Despite the fact that a great many people would welcome much wider use of TFT-based monitors for desktop PCs, the price of even the more basic models hasn’t fallen much recently and this is keeping the lid on volume sales. This is hardly surprising when you consider the cost of a typical 15-inch flat screen monitor is still up around the £650 mark – as is the case here – which is going to keep TFT in the luxury extras bracket for a while to come.
This is frustrating because displays like the Iiyama TXA3813MT are well worth having. Here’s a monitor that will take just eight inches of front-to-back desk space compared to the 16-18 inches you lose to a 17-inch CRT, and which weighs only 6.1kg, about a third as much as a conventional 17-inch unit.
Yet for all that it delivers an XGA resolution view of the Windows desktop which is functionally equivalent to that produced by a quality 17-inch CRT. The better focus and crispness of TFT seems to offset the panel’s smaller diagonal compared to the standard monitor, and readability remains as good as or better than the cathode tube alternative.
The Iiyama unit is a straightforward affair without extras like integral speakers or a powered USB hub, but both are present on the next model up in the range if you want them. It has a detachable signal cable, which means you aren’t completely scuppered if it develops a fault, and the mains transformer is built in, not external as is occasionally the case with cheaper TFT displays.
When we first got it running there was some vertical banding caused by clock and phase mismatches with our graphics card, but a quick search through the OSD turned up an auto setup option which instantly and completely corrected the problem.
This left us with a bright, evenly illuminated image with well-saturated colours and no tint in the background white at the standard 9300 degree colour temperature. There were no stuck pixels, no geometry problems, and no areas of poor focus, so overall the picture quality was all we could have asked for – if only it was about £300 cheaper…
Contact: 01438 745482