Review: Gateway 2485W 24″ HD monitor

lcd2485w_pd.gifWell, I start with an admission. I won’t be able to hide my approval, dare I say school-girl giddyness, over the new Gateway FPD2485W 24″ HD Monitor. This thing is sexy.

I was actually looking at a similar product from Samsung when I found it crammed amongst other LCD unmentionables at a local big-box electronics retailer. I just had to ask some questions. So I got the sales guy (Danger!), and started with a noob question so I could get a baseline on this guy’s product and tech knowledge. At first I thought I actually had “idiot” written on my forehead because all he was trying to do was up-sell me a little with “Oh its a bigger screen-yada-yada”. After a couple subtle brow swipes revealed no surreptitious ink on my hand, I concluded this dude clearly did not know what the hell he was talking about (so sad) because if he had, he’d pointed out that this is Dell-killer. Well, maybe not a killer, but close. The key specs on both this GW and the Dell UltraSharp 2407WFP are virtually identical.

  • 1000:1 contrast ratio (its rich with gorgeous color and fabulous tones)
  • 1900×1200 native resolution (real estate unmatched)
  • .27 pixel pitch (Sharp crisp images, crystal clear reading)
  • Built-in USB hub (yeay!)
  • Multiple inputs (DVI, VGA, S-video, Component, Composite)
  • PIP (With all the real estate, this is actually useful)

Before I go any further, let me get the low hanging fruit out of the way. To my great surprise, Gateway’s aesthetics are way better than Dell’s in this regard. It looks better. Elegantly curved bezel, deliciously back-lit controls. I drive a Volkswagen– i’m afflicted, I know.

Stop right there, before you click away thinking I’m a frustrated Mac-head stuck in a PC body. Read on. There are a couple technical clicks in favor of the Gateway besides its svelte exterior.

Now is the time to put on your propeller beanie.

The first plus (and the biggest one) is that the Gateway 2485W is HDCP compliant. What is HDCP and why is it important to you? Basically, its a digital protocol that protects the integrity of the a/v data stream’s trip from the source to the display. The devices actually communicate. It’s a little unclear if this is another form of big brother DRM or quality assurance from the manufacturer, my guess is its the latter, but the bottom line is analog HD is going away and formats like Blu-Ray and HD-DVD will require HDCP compliant gear. So if you’re buying HD, make sure its HDCP.

inputs.gifThe second (and third) lessor pluses are the number of inputs, there are more inputs on the GW 2485W. Next, the “EZtune” calibration software is really great. If you’re coming from a mediocre contrast LCD or CRT, this may take some getting used to. Its bright… and rich. The first couple of hours, I kept having to push the monitor farther back on the desk cuz I was awash in bright light. (try maximizing Word at 1900×1200. Its almost an all white screen!)

Con’s– there are a couple, but they definitely are not deal-breakers.

The GW has no built in hooziewhatzit media card reader. So what. I still don’t use the one I have attached to the PC.

The GW (and the Dell) requires the purchase of an add-on “Sound Bar” the attaches to the bottom of the bezel. This is required to make the transformation complete from a kick-ass PC monitor to an equally kick-ass 24″ HDTV (hehe, I said “24”. Jack Bauer would own one of these but then he’d shoot it because he couldn’t let it fall into the wrong hands.) For the Gateway, the sound bar is about $70 bucks. If I get one, I’ll let you know if its any good.

Both monitors are equally priced (About $650-680). Dell’s warranty is better–3 yrs vs. 1 yr, but both units are quality names so I think the (small) risk is worth it. Finally, GW still ships stuff in that damn cow print box. Well what ever…

But how does it work with 3DS Max? It’s fantastic! Not just 3ds Max, but Premiere and Combustion are awesome. The Max UI (I use AME-Dark) is nothing less than seductive. All the real estate makes me wonder why, I didn’t get one sooner.

Bottom-line, if you are in the hunt for a high-end multipurpose display power house, the Gateway FPD2485W, not Dell, is the superior choice. The Guru gives it 5 out of 5 polygons. 5-polys.jpg

Images courtesy of the http://www.gateway.com

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~ by learn3dsmax on January 22, 2007.

9 Responses to “Review: Gateway 2485W 24″ HD monitor”

  1. What settings are you using (DVI or VGA, Bright/Cont/R/G/B/etc.)? I just bought this yesterday, but cannot get the colors and brightness set right (I’m on DVI). Gradients are all banded to crazy (looks like paintbrush strokes lined up) and the black levels are crushed. I based my tests off of the gradients & darkscale tests available here:

    http://lcdresource.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=28&Itemid=39
    http://lcdresource.com/tools/blacktest.htm

  2. Saw this monitor in the store yesterday. I want it! You forgot to mention the most eye-popping difference between this monitor and its competition: the 450 cd/m^2 brightness. For us recent LCD converts who clung to CRTs because of the greater brightness, this spec is a make or break.

  3. Out of the box, Too bright, tons of banding. After I used my spyder2 calibrator, blacks were crushed and after fiddling around for a while I found the following settings best.
    Brightness=85 (out of the box=80)
    Contrast=90 (out of the box=50)
    (Then goto user color and turn down the rgb)

    Red = 58 (out of the box=100)
    Green = 58 (out of the box=100)
    Blue = 60 (out of the box=100)

    With this setup, most of the banding went away and it works great for photoediting.

  4. the browser is both the web and the computer i live within the browser this monitor [which ive used for six months] is wonderful

  5. […] of the VGA port. So I could hook up my smokin’ hot Gateway 2485w (here’s the review of that) and get crazy […]

  6. I’m so glad you reviewed Gateway 2485W 24″
    I have been thinking about getting one for myself.

  7. Had one now for a couple of years, never going back. I didn’t see fit to get the sound bar, but then I have a pretty nice sound system to make up for it.

  8. Great stuff!!…..Very interesting blog….Thanks a lot. This is hdtv reviews blog.It’s definitely everything for HDTV

  9. Hi, thanks for this comment 🙂

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