The attractive specifications and smooth design of the ViewSonic VLED221wm widescreen 22in LCD monitor are impressive.

We previewed the ViewSonic VLED221wm during the recent CES tradeshow in Las Vegas.

ViewSonic's 22in widescreen VLED221wm is, according to ViewSonic, the world's first sub-$1000 (£500) LCD monitor with LED backlight technology, which delivers an evenly bright screen and a wide colour gamut.

The ViewSonic VLED221wm, which will be available in the US in late February and should make it to the UK later in the year, offers a 12,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio that allows the display of impressive blacks; provides great colour reproduction due to its ability to represent up to 118 percent of the NTSC colour gamut; has a 1,680x1,050 native resolution; and boasts a 5ms response time.

The ViewSonic VLED221wm is currently on sale for £335 inc VAT - good news considering at the time of our preview it was estimated to cost £500, which is more than some 22in LCD monitors, but far from unreasonable.  

The cleanly designed ViewSonic VLED221wm has a thin, glossy, deep-black bezel. Most glossy bezels collect fingerprints and dirt, making the monitor look as if it were part of crime scene. The ViewSonic VLED221wm, however, proved smudge and fingerprint resistant, despite our repeated attempts to dirty it up.

The ViewSonic VLED221wm's built-in stereo speakers blend nicely and unobtrusively into the bezel, too. Although the display tilts, it does not swivel or pivot. In the user-friendly OSD (on-screen display) menu, you can adjust the colour settings, the brightness and contrast, and the audio volume by using the up, down, and select buttons on the front of the display.

Sound quality is lacking. In our informal audio-quality tests, the high frequencies were too high, and the lows lacked the punch that a standalone speaker system would provide. While the tinny sound won't please audiophiles, it is satisfactory if low background music is all you want.

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