viewing angle is also usably wide in both horizontal and vertical planes - better than many others in this respect. Up close, some graininess was evident on the Iiyama ProLite E2208HDS as a sparkly effect on whites. Text remains sharp and focused even at small point sizes.
Monitor adjustment controls were not not entirely intuitive, though, with the Exit button, for instance, doubling up to also change viewing mode presets. But the Iiyama ProLite E2208HDS's basic colour/contrast/brightness adjustments are readily accessible through a menu accessed via the Enter button.
More than capably built and with very impressive picture quality for the price, the Iiyama ProLite E2208HDS is a great all-rounder and the pick of the new generation of low-budget but high-definition LCD monitors.