Mirai DML-522W100 review

Price when reviewed

When it comes to buying a new TFT, not everyone is interested in countless interfaces, flexible stands and USB ports. If you simply want a functional display for as little as possible, the Mirai DML-522W100 delivers. In fact, it has been an alternative choice on the A List for four months for exactly this reason.

Mirai DML-522W100 review

It’s no catwalk stunner, with just a rounded grey bezel and a basic plastic stand that only tilts, but it’s surprisingly well built and sturdy. Despite the low price, there’s a DVI interface; no cable is supplied, but buy one for £5 and you’ll also be amazed by the image quality. The Mirai isn’t the best this month, but it’s fine for everyday use.

Colour blending was perfect in DisplayMate’s colour ramp tests, and we noticed no stepping in real-world images. Colours look undersaturated and therefore a little muted, but 2D applications were perfectly readable and clear. The white-screen test showed no major blips in the uniformity of the backlight, and the 300cd/m2 brightness is more than usable.

However, the black-screen test revealed a fair amount of light bleeding through at the top and bottom edges. The colour ramp tests showed that the Mirai is a little darker towards the top than the bottom, although viewing angles are respectable on the whole. The DML-522W100 stumbled in fast-moving scenes, though: it might boast a 5ms response time, but it was the only monitor to suffer from noticeable blurring. It isn’t HDCP compliant either, so this isn’t the greatest option if you want your monitor to double as a screen for movies.

Flip this deceptively light TFT around and you’ll find a pair of speakers on the back, so Windows sounds or internet audio can be handled, but they won’t cope with music or movies. The OSD buttons are tucked underneath the front bezel, which isn’t too awkward since labels on the front show where each button is. The menu itself is fairly comprehensive and the display is backed by a three-year on-site warranty.

At just £185, there’s nothing else here to match the Mirai for value. The Belinea may slightly edge it for image quality, but we can’t recommend buying an analog TFT over a similarly performing digital model. The only other rival is the 20in LG L204WT with its HDCP compliance, but the Mirai’s extra screen size will prove the deciding factor.

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