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17" LCD Part V: Four Panels Compared

Hyundai Q17 Explanations

The previous comparative testing performed on 17" LCD panels covered the first generation of panels that were geared toward gamers. The six monitors tested were: the Hyundai Q17, the Iiyama AS4314UTG, the LG L1710B, the NEC LCD1701, the Proview PS-776D, the Solarism LM-1730 and the ViewSonic VG170m. The winner was the Hyundai monitor, the Q17, for its excellent ratio between ergonomics and value for the money. Unfortunately, serious availability problems then emerged.

However, we then discovered in our LCD Test IV, in fact, that Hyundai had built the Iiyama panel. So naturally, we suggested to Hyundai that it should include one of its monitors, based on the same panel, in the next comparative test we performed. As was the case for the other brands, we contacted its US and European offices to check the price and availability of the product on both sides of the Atlantic.

Getting no reply from the US, we went back to Europe where we were told that the US office was very small and was directly under the control of the European office. We were also told that the price of the monitor in the United States was $379 and that, yes, it sure was available. The comparative test was published, translated into various languages, and of course, many readers wanted to buy it.

A few weeks later, we discovered that, unfortunately, Hyundai US had reduced its ranges and that the Q17, in the version we tested, DVI + analog, had been dropped on the excuse that American customers would have rejected the screen, because it was more expensive than the purely analog version. All that remained in the U.S. catalog were the regular analog versions of the monitor, that are sometimes known as Q17, and sometimes as Q17A, Q17B (= Q17A in the silver case), or Q17S (Q17 with silver case) and an L70S. While this other 17" LCD screen was denoted by a speed of 16 ms, the panel, according to Hyundai, was actually the same as the one used in the Q17. The price of these monitors ranged from $345 through $409, so this was more or less in the price of the Q17s tested (quoted at $379), yet no DVI interface was supplied with them.

In fact, at least one store continued to sell the Q17 we tested. Dog-Bytes and was still selling it at $419, and we indicated that fact both via email and on our US forum, to any readers who wanted to know.

Faced with the insistence of users, Hyundai US, which some time in August had become a sales organization that was no longer a subsidiary of the European operation, but was directly answerable to Korea, finally decided to reintroduce the Q17, DVI + analog, into the American market, and withdraw the Q17A. That's how certain stores, including Outpost , were able to start offering them again since the summer. The only hiccup is the price, which is quite a lot higher than the one that was originally given to us - $479.

There's been another change. Due to financial constraints, the L70S switched to an AU Optronics panel some time in August. In December, the L70S will adopt a Samsung panel.

Now, back to the testing!