15" LCD Comparison Part III: Better and Cheaper

AOpen F50LS

The F50LS is one of the many lower-priced LCD 15" screens. At first glance, it is only notable for its specs, which lag far behind those of the most recent monitors. Maximum brightness is only 200 cd/m² and worse still, the response time claimed is only 40 ms. On the other hand, the $400 price puts it in the average-to-low price bracket. The plastic casing is run-of-the-mill. The stand can be adjusted to the vertical position, though it is permanently fixed to the screen, meaning that the F50LS can't be attached to the wall. The connections on the back are reduced to the bare minimum - the power socket and an analog cable. The same applies to the buttons on the front. There are four of them, with little explanation as to what they are for. The first accesses the OSD menu; the second is for adjusting the contrast; the third adjusts the brightness; and the fourth is for automatic adjustment. This last function is rather slow but very effective. These control buttons and the power on/ off button are flanked by a pair of built-in speakers, which, as usual, are nothing special. As for color, the default setting of 6500 K is quite satisfactory.

Color Darkest color displayed Lightest color displayed
Grey pattern 1 255
Red pattern 1 254
Green pattern 1 255
Blue pattern 2 254

The color range displayed is large and the colors are bright and fairly true. The white lacks brilliance, but the black is deep. As a reminder, however, the officially specified brightness is quite low at 200 cd/m². Similarly, although the response time claimed is very long at 40 ms, very little trailing results when playing games and using the Internet. Once again, questions arise concerning the validity of the screen characteristics. If you just rely on the features as they are listed on paper, the F50LS performs poorly, being little better than the monitors that reached the market a year ago. In practice, however, it is one of the best screens around. There's an explanation for everything. The screen panel used in this model is a Chungwa, the same as is used in Solarism's LM 1503 and Belinea's 10 15 35. In fact, the F50LS performs very similarly to the latter. On the other hand, since AOpen has not internally developed a system that is equivalent to Solarism's ABT, the colors of the F50LS are not as bright as those of the LM 1503.

Finally, it's a pity that so little effort went into the ergonomics. One doesn't expect it to be provided with a USB hub (although...), much less a portrait mode and S-Video/ RCA connectors, but it would not have been too much to ask for a removable stand so that the monitor could be fixed to the wall.

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