Gateway’s new FHD2401 is a fairly full-featured monitor that provides three video inputs, enough for a PC and an HD game console or Blu-ray player as well as a satellite or cable box. The set doesn’t have built-in speakers, but does have provision for an optional Gateway multi-speaker sound bar (model DXP, not tested) that attaches to the bottom of the front panel. The set also features a string of backlit blue touch-sensitive buttons on the lower right screen corner to make adjustments and choose inputs. A number of pre-set video modes are provided, including MOVIE mode, which provided the best overall picture quality and color temperature (white point) performance. It also has picturein- picture, a nice feature when you’re multi-tasking (or pretending to work while playing a video game).
Like the HP, the Gateway features an extended gamut color palette, with primary color values well outside the defined points as specified in the DTV standard. As expected, the color quality of the Gateway is overly saturated, giving bright colors an excessive emphasis that can’t be fully tamed with the set’s color saturation control. Some buyers may warm to the extra color vividness, though. For me, I think it’s a case of “too much” being worse than “not enough.” Skin tones can occasionally be unrealistically cartoonish due to the color over-emphasis, even with the color saturation turned down.
• HDMI input
• DVI input
• VGA input
• Adjustable tilt stand
A soft blue menu button on the lower right calls up a detailed menu system, while additional backlit touch-sensitive menu buttons allow easy navigation through the various choices. Gateway does provide a saturation control, which helps tame things somewhat, but even with it cranked down to where skin tones look their most natural, other bright colors still seem to be over-emphasized somewhat. The Gateway’s BRIGHTNESS control doesn’t actually adjust black levels, which is what such controls normally do; instead, it controls the amount of screen backlighting.
RECOMMENDED PICTURE SETTINGS
Note: The following recommended settings were obtained using a Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray player, set to 1080p output, and connected to the set via HDMI, using the recently released Digital Video Essentials HD Basics Bluray test and set-up disc. Having a test DVD and/or HD disc on hand is really the only way to ensure that your source components and the display are properly adjusted, especially with respect to the brightness and contrast controls.
Picture Mode Movie
(adjustable via the mislabeled Brightness control
Ambient Light Tolerance: The Gateway’s anti-glare screen does a good job of keeping picture contrast stable even in a brightly lit room.
Viewing Angle: About average for LCD over the horizontal axis, but not so good vertically, with noticeable brightness shift when looking from slightly above and below screen center. The tilt adjustment helps here, obviously.
The Gateway provides a bright and vivid HD picture, and has sufficient inputs to handle three HD sources, including a computer. The vivid color palette adds extra color emphasis that, while providing an eyepopping picture, also tends to overly enhance subtle colors, such as skin tones. With some scenes, it looked like the various actors had just emerged from an overnight stay in the tanning salon, and while trimming the color control down tamed things somewhat, occasionally some extra color vividness was evident.