Although LCD displays haven’t quite hit the desktop in a big way, primarily thanks to their pricing, they are becoming more popular. This 15.1-inch active matrix TFT display from Maxdata has a working screen area that is approximately the same as that of a 17-inch CRT display. It also costs approximately three times as much as such a display, but price isn’t everything. No really, it’s not.
On first impressions, this is a sleek and stylish display. It takes up very little desk space, has a tilt and swivel stand that actually works, and produces a very bright image. The display has a top (native) resolution of 1024 x 768, but can handle 640 x 480 and 800 x 600 too, and there are zoom options to make these lower resolution modes more appealing to the eye.
The on-screen display, for adjusting the monitor’s various settings, is pretty easy to use, with an enter button, a menu button and then a wheel that allows you to adjust the chosen setting – from a selection that includes brightness, contrast and the usual geometry and colour temperature options – quickly and easily.
A claimed 16.7 million colours is on offer, but this figure does not appear to be quite accurate. We noticed posterisation of photographs, indicating that, like most LCD displays, the Belinea 10 15 30 uses an 18-bit analogue to digital converter, for a maximum of 262,000 colours. Additionally, when we compared the display with a CRT monitor driven by the same graphics card, it was apparent that some colours were washed out, even on lower contrast settings.
It also took us some time to manually fine-tune the display to match the settings of our graphics card, and to eliminate the noise patterns. In this respect the Belinea 10 15 30 is not as clever at auto-sensing the analogue input signal as some of its rivals, which can initially be a source of frustration if you’re not familiar with LCD displays.
Despite these niggles, there’s a lot going for this monitor. It’s light and very bright, and is certified to TCO’99 for ergonomics and emissions (although being an LCD, the emissions aren’t likely to be particularly great in comparison with a CRT tube). It’s also backed by a three year warranty, and there’s an optional adapter available for Mac users.
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