I recently got the Dell ST2220L monitor, which was delayed for 3 weeks due to, what Dell claims, a shortage of LCD panels. The 21.5 inch monitor costs £127 (with coupons) from Dell.co.uk or £129 from PC World.
The monitor looks pretty good. It has an HDMI, DVI, VGA, and audio output and audio input sockets at the back of the monitor (pointing downwards). Although it supports HDMI and DVI as well as VGA, Dell ships the monitor with only a VGA cable. However, I recommending buying the HDMI cable, which costs around £5 from Amazon.co.uk (Amazon basic cable). Contrary to Tom's Hardware review, the audio output CAN pipe sound from the HDMI cable, so you do not need a long cable to connect your speakers. You can just plug it in to the audio output socket on the monitor.
My biggest complaint is that the matte monitor is too damn bright. The color resolution is very good despite the matte anti glare finish but the brightness level is set too high, in my opinion. I found myself turning the brightness down to 40%. You may also want to switch the color settings to cool, which makes everything seen bluish but is easy on the eyes. Also dynamic contrast makes it impossible to distinguish items in a low contrast environment, like the Windows boot up screen. The Windows flags became too dark and almost indistinguishable from the black background. Therefore, I turned that feature off.
In summary, here are the pros and cons.
- Price: it's pretty cheap and worth the price of £127
- Supports HDMI as well as DVI and VGA
- Good colors
- Audio output at the bottom of the monitor pipes sound from the HDMI port, reducing the need of a long audio cable to attach speakers to PC
- Too bright (may need to turn down brightness levels)
- Too big, bad for reading pages on the web due to light shining from the side of the pages (places where there is no text)
- No speakers
- Only VGA cable
- Menu buttons are touch sensative and not lit so hard to find it in low light environments
- Dynamic contrast (Can make things indistinguishable so may want to turn this off