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Comparison Of 15" LCD Monitors - Part I

Iiyama AX3816U

There are some monitors that surprised us, and the 3816U is definitely one of them. What makes it so special is its ability to display colors, a talent that is unfortunately degraded by its inadequate response time.

Another positive feature of the 3816U is its design, which appears to have been worked out very carefully. This is quite a shock coming from Iiyama, since this manufacturer's monitors are generally pretty crude and boxy.

Another shock when reading the monitor's specs - with a contrast ratio of 200:1, a brightness of 200 cd/m², a response time of 50 ms and a vertical viewing angle of 90° and a horizontal of 120°, the AX3816U would have been cutting-edge about a year ago. Compared to the other models, Iiyama has a lot of catching up to do.

Our first grievance - response time.

We generally perform our tests before checking the specifications given by the manufacturer. Although there is the occasional surprise, the AX3816U behaved as we had expected - its liquid crystals react (much) too slowly. The afterglow, evident during games, is very disturbing when surfing the Internet. Scrolling is very unpleasant, going beyond a mere blurriness of a few letters. Some areas with text are washed in grey (very blurry), while images are "shattered" into their component parts and spread out across the entire screen.

As if that weren't bad enough, we still haven't gotten to the contrast ratio and the brightness. These are among the weakest values for a monitor, considering the fact that most monitors have a contrast ratio of at least 300:1. The only consolation is that the AX3816U irons out its predecessor's defects. It is one of the best monitors at displaying colors. In fact, the Iiyama is one of a handful of monitors that managed to display both our test images and our games perfectly. Better yet, there's no need to create special settings for office applications and games. Instead, all you have to do is set both contrast and brightness to 50 - that is more than sufficient for all situations.

In conclusion, as you might have guessed from the specs, the viewing angle is a bit tight. You pretty much have to work perfectly head-on to the monitor if you want the colors to be displayed properly. One last tidbit - the OSD menu could stand a bit more work, the current one is not very well designed.