Hitachi – CML174SXW review

17-inch LCD monitor
Photo of Hitachi – CML174SXW
£350 + VAT

If you have been planning to buy a LCD monitor, there is no better time than the present, as the technology behind them is improving and, most importantly, the price is dropping to very affordable levels.

This has been most noticeable in the 15-inch display market, but now it’s beginning to affect the larger 17-inch monitors. These offer much larger viewing areas, but still take up much less desk space than conventional CRT monitors.

Hitachi has a number of LCD panels in its range, one of the latest of which is the blandly-named CML174SXW. The CML174SXW is a 17-inch panel, which means a full 17-inch diagonal viewing area. This makes the CML174SXW more akin to a 19-inch CRT monitor (since these usually lose at least an inch for the tube surround) and it has a stylish appearance thanks to its thin bezel.

Although there is no built-in USB hub or speakers, this is the only example of where Hitachi has arguably cut corners to keep the price down. In all other respects, it’s an outstanding monitor; the build quality of the CML174SXW is very good and the image produced is incredible considering the cost of the monitor.

Hitachi has provided both standard analogue VGA D-Sub and DVI-D (digital) connectors on the CML174SXW and supplies cables for both options. The usual array of ergonomics certifications accompanies the monitor, as does a good, detailed manual.

Unfortunately, while the stand does allow for some tilting forwards or backwards there is no height or swivel adjustment, which could get annoying. The display is VESA compatible for arm or wall mounting, though.

As you might expect from a panel this size, the native resolution is 1,280 x 1,024 pixels, and the display settings can be modified either through the OSD (On Screen Display) or by means of an excellent auto setup feature.

One thing that sets the CML174SXW apart from other LCD panels is its fast response time. Most LCDs in the past have had relatively slow response times, which could lead to ghosting. This was particularly noticeable when playing games. Not so with the CML174SXW; everything remains crystal clear.

Company: Hitachi

Contact: 01628 643 000


Verdict
If you are about to take the plunge and buy a flat panel, take a good look at Hitachi's CML174SXW. It offers great performance at a good price and the fast redraw rate will appeal to action gamers. Plus it comes with a three year warranty.