By default the monitor’s brightness and contrast settings are set to 100% and 50%, respectively. By choosing 36% brightness and 37.5% contrast, I achieved 100nit screen brightness. The monitor controls its brightness by modulating the power of the backlight lamps at a frequency of about 225Hz.
I had no complaints about the visual quality of the onscreen image at all. The image remained sharp even with the analog connection (the distortion-correcting options were left default). There were no artifacts in smooth color gradients. The backlighting is uniform; the viewing angles are normal.
The gamma curves are almost ideal (of course, I chose the standard gamma compensation curve with an exponent of 2.2 in the GammaComp settings – without any additional manual setup). I must confess that with LCD monitors you can but very seldom see the curves coincide with the theoretical one so closely.
The color temperature setup proved to be highly accurate, too. There’s a very small difference between the temperatures of white and gray colors, and the average is very close to the name of the appropriate option.
The response time of the UX21LCD is rather average: it is bigger than with the above-described monitors on S-IPS matrixes, but small enough for comfortable work and even for watching movies or playing games. Moreover, the UX21LCD is positioned as a serious monitor for work, and its functionality may be excessive if you use it at home just for games/movies.
Unfortunately, the contrast ratio of the monitor is typical for S-IPS matrixes. In other words, it is rather low.
If you need a monitor for serious work with color, with better functionality and setup than ordinary “household” models, but the price of professional models like EIZO ColorEdge or NEC SpectraView is too high, the DiamondPoint UX21LCD may make a good compromise. Even if you don’t use its hardware calibration features, the initial setup of this monitor is better than with many cheaper models. Using the NaviSet and GammaComp utilities you can even do things ordinary monitors do not permit. For example, you can adjust the color temperature smoothly with a 100K stepping or set up custom gamma compensation curves. Of course, the UX21LCD suits for home applications, too, but if you need a monitor for games and movies, the extended functionality of the UX21LCD may be lost on you, while its response time is still higher than with the 20” monitors described earlier. In this case your choice would be more difficult to make.