"Gateway FPD 2185W Excellent except for..."4.5 starson by gradio
Pros: Lots of real estate on screen, great definition
Cons: Swivel modes only on Windows XP, Mac users left out
Summary: I was using a 19" Samsung CRT for a number of years and while it was reliable, the colors were not very accurate despite numerous tweaks to the settings. I had aquired an iMac G5 recently for another family member and was astonished at how good the 20" mac lcd screen was. My Samsung definitely was not good enough anymore.
After looking around in numerous stores and comparing models and features, I discovered the Gateway FPD2185W at my local Future Shop. In addition to the great screen images, it had a wealth of inputs, USB ports, PIP (you can plug in a tv tuner for example) and resolution up to 1680 by 1050.
I also like the fact it has a dvi port, for direct digital-to-digital transfer of images. However, it is difficult to notice any difference from the analog input compared to the dvi.
Bundled with the monitor is a vga cable, but no dvi cable. This is unfortunate, especially with the high prices of these cables (I had to pay $49.95 Cdn for one).
Additionally, I am annoyed that Mac users do not have a version of the software which gives Windows users easy access to screen controls and other configurations. In an email, the Gateway tech support said it was something that they may look at in the future, but not at the present time.
To navigate the screen controls, you have to press four buttons on the side of the display, which will take some time to get used to. It would have been nice to have direct buttons for the often used brightness and contrast (although these can be accessed through the Mac displays preferences panel or through the Gateway's four buttons).
Although you can set the PIP to four different sizes and several locations on the screen and switch the input fro the main display window to the PIP window, you can't drag the PIP window or resize it with your mouse.
I would have been nice to include a built-in TV tuner (although I don't need one since I can hook up my local DSL cable TV box output to the video ins).
In spite of the limitations to Mac users, I am still happy with the Gateway FPD2185W, and consider it great value for the price.
Perhaps Gateway's next version will have some of the above enhancements.