Early adopters generally don’t care too much about price or availability when it comes to new technology, they just want their gadget, and they want it now. In this struggling economy, however, those same people will likely find themselves on a now-level playing field with consumers who are more pragmatic or practical in their new-technology purchases, taking a bit more detailed look at the features and price of their next big technology purchase. For both groups of people, Westinghouse has a new LCD monitor on the market that is not only the company’s largest to date (26 inches), but does double duty as an LCD HDTV and a PC monitor. And based on our tests, the Westinghouse L2610NW LCD Monitor is a more-than-capable solution to both consumers’ problems.
Early adopters will appreciate the L2610NW’s status as Westinghouse’s largest LCD monitor to date; company “firsts” like his are always a hit among technophiles. Just as important, though, is the unit’s maximum resolution, which at 1920×1200 actually exceeds the 1080p resolution of Blu-ray Disc, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and digital TV. With a resolution that high — along with a dynamic contrast ratio of 3000:1, the L2610NW LCD Monitor can easily handle early adopters’ myriad video components, particularly since the monitor supports both VGA and HDMI input.
Aside from the contrast ratio and resolution, though, one of the most important features of the Westinghouse L2610NW is its 2 ms response time. LCD monitors are often known to suffer from a bit of motion blur, but with that response time, the monitor can display fast-moving sequences in Blu-ray movies like Transformers with little to no distortion, then turn right around and support a game like COD4 or Burnout Paradise with ease. This game performance is particularly important, at least for DailyGame readers, because most of the highest-profile games on the Xbox 360 and PS3 require fast response times on gamers’ part, so it’s crucial to have a set with a display response time that supports those twitch reflexes.
Another nice feature of the Westinghouse L2610NW LCD Monitor is its horizontal viewing angle of nearly 180 degrees. If you’ve ever been to a LAN or multiplayer party in which the games had to be played on an older-but-large HDTV, you’ve surely noticed that the people looking the TV head-on had a clear advantage, because the image was brighter and more focused when viewed from directly in front. That’s not the case with the L2610NW, as people can sit and play games (or watch movies) on it from extreme angles and still have a mostly clear view. Xbox 360 multiplayer games generally involve online play via Xbox Live, so this probably isn’t a big bonus for them, but PS3 games are about 50/50 online/offline when it comes to “party games,” and the PS3 hardware can support more players on a single console, so the extreme horizontal viewing angle can only be a benefit to PS3 owners.
All this talk about movies and games doesn’t mean the L2610NW fails as a PC monitor. In fact, Westinghouse arguably designed this unit for PC users first and TV folks second. Sure, the elements above are good for PC gamers, but the high resolution and 26-inch viewable screen mean that fonts, Web sites and pictures are all crisp and detailed yet the large size of the screen means that they’re still easily viewed, even at higher resolutions.
The only disappointment with the monitor, and this applies to both PC and TV/gaming crowds, is that the buttons on the side of the unit are horribly labeled, awkwardly placed and can be hard to reach. This isn’t a deal breaker, as the buttons aren’t used all that much once the calibrations have been made, but it’s definitely worth noting.
Also worth noting, though, particularly in this economy, is that the Westinghouse L2610NW includes everything you’ll need to begin playing/watching on your new set immediately. Most new HDTVs include a set and power cord alone, but the box containing the L2610NW includes the monitor, power cord, a USB cable, a VGA cable, an audio cable and — the best of the A/V bunch — an HDMI-DVI cable. This, along with the LCD’s double-duty as a PC monitor and TV, makes the Westinghouse L2610NW ideally suited for someone with tight quarters and a tight budget. College students come to mind.
All in all, the Westinghouse L2610NW LCD Monitor is a great monitor for a great price. Normally a 26-inch LCD would set you back a pretty penny, but Westinghouse is known for its more budget-friendly sets. Fortunately, the L2610NW doesn’t act like a budget-friendly monitor, and its ability to display both your daytime and nighttime activities (work/school and movies/games) makes it a space-saving, budget-saving and HD signal-saving monitor all wrapped up into one.
Get the best deal on Westinghouse L2610NW LCD monitor at Amazon.
- Score: 8.3
- High resolution and all the A/V cables you’ll need, all wrapped up in a single box and LCD monitor.
— Jonas Allen