Chimei CMV 222H review

Price when reviewed

You’d be forgiven for not knowing the name Chimei. Little-known over here but huge in Asia, it’s the world’s third-largest supplier of LCD TV panels, and is the parent company of Mirai.

Chimei CMV 222H review

The CMV 222H is the first of the new range. It’s a 22in widescreen TFT, with the usual 1,680 x 1,050 resolution and 16:10 aspect ratio. It’s certainly different from the Mirai monitors we’ve seen: gone is the rounded grey bezel in favour of a sleeker black design, although the bulbous silver base jars slightly with the rest of the body. It’s a firm stand, though, and it hinges from a useful position flush with the desk, up through 10cm to a decent working height.

And the company has really gone for it when it comes to ports and features. A media card reader for all the major formats, including xD-Picture cards, connects to the PC via USB and, while it’s positioned a little awkwardly behind the left side, it’s a useful addition.

Then there are the inputs: round the back you’ll find D-SUB, component, composite and S-Video ports, along with 3.5mm audio-in. The built-in 5W speakers are impressively loud, but prone to distortion; even at low levels, sound quality is lacking. But the biggest draw is the HDCP-enabled HDMI-in port – just note it comes without an HDMI cable in the box, so you’ll need to shell out for one to avoid being limited to an analog connection from your PC.

We hooked up our own HDMI adapter to test image quality, but, unfortunately, the panel itself doesn’t match the ambitions of the rest of the monitor. The backlight in our sample was uneven and showed significant bleed at the bottom, while the top edge has a nasty yellow tinge on white backgrounds.

Viewing angles are also poor, so while the black and white levels are generally pretty good and we saw no banding in our colour ramp tests, we can’t recommend you hook up an HDMI HD player and gather your friends around. The A-Listed Samsung SM226BW is cheaper and superior, so even the Chimei’s impressive features can’t sway us.

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