Out-Of-Box Performance: Brightness And Contrast Ratio
All three 22" LCDs display black rather poorly right out of the box. While Samsung's S22A350H produces decent whites, it only generates mediocre blacks. We set the Black Level setting to low on the E2241V, but it still had a major problem reproducing deep blacks. Admittedly, this handicaps white production a bit because it cuts overall luminance. However, our overall contrast ratio didn't change much when we set the Black Level switch to high. Dell's SR2220L has the opposite problem. It produces poor whites, but it does decently in black production.
Brightness can have an effect on how you perceive color, but it's indirect. It can also help the display achieve brighter colors, but brightness often sacrifices contrast if a monitor has a poor color palette, which is why we measure that as well.
There's a wider range of default color temperatures between our three 22" monitors. Samsung's S22A350H is the most aggressive because we're looking at a noticeably cooler color temperature at 7571 K. LG's E2241V comes the closest to approximating 6500 K, while the SR2220L is a tad cooler at 6751 K.
If you want a balanced image, you'll need to calibrate the display to 6500 K. Most DVDs, digital cameras, and online videos are calibrated for a 6500 K white point, because this represents the spectrum you would see in overcast daylight. So, we'll do that too.