Top critical review
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Best LCD Monitor But What A Shame
on August 5, 2000
I bought this because I wanted the best I could buy in a 15" inch. Although there are many things I like very much about it, I have to say that I expected more for the price. Perhaps it is simply a reflection of the state of the technology. I assume that you've read the specs so I won't go into all the neat stuff this LCD is capable of. I thought I'd share some of the things that don't come across on the spec sheets and which I am less than thrilled about:
- The speakers are simply awful. They are like having an AM only radio in your new BMW.
- The controls for the monitor consist of four buttons on the monitor and seven button on the base. The legend is beige on beige. After fumbling with them for a few days I pretty much settled on the on/off button. I mean, turning on the picture in picture display (which you can use to watch video) takes FIFTEEN button clicks. And that's if you hit the right button each and every time.
- There was no attempt made to manage the cables. By the time you have the monitor hooked up to your computer, you'll have at least six cables running out of the back. The power cord is black, the USB cable is beige with a black connector, the VGA cable is beige with a blue connector. There are also three thick cables running between the LCD and the base. This isn't the monitor to put with the back facing the visitors in your office.
- The manual is almost 300 pages. It's also in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, Polish, and a dozen-odd other languages. Which means you really only get 19 pages in English. Make that 8 pages. The other pages are useless stuff like Safety Precautions (don't mount in your bathtub), FCC info (not tested for use in a bathtub), warranty (thinking of using in the bathtub voids the warranty), troubleshooting (if your screen has condenstation on it, you are using it in an improper room). Anyway, you get the idea. A small manual is no bid deal as far as I am concerned. But the cramped instructions and tiny cabling diagrams (the box comes with no fewer than 11 cables) reminded me of the badly printed and barely comprehensible instructions I received with the barbeque I recently bought.
- No drivers for NT that I can find. Which is a shame since that means you can't use the monitor in portrait mode under NT.
I realize I am being picky but hey, for the price I have a right to be. So why did I keep it. Simple. I need a monitor with rock steady signals that can go up to 1280x1024 and nothing else comes close (most monitors on the market top out at 1024x768). Like I said, this monitor is probably a product of its generation. It feels and works like it was put together by an engineer with no sense of design.
So, if you can wait for the next generation, do. If you need an LCD monitor now, this is probably the one. Unless you can spend $3,000 for a large display in which case you may want to look at Silicon Graphics.