Large and sleek, the Gateway FPD1960 will make a basic but elegant addition to any workstation. An easy-to-follow onscreen menu makes adjustments a breeze, but its mediocre image quality and lack of adjustability keep us from recommending the monitor. For its price of $350 (as of July 2005), you can find other 19-inch LCDs that offer more adjustability and better performance. We recommend the Samsung SyncMaster 915N, or if you're willing to spend just a little more, check out the Dell UltraSharp 1905FP, one of our all-time favorites.
It's not a head-turner, but the Gateway FPD1960's streamlined, classic design aims to please the masses. The panel features an inch-wide, matte-silver bezel, with contrasting glossy black sides. The rounded corners give the FPD1960 a softer appearance. The small but stable circular base supports a thin, matte-black plastic neck.
The height isn't adjustable; the FPD1960's panel is permanently suspended 4 inches above your desk, which is a good height for most people but a little low for taller folks. The panel tilts back 35 degrees but doesn't offer near the adjustability of other monitors we've seen. Gateway sells a $50 replacement stand, however, that swivels and telescopes. (It also pivots from Landscape to Portrait mode, but the FPD1960 can't pivot the image to match.) Two plastic squeeze tabs hold the panel to the neck, so you can swap stands without tools.
Setting up and using the Gateway FPD1960 is quite simple. The power button stands alone on the front bezel, while the other five buttons are hidden on the panel's right side. Although out of sight, they're well labeled and easy to reach. If you press the menu button, the onscreen menu (OSM) pops up; a sidebar with arrows labeling the functions of the buttons, much like what you'd find on an ATM, helps you navigate the menu. The OSM lets you adjust the display's more advanced settings, such as color temperature and gamma, but brightness and contrast have their own dedicated buttons on the side.
The FPD1960 accepts analog and digital input, and the top button on the side allows you to switch between the two sources. The digital, analog, and power ports are the only inputs on the back of the display, and a small plastic clip attaches to the neck to route cable cords. The ports for digital and analog input are very close to the panel, which makes it difficult to connect the cables properly.