The monitor as 100% brightness and 50% contrast by default. I selected 40% brightness and 38% contrast to achieve a 100nit white. You should not increase the contrast setting above 50% as it leads to a loss of light halftones.
The monitor regulates its brightness by means of backlight modulation at a frequency of 212Hz.
There is barely noticeable banding in color gradients at contrast levels other than the default one.
The monitor’s color gamut is standard enough. Perhaps the red color is shifted towards orange hues more than usual. It means the LCD203WM cannot display a pure red whatever settings you choose. As a matter of fact, you can only achieve a really good red only on an LCD monitor with LED-based backlight, but the LCD203WM is somewhat inferior even to other models with fluorescent lamps in this respect.
The brightness of the monitor’s backlight is quite uniform. The average deflection is 5.4% on white, the maximum being 9.8%. For black, the average and maximum are 5.6% and 20.8%, respectively. As the pictures above show (to remind you, these are not photographs but pictures based on the numeric data of the test), the monitor has a brighter center and darker sides.
The gamma curves betray exceedingly high contrast at the default settings. You can see it by the characteristic bend in the top right of the diagram. Otherwise, the curves look good.
The mentioned defect disappears as soon as you lower the contrast setting in the monitor’s menu. The curves are not ideal, yet lie close to each other now. There are no problems with the reproduction of darks or lights.
The monitor’s color temperature is set up well in the Native and User (by default) modes. There is a small difference between the levels of gray while the average value should be just fine for a majority of users. The image is neither too warm nor too cold in these modes. The sRGB mode would be even better if the image didn’t have a pink hue (this hue has no effect on the color temperature measurements because these numbers are indicative of the balance between red and blue and are not sensitive to the image getting greenish or pinkish). The cold-temperature modes are set up badly: the 7500K mode is more or less usable but the 9300K mode is too bluish.
The monitor offers a good brightness and a high contrast ratio. Although an inexpensive model, the LCD203WM is among the best TN-based monitors in these two parameters.
My last test is about the response time of the matrix. The monitor is declared to have a response time of 5 milliseconds but it is measured by the ISO13406-2 method that only takes the switching between black and white into account. As opposed to this, I calculate the average time it takes to switch between different halftones. The result is more indicative of the matrix’s real-life performance.
So, the response time average is 12.7 milliseconds (GtG) with a maximum of 29.4 milliseconds. As you can see, the real value is not as pretty as the specified number measured by the “special” method is.
- Good color reproduction setup (for this product class)
- High contrast ratio
- No digital input, problems with image sharpness
- No factory-set image modes
- Slow matrix
- Poor ergonomics
I usually offer my advice on the best usage of each monitor but I have to refrain now. After all, whatever applications you run on your PC, you have to deal with text. The LCD203WM has problems with image sharpness that affect your comfort when reading text. This doesn’t seem to be a defect of our sample only. The 22” AccuSync LCD223WM, which seems to use the same electronics as the LCD203WM, produces a slightly fuzzy image, too.