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17" LCD Part II: The Heavyweights Enter The Ring

Conclusion

NameProphetView 920AS4332UTFlatron LCD 782LELCD1700VSyncMaster 171MPVX700
ManufacturerHerculesIiyamaLGNECSamsungViewSonic
Price in US$$699$899$770$879$1,359$799
Price in euros999113691389519791312
TechnologyTN + FilmACETN + FilmTN + FilmTN + FilmMVA
Screen manufacturerSamsungSamsungLGCHI MEYSamsungFujitsu
Response time25ms35ms40ms40ms25ms25ms
Colors displayed16 million16 million16 million16 million16 million16 million
Contrast ratio350:01:00350:01:00400:01:00400:01:00400:01:00550:01:00
Brightness250 cd/m²200 cd/m²250 cd/m²250 cd/m²240 cd/m²250 cd/m²
Vertical angle of visionna160°140°125°160°160°
Horizontal angle of visionna160°150°140°160°160°
Screen diagonal17 inches17 inches17 inches17 inches17 inches17 inches
ConnectionVGADUAL DVI-I, Video, S-VideoDVI + VGAVGAVGA, S-Video, CVBS, TVDVI + VGA
Integrated speakersNoNoNoNoYESYES
Pivot functionNoYESNoNoNoNo
USB HubNoYESNoNoNo
Size (cm)440 x 340 x 160396 x 366 x 213399 x 235 x 427434 x 437 x 220412 x 414 x 203430 x 483 x 200
Weight6 kg6.2 kg7.5 kg6.2 kg4.85 kg8.5 kg
Power consumption35 W70 W55 W41 W52 W42 W

Out of the six monitors, only two disappointed us.

The Flatron 782LE darkens colors considerably, so it can only be recommended for use in an office context (word processing, spreadsheets, etc.). The other monitor in question, for completely different reasons, is the ViewSonic VX700. It claims record specifications, in particular a contrast ratio of 550:1, whereas in fact the manufacturer seemingly just decided to change the product's initial specs (400:1 for contrast) to make it look better than the competition. This act is by no means justified by the color rendering. Could MVA technology, which suffers a lot in comparison with the sometimes better TN + Film screens, have reached the end of the line?

Hercules, Iiyama, NEC and Samsung have all pulled it off. A special mention for the first two whose monitors we liked for their display quality, casing design and moderate prices. The NEC lags behind a bit owing to its ergonomic shortcomings. The Samsung SyncMaster 171MP is splendid, but the fact that it can take a video tuner for TV reception bumps up its price to about twice the average.

So if we rank the monitors we tested today plus the earlier ones, we get Solarism, Philips, Hercules and Iiyama, followed by NEC, Samsung and ViewSonic, with ADI and CTX bringing up the rear. The LG, Compaq and Neovo monitors seem better suited to an office and games context.