Iiyama ProLite T2250TMS review
Performs its multitouch role very well, but touch on a TFT just doesn't make enough sense
Wherever you look right now, multitouch is booming: the iPhone showed us it could work brilliantly on a handheld, Microsoft's Surface remains one of the best technologies we saw in 2009, and Windows 7 supports multitouch natively. It's this last breakthrough upon which the Iiyama ProLite T2250MTS hopes to capitalise; it's the first multitouch consumer monitor to grace the PC Pro Labs.
With that in mind, don't expect too much from the specifications: it has a 22in 1,920 x 1,080 TN panel with an unexciting 270cd/m sq brightness and 1,000:1 contrast. It offers the choice of DVI or VGA inputs, has a rather average set of 1W built-in speakers and requires the supplied USB cable in order to relay its touch signals to the PC.
But the feature that aims to justify the hefty £217 price tag - standard 22in displays can be had for less than half that - is the optical touchscreen, which can detect up to two simultaneous contacts via infrared transceivers hidden in the bezel. We hooked up the T2250MTS to a Windows 7 PC and found it worked well. Prods and pokes were generally detected accurately and quickly, and gestures and flicks were simple to master in mere seconds. Windows 7 lets you customise things, and the onscreen keyboard makes entering short snatches of text easy.
We fired up Surface Globe - by far the best of Microsoft's Touch Pack applications - and were whizzing around the planet in no time. Pinch-zooming is effective, as is the intuitive two-finger twist to rotate the map, and it gives a real feel of just how good a well-implemented touch system can be. Yes, there's a bit of lag at times, which makes a few of the other Touch apps a bit of a chore too, but on the whole the Iiyama succeeds at its core task.
That's all well and good, but there's one insurmountable problem. Microsoft only gives the Touch Pack to manufacturers to install on their PCs; the Iiyama is a standalone monitor, so consumers can't actually get their hands on it. Without these dedicated apps, Windows 7 itself has little that could keep us prodding the screen for more than 30 seconds. Browsing the web, editing photos, even just pottering around the desktop - it's all far easier with a mouse. And with the monitor at the back of a desk, we're slightly ashamed to admit our frail arms were trembling after mere minutes of use.
As an everyday monitor the T2250MTS is decent enough. The 270cd/m sq brightness means whites don't exactly leap off the screen - a side effect of the touchscreen panel - but colours are generally pretty accurate and our DisplayMate tests showed few real weaknesses. A small amount of light bleeds through at the top and bottom edges, and the screen is so glossy you could fix your make-up in it, but we have to praise it for not picking up as many fingerprints as we were expecting.
But is that enough? The touchscreen is the sole reason to buy the Iiyama ProLite T2250MTS, and if that's what you want there are few TFT alternatives for consumers. But the whole concept of a touch interface fits so much better in other areas: on a phone it's the heart of the experience; on an all-in-one PC it makes for a great quick-use terminal in a kitchen or bedroom, or even in public. But on a monitor attached to a PC on a desk? It feels like a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.
|Price ex VAT||£217|
|Price inc VAT||£250|
|Features & Design||4|
|Value for Money||3|
|Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Pixel response time||5ms|
|Horizontal viewing angle||170 degrees|
|Vertical viewing angle||160 degrees|
|Speaker power ouput||2W|
|TV tuner type||N/A|
|Upstream USB ports||1|
|USB ports (downstream)||0|
|3.5mm audio input jacks||1|
|Other audio connectors||None|
|Other cables supplied||VGA, 3.5mm audio, USB|
|Internal power supply||yes|
|Colour temperature settings||6,500K, 9,300K, sRGB, Custom|
|Extra adjustments||OSD position, time-out, language, info, reset|
|Forward tilt angle||3 degrees|
|Backward tilt angle||20 degrees|
|Pivot (portrait) mode?||no|
|Dimensions||513 x 263 x 419mm (WDH)|