[review]For everyday users, the 21.5-inch HP 22cwa LED-monitor shines with its “floating screen” design. This is part of the latest crop of monitors that sport ultra-thin cabinets and sleek design. In addition to impressive aesthetics, this monitor boosts wide viewing angles and IPS technology, making it a big-deal among budget-minded consumers.
You don’t get speakers or automatic brightness control with this model, but it does offer solid image quality and its feature set are offer real value for the buck, especially, for a mid-screen monitor with a perfect mix of style and performance.
HP 22cwa Review: Design
The Pavilion 22cwa uses a bezel-less design, which makes the 21-inch panel seem a bit larger than it is. The bottom bezel is housed in a matte-black cabinet, with four functional button, while the power button is located further right. The buttons aren’t labelled, so it will take a few days before you get used to them, anyway, we rarely have to use them always after the initial setup. Only the power switch is distinct, for all the obvious reasons.
On the 1920-by-1080 screen, you have HP Enhance+ feature, a noise reduction feature with three-modes: low, medium, and high settings; though you’ll find the screen to be slightly reflective. You may be surprised that the screen may look like a mirror, which can be distracting when the image appearing on the screen is dark.
It measures 5.9-by-15.8-by-19.6 inches and weighs 6.6 pounds, with a slight curve at the back with yet another HP logo engraved into the plastic. Port selection is limited here, with only two outward facing video ports (HDMI and VGA), which is all you get here; there aren’t any USB or audio ports. Also, on this model you don’t get any speakers or webcam.
A rectangular stand supports the 6.6-pound monitor, and it does offer up to 26-degrees of tilt. Sadly, it doesn’t have height, swivel, or pivot adjustments –like you’d get in more premium monitors, nor does it have any speakers. Perhaps to compensate for these tradeoffs, it comes with a tray where you can easily stash your keyboard, and you’ll need a VESA Mount Adapter in order to use the optional wall-mounting kit.
The HP 22cwa is a budget monitor, with surprisingly accurate color detail. Colors are evenly saturated across the screen, and they didn’t seem washed out, even when viewed off angle. Being an IPS display, it benefits from deep color shades that appear natural as they should, though there is some loss of detail at high pixels, whereby black may appear off tone, but it’s a minor flaw that I didn’t as well consider a deal breaker.
On the 21-inch display, I was able to clearly pick small fonts, with crisp rendering of HD content at high details. Watching Rings on this monitor was exciting; backgrounds were clear and the bezel-free chassis gives you a comfortable feeling as if you’re watching the movie on an HDTV, rather than a budget desktop monitor. With 7-ms (g-g) pixel response time, allows the panel to seamlessly handle fast motion, though when using it on a PS4, there was some minor blurring which was expected.
HP 22cwa Review | Verdict
For bargain hunters, the HP Pavilion 22cwa is perhaps the best deal you’d be seeing in a very long time, at least in the monitor category. It is, particularly, a solid choice for folks looking to move up to a medium-screen monitor that delivers the best of both worlds: great performance and good aesthetics.
While I’d have wished to see more future-looking features on this model, including a webcam, USB ports and a swivel base, it still does the job for the entry-level category. Nevertheless, a Full HD display, HDMI and VGA port, overall good color and image quality aren’t easy to come by at this price range. For all these reasons, the HP 22cwa earns our Editors’ Choice award for affordable medium-screen monitors.