NEC 225WNXM-BK 22-inch widescreen LCD monitor

NEC 225WNXM-BK 22-inch widescreen LCD monitor

The 225WNXM sits in a very thin (about 0.5 inch) matte finish black bezel that's not sleek, but looks good. The display features a 1680 by 1050 native resolution, DVI and VGA ports, four USB ports, headphone jack, and it has a set of hidden down-firing speakers.

Whereas most built-in speakers sound flat or tinny, the speakers on this display possess a full range of sound, though they lack the deep bass that a separate speaker system would provide. Their main limitation is volume: They don't get superloud.

The on-screen display (OSD) menu is far from spectacular. You can make all the adjustments necessary--such as brightness and contrast--and you even get individual color controls, but the menu's text and graphics are very small and unintuitive. A bit of common sense and good engineering could fix the navigation shortcomings.

When we tested the 225WNXM at the PC World Test Center as part of a collection of 19 LCD monitors in the same category (models with 20- to 22-inch displays), it ranked sixth in performance. The monitor did a particularly good job of rendering text but was less successful with graphics. This set's screen is treated with an antiglare chemical coating. If you prefer a glossier look, you'll have to search elsewhere.

An HDMI option on this monitor would have been nice, and the OSD certainly has plenty of room for improvement, but other than that this is a great 22-inch display.

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