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17" LCD Part III: It's Christmas Already!

Mitac 170EAS

The 170EAS is a monitor that holds no surprises. It uses the same screen as Hitachi's CML171SXW and ADI's L712, two screens that we described as being "average." Once again, we have to say, though with more amusement than resignation, that the manufacturers seem to go their own way as far as the rather overblown specs of their monitors are concerned. Here are three monitors based on an identical screen, but extraordinarily different from each other as far as their features are concerned. Some claim a refresh rate of 40 ms. Others, such as Mitac, make more modest claims and are content with 50 ms. Whatever. It all amounts to the same thing-the trailing is noticeable in all of them. As for contrast, there is an improvement from 300 : 1 to 350 : 1 and as for brightness, Hitachi claims 230 cd/sq. m. as against 250cd/sq. m. for Mitac and ADI. These claimed ranges of between 9% and 20% are hard to justify.

The main thing remains the ability to display images, text, and games correctly. In this respect, the 170EAS does the job pretty well, even if it is not entirely fault-free as the colors veer slightly to the red. A clear trail is left after rapid movement. The angle of vision, both horizontal and vertical, is poor, less than the 120° claimed. On the other hand, the quality of the display is perfectly satisfactory for anyone who just wants to create and edit office documents, and maybe play the occasional game. So this is really a screen for business use, not to be recommended for inveterate gamers.

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