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Iiyama ProLite T2250TMS review

Verdict

Performs its multitouch role very well, but touch on a TFT just doesn't make enough sense

Review Date: 3 Dec 2009

Reviewed By: David Bayon

Price when reviewed: £217 (£250 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
4 stars out of 6

Features & Design
4 stars out of 6

Value for Money
3 stars out of 6

Image Quality
5 stars out of 6

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.

Iiyama ProLite T2250TMS

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.

Author: David Bayon

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User comments

Touch wall or hologram...

I agree with the conclusion, touchscreens aren't really suited to normal desktop uses.

They work well on small, handheld devices, the MS Table and on full walls or in a virtual environment with a cybersuit or manipulating holograms (see Iron Man). But the desktop monitor just doesn't work - plus they need to come up with a self cleaning surface.

For collaborative working, where people look at a large wall projection and can manipulate things together, pass things back and forth (think NCIS Los Angeles or Minority Report).

Tables or consoles with changing displays are also good (MS table or Star Trek consoles etc.).

I think, in its current form, with keyboards and mice, sitting at a desk as necessary properties to using a computer, it is going to be a bit of a fad.

We need to move out of the limited space of the desktop in order for touch to make real sense.

By big_D on 4 Dec 2009

Multitouch + Boxing game!

Manufacturers can make extra billions from that idea alone :D

But seriously, multiple wireless OLED multitouch screens around the house running off a single PC to manage your notes, shopping list, medications, etc. might have a market. But we're not quite there yet. And for the fingerprint problem . . .

By zeevro on 4 Dec 2009

Alternative to interactive boards in classrooms?

Instead of spending £1200 on an interactive board on one classroom which limits the size of the projected image and forces the teacher to turn their back on their audience each time they want to interact with the computer put one of these in a lecturn in each of 4 classrooms and still have money left over.

Just an idea.

By cjohnsonuk on 5 Dec 2009

Mixing Desk

Almost all the touch-aware stuff I've seen is POS (Point of Sale, not the *other* meaning of that TLA) and it's built for a standard 4:3 aspect ratio display. The only thing I can think of which will be mega-cool on this kind of screen is Adobe Premiere or a music sequencer.

By Steve_Cassidy on 5 Dec 2009

Big Screens & Multi-touch dont make sense

I would rather sit back and enjoy the output of a big screen - I don't have long arms - that's why I have a wireless mouse or remote and wireless keyboard.

Getting up close to a big screen will no doubt leave your eyes dazzled by its brightness and eventually nag at you for covering it in smudges that will no doubt leave you (possibly) in some sort of cleaning frenzy.

Maybe if I had a long stick with a controllable pincher on the end of it just so I could imitate 'pinch and zoom' :P

By nicomo on 7 Dec 2009

yates

As a former volunteer teacher in a 3rd world rehabilitation centre & special school I can only say I would have given anything for such a monitor.

Mouse control for cerebral palsy, downs, and similarly differently abled young people was often very minimal, a huge trackball or joystick worked for some students but not all.

A touchscreen monitor would have helped for others and this price would have made one possible. Screen would have been laid horizontal (or nearly horizontal) on the large (height adjustable) desk with keyboard removed - as even the large key 'infant' ones were very rarely used!

What do people dealing with differently abled persons (including movement limiting arthritis etc) here, think?

By Stevenson_gy on 10 Dec 2009

Kids

These are just made for kids. My young children (1 & 2) don't understand keyboards & the co-ordination to use a mouse is beyond them for now. Imagine touching in a art program with big chunky icons or kids web pages like BBC Cbeebies. I can see paint brushes with soft rubber rather than bristles being usable on such a screen.

By ardow on 10 Dec 2009

Classroom use

They're great for ESL (english as a second language) kids too. Simple power point presentations with images of everyday objects that when touched trigger a playback of a recording of the english name work great both for the kids using them and the kids creating the resources.

By cjohnsonuk on 12 Dec 2009

POS Use?

I am very keen to try this a Point of Sale screen with a PC. All in one models are £1000 to £1200 and often only around an Intel Celeron 1.1. This screen with a half decent PC must be a better option?

By EssexKiwi on 18 Dec 2009

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