Besides having a most unwieldy moniker, Gateway’s LCD bears the distinction of not including a DVI cable—it must be purchased separately—a minus in our book. It’s also one of only two monitors in our April 2006 roundup to boast a widescreen aspect ratio, with a native resolution of 1680x1050, and elongated proportions that nicely accommodate side-by-side windows. If you’re more interested in headroom, the FPD2185W flips into portrait mode for viewing lengthy web pages or Word documents.
The handsome black cabinet with carbon-fiber trim offers the full complement of ergo options (and the most effortless telescoping neck we’ve ever experienced). The onscreen display buttons are on the bezel’s outer right edge, which is a nuisance, but a bundled app makes it possible to perform many OSD functions via a software GUI. The FPD2185W has you covered for inputs, offering several video options and two built-in USB 2.0 ports. Yes, there’s a lot to like about this monitor.
Sadly, the FPD2185W’s performance in DisplayMate was just average. It couldn’t produce more than 64 steps of grayscale without showing signs of compression or expansion in the various shades. While this might not be readily apparent in a lot of real-world content, it does diminish subtle detail in images and would be problematic in any work that requires careful color matching. In games, the FPD2185W’s performed without incident.
So while this LCD offers a lot of bang for the buck in terms of features, it comes at the expense of top-notch image quality.
Month Reviewed: April 2006
+ ROSE-COLORED GLASSES Handsome, versatile cabinet; big screen; and lots of inputs.