Gateway FPD2185W - $600 with 1 year warranty
(+ $40 sound bar + $36 DVI cable)
The FPD2185W is a 21” 1680x1050 S-PVA monitor that is part of Gateway’s new line of premium-grade monitors. Recall that S-PVA monitors are known for excellent contrast ratios. S-PVA panels are used in Samsung and Sony Bravia LCD televisions. The Gateway is rated at 1000:1 contrast, something that our previous 2nd place winner, the Samsung 720T showed was a real, measurable result. Brightness is rated at 300 cd/m2. Gray-to-gray response time is rated at 8 ms. Bonus features include 4 USB 2.0 ports, Faroudja DCDi deinterlacing and component, S-Video, and composite video inputs. This is the only monitor from Gateway to feature HDCP support.
HP f2105 - $700
($650 after mail-in-rebate if purchased before 4/8/2006)
When you think of monitor manufacturers, HP is rarely at the top of your list. HP displays have always been good, but they rarely distinguished themselves from the pack. HP’s recent successes with the premium Pavilion line of DLP rear-projection TVs and their L2335 23” widescreen business-grade LCD have changed that perspective. I don’t think there’s a better 1080p wobulated DLP TV than the HP Pavilion line at the moment. It’s got superb fit and finish, and excellent image quality as well.
The new HP f2105 is proof that HP is committed to bringing high performance monitors to the market. As the only other HDCP-compliant monitor in its price range, the HP f2105 looks like a solid competitor to the Gateway. The specifications are identical to the Gateway FPD2185W: 900:1 or 1000:1 contrast ratio, 8 or 12 ms gray-to-gray pixel refresh (HP isn’t consistent), 300 cd/m2 brightness, and 178-degree viewing angle. However, unlike the Gateway FPD2185, the HP does not have the component or S-Video inputs or the ability to rotate into a portrait mode. That said, it is interesting to see that the HP draws more power than the Gateway (90W vs 75W). This is the only monitor from HP to feature HDCP support.