For $260, the Gateway FHD2402 brings you a high-gloss and high-contrast screen with built-in speakers that has great movie and game performance, HDMI support, and a couple of USB ports. Unfortunately, the sound from the speakers is highly muffled and the high-gloss means you can practically use it as a mirror. Also, we found that the display has trouble distinguishing dark gray from black in some of our color tests, and at 24-inches, its resolution is slightly lower than most 24-inchers. Still, if you're in the market for a relatively low-price monitor that offers a few more bells and whistles than the basics do, the Gateway FHD2402 will suit you nicely. The $240 Acer H235H is slightly lower in price, but does not include USB ports.
Design and features
The first thing you'll notice about the 24-inch Gateway FHD2402 is the plastic overlay on its screen and bezel, which makes the entire front of the display appear flat. The panel measures 3.2 inches in full depth; about the same depth as the Acer H235H, but considerably thicker than the 23-inch Samsung SyncMaster P2370, which is a little over an inch deep. The bezel measures 0.8 inch on its left and right sides and 1.2 inches on its bottom, where you'll find a silver Gateway logo on the far left. There is not much to see on the back panel beyond a number of small, circular, vent holes near the top, concealing the built-in speakers.
The bottom of the panel sits about 1.8 inches above the desktop. Unfortunately, the screen height isn't adjustable and there isn't a screen rotation or pivot option for portrait mode. The only included ergonomic option is the capability to tilt the screen back 10 degrees. The rectangular foot stand is 10 inches wide by 4.25 long. The display is front-heavy though and will easily topple forward if knocked from behind. All three ports (DVI, HDMI, and VGA) are fairly easy to access, as they sit to the right of the display's neck. We were a little disappointed that no cord organizers are included. On the left side of the panel are two USB downstream ports aligned vertically. On the back, next to the video ports, is a single USB upstream port.
The onscreen display array sits in the lower right-hand corner of the bezel, right above the power button. We're glad to see that Gateway chose to place button labels for the OSD on the screen, instead of labeling them directly on the bezel. The onscreen labels made calibrating the display in a dark room relatively painless.
OSD options include the standards for brightness, contrast, and color. The presets are: Game, Web, Picture, Movie, Warm, Cool, and Custom Color. Navigating the menu takes some getting used to and never quite felt natural, mostly because Gateway uses terms such as "previous", "next" and "select", instead of used arrow symbols, which are more commonly used.
The Gateway FHD2402's 16:9 aspect ratio supports a "Full HD" native resolution of 1,920x1,080 pixels. This continues the trend of many monitor vendors moving toward 16:9 from 16:10 to accommodate high-definition content--in particular 1080p movies--which can fit onto a 1,920x1,080-pixel screen without distorting the image. The 24-inch FHD2402's 1,920x1,080[pixel resolution is actually less than many of its 24-inch, 16:10 competitors, which have 1,920x1,200-pixel resolutions. While we don't consider this a huge detriment to its quality, it may disappoint some users.
|Resolution: 1,920x1,080 pixels|
|Pixel-response rate: 2ms|
|Contrast ratio: 40,000:1 (Dynamic)|
|Connectivity: DVI-D, HDMI, VGA|
|HDCP compliant? Yes|
|Included video cables? DVI, VGA|
|Panel Type: TN|
|Aspect Ratio: 16:9|
|Built-in speakers: Yes|
We tested the Gateway FHD2402 with its DVI connection. The display posted a composite score of 83 on CNET Labs' DisplayMate-based performance tests, lagging behind the Samsung SyncMaster P2370 and the Acer H235H. The gateway scored well in most of our color tests, but really faltered in our two color ramp tests, which look for an LCD's capability to render gradations of primary colors smoothly, uniformly, and consistently. In our test, the FHD2402 wasn't able to show these gradations smoothly at all.
The FHD2402 achieved a brightness score of 216 candelas per square meter (cd/m2)--way shy of Gateway's claimed 300 cd/m2 max. The Acer H235H achieved a higher brightness, with 266 cd/m2, but this was also less than Acer's claimed 300 cd/m2 max. On our dark screen test, both monitors exhibited significant backlight bleed-through on the top and bottom edges of the displays, but the Gateway performed slightly better than the Acer in this regard.
Our "Kill Bill Vol. 1" DVD test yielded apparent ghosting on the Gateway in the Movie preset. Color-wise, the Gateway wins, with much more balanced and accurate colors compared with the Acer H235H.