We are ashamed to have mentally cast off Envision’s G2219w1 at first glance because it looked like a budget monitor. It’s budget in price only, for this 22-inch display offers exceptional picture quality for its class.
It wasn’t perfect, though—Envision’s display didn’t reach the same level of gray detail at the dark end of the grayscale as Gateway’s, but it was extremely close. Envision’s display beat out Gateway’s at the light end of the spectrum by, again, a very close margin.
We want to like this monitor, but too many issues stand in the way.
In DisplayMate, Gateway’s HD2201 consistently reproduced dark grayscale values, pushing out more dark shades of gray against a black background than we typically find from monitors of its class. The same can’t be said of the HD2201’s merely average ability to reproduce light shades of gray against white.
What's standing in this monitor's way? Find out after the cut.
Planar’s PL2210MW display is a classic representation of your average 22-inch display—a 6-bit TN panel that bears the mediocre image quality of that class. In DisplayMate, the 1680x1050 display’s grayscale range was acceptable, although it fell apart at the light end in both the grayscale test and when the screen was tasked with producing very light colors against a white background.
Full review after the jump! Or the bump. Possibly the bjump.
Remember those happy-ending fairy tales your mother used to tell you? Well, your mama was feeding you sugar-coated rehashes of the original morbid tales. Grimm, the mischievous protagonist of this episodic platform game, wants to set the record straight—and he’s using his soot-spreading powers to do it.
We did not expect this. When we first got our hands on Zalman’s CNPS9300 AT, we assumed the company had pulled a “Honey, I Shrunk the CPU Cooler” on its flagship product, the bulky CNPS9700. That’s certainly true if you consider the tale of the tape: The CNPS9300 is 80 percent smaller than its big brother, and its total thermal dissipation area has been nearly halved, from 5,490cm2 to 2,583cm2.
Logic only dictates that this cooler should perform far worse than the Zalman CNPS9700. But the built-for-silence CNPS9300 AT nearly matches its big brother’s performance—as well as that of our top cooler, Thermaltake’s DuOrb (reviewed July 2008).
Instead of a god of the sea, Gigabyte’s midtower Poseidon 310 chassis is a petite prince. But that’s merely a reflection of this case’s size, not its prowess. It clocks in at 7.75”x17”x20”—small enough to fit into that nook in your desk or the space under your bed.
Even given its small size, the Poseidon supports up to five 5.25-inch devices. We’re unsure why this case—or any case, for that matter—still bothers with multiple external 3.5-inch bays. You get two helpings of them on the Poseidon. We would have rather sacrificed these and an additional 5.25-inch bay in favor of more internal hard drive space. Though we’re not complaining about what we get for internal storage: three hard drive bays with included rails.
Full review (with a verdict and everything!) after the jump.
Toshiba’s 320GB portable drive is so plain it doesn’t even have a real name. It’s just the Toshiba 320GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive, which doesn’t quite roll off the tongue as well as Western Digital’s My Passport Elite, the Toshiba 320’s primary competition in terms of size, speed, and software (see our review of the Elite here).
The USB-only Toshiba 320 posted the slowest real-world read speeds of any drive we’ve tested. However, these lapses represent only a four percent difference in real-world performance when compared to the fastest non-proprietary drive we’ve tested, Western Digital’s My Passport Elite. Four percent is four percent, but it’s not enough to make a significant difference.
IBuypower’s Gamer Paladin 990 is a strange beast. After we completed our testing, we were left wondering just what iBuypower was trying to accomplish with its half exotic, half midrange rig.
Take, for example, the videocard situation. The machine sports a pair of Nvidia’s newest GPUs, but not the company’s top-end offering, the GeForce GTX 280. Instead, iBuypower uses a pair of EVGA GeForce GTX 260s. If these GeForce cards weren’t midrange when they were first released, they certainly are now, as Nvidia has taken a blowtorch to prices to keep the GTX 260 competitive with ATI’s Radeon HD 4870.
If you don’t just like Gigabit ports—you love them— Gigabyte’s GA-EP45-DQ6 is the motherboard for you. This mobo has four Gigabit ports that can be teamed together for one seriously fat-ass network connection.
Elsewhere, the board is typical Gigabyte; it includes surface-mounted buttons and the most clearly marked USB and FireWire ports we’ve ever seen. So if you nuke your USB drive because you plugged the USB connector into a FireWire header, it’s your own fault, brother.
Last month, we spent a ton of time talking about the efficiency and overall pixel-pushing prowess of ATI’s new GPU, so we won’t waste much ink on the subject here. Suffice it to say, the 4850 delivers enough power to drive your sweet, new 22-inch monitor at its native resolution.
The card’s silicon is equivalent to that of previous-gen high-end cards. It’s equipped with 512MB of GDDR3 memory running at 993MHz. Unlike the Radeon HD 4870 boards (which cost $100 more), the 4850 doesn’t sport GDDR5 (GDDR5 transfers twice as much data per clock cycle as GDDR3). The upshot? The HD 4850 has the slowest memory interface of any card in the current generation, and benchmarks show that—especially at high AA/anisotropic filtering levels.