Comparison of 15" LCD Monitors - Part II

Compaq TFT5030

Another question that we got frequently after our first comparative test was "Why didn't you test Compaq's TFT5030?" We considered this to be an omission that needed to be remedied. So that's what we did. We were eager to test the monitor that claimed to have the fastest response time of all: 20 ms!

However, it turns out that the listed specification is incorrect, due to miscommunication. As the folks at Compaq recently confirmed, the response time should actually be listed as 40 ms. This is closer to what we had guessed, which was around 45 ms to 50 ms. That's okay for games such as Civilization III or Sim City, but it's limiting for Diablo, and far too slow for games of the Quake variety. It's a long way from the comfort provided by Eizo's L365 screen with 25 ms.

And that's a pity because the colors displayed on the panel (manufactured by Sharp) are pretty good.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
ColorDarkest tone displayedLightest tone displayed
Gray pattern1255
Red pattern12254
Green pattern1238
Blue pattern2255

There were a few gaps in the dark reds and pale greens, but there were no particular problems in viewing a DVD. All the images were reproduced with good quality; there was no particular problem with low-resolution images and even the darkest areas showed clear details.

The OSD, contrary to normal practice, gives you no way to adjust the contrast. All we could find was the brightness adjustment knob, which was not a problem. So only the brightness and color could be adjusted.

All in all, this is a nice screen that does not take up much room, but it is also rather deceptive. Its features would tend to put it at the top of its range, but in fact, that is not the case. The 5030 is just about average, though its response time is rather poor and this drags it down to the lower half.