Iiyama ProLite B2403WS review

Price when reviewed

In what’s proving to be a month of surprises where displays are concerned, this new Iiyama TFT comes with an astonishing suggested retail price of less than £300. Once it settles in the channel, this price is likely to be lower still, making the ProLite B2403WS the cheapest 24in monitor we’ve yet seen.

But, following the same trend as the similarly affordable Samsung, it’s anything but a bog-standard monitor. It comes with an adjustable stand, which tilts, swivels, rotates to portrait mode and lifts through a huge 130mm. Then there’s the pair of 2W speakers, which, while not immune to distortion at high volumes, pack enough punch to fill a small room with well-rounded audio.

And the most notable inclusion is an HDMI port on the back, plus HDCP compatibility. Better still, Iiyama has the foresight to bundle a DVI-HDMI cable in the box, acknowledging that the majority of users will still want to connect via their DVI graphics cards rather than next-generation home-entertainment devices.

But while it may trump the Samsung in terms of connections and features, the B2043WS can’t quite match it in use. Its main weakness is that it seems a little dim, with light scenes lacking impact even at the maximum 300cd/m2 brightness, particularly next to the Samsung. That aside, though, the black level is even, with no backlight bleed, and the contrast shown in our setup screens was superb, even without the 2,000:1 dynamic contrast enabled. The colour tone is neutral, with natural greys and lifelike colours in our image tests and, with a 3ms response time, fast-moving images posed no problems.

The design is also a big improvement on some of Iiyama’s recent models, with a more rounded bezel and a slightly lighter colouring. But whether you buy the Samsung or this model will depend on how low the Iiyama price drops once it settles: the two are currently both around £300, so unless you have an HDMI device like a PS3 to make full use of the Iiyama’s ports, for the moment we’d have to lean towards the brighter and more vivid Samsung.

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