EVGA has unveiled a dual display LCD called EVGA InterView. Its two displays, which have a 17-inch screen size and boast a resolution of 1440 x 900 each, can be turned 180 degrees on a horizontal axis so to face opposite directions. The image orientation is adjusted automatically when the monitor is flipped.
Each display has a contrast ratio of 500:1, a brightness of 200 nits and a pixel pitch of 0.255mm x 0.255mm. InterView’s response time is claimed to be 8ms. The two displays share a 1.3MP webcam, three USB ports and a DMS connection. The EVGA InterView carries a price tag of $649.
Our initial impression of NEC’s widescreen 26-inch EA261WM LCD monitor was overwhelmingly positive, primarily due to the thought put into its ergonomics. What puzzles us most about monitor design is why—even with obscenely expensive panels—user comfort is so often overlooked. If you’re planning on shelling out a load of cash for a monitor, something as simple as height adjustment (rather than the default homebrew solution of piles of books) seems like an obvious feature. The EA261WM includes not only height adjustment but pivot, tilt, and swivel adjustments as well, making it easy to share information on your screen with coworkers or even switch to a portrait configuration, should the need arise.
The EA261WM is also one of only 26 monitors to achieve EPEAT’s gold rating, the highest standard for environmental friendliness. To further emphasize its green attributes, the monitor includes an ECO mode, which lowers power consumption, and a carbon-footprint reader tells you just how much you’re doing to save the planet by lowering the brightness on your monitor.
BenQ promises that its E2400HD LCD monitor will provide “a brand-new standard for personal digital audiovisual entertainment….” And while we’ve grown weary of marketing hyperbole, at first glance, this 24-inch panel has the specs to back up this statement. The E2400HD sports a 1080p HDMI interface and utilizes a 16:9 aspect ratio (rather than the more common ratio of 16:10 for widescreen panels), two features that should improve the movie-watching experience. OK, perhaps “brand-new standard” is a bit overboard, but as we unboxed it, we did think that a 1080p 24-inch monitor for less than $400 was certainly intriguing—even if it sports a 6-bit panel.
A 16:9 aspect ratio should, theoretically, provide a better image when viewing high-def widescreen movies because a 16:10 monitor has to either stretch an image by 10 percent or add black bars to the top and bottom of the image to compensate for the additional space. In our tests with multiple DVD movies, however, those ubiquitous horizontal black bars appear during playback. While TV shows and many movies (typically romantic comedies) are filmed in a native 16:9 aspect ratio, many films are matted using a wide 2.35:1 aspect ratio where you’ll still see black bars. Therefore, while the BenQ is capable of displaying a movie in its original widescreen glory, many DVDs will still not be able to utilize all of the screen’s space.
We had the LaCie 730 delivered to the Lab as a possible contender for our upgrading feature (page 25)—at $5,000 and change it’s certainly a comfortable fit at the high end of the price spectrum. Of course, it wasn’t just the price that intrigued us. The LaCie 730 includes a number of features that set it apart from other monitors we’ve reviewed—as well as one oversight that keeps it from attaining our highest praise.
While most monitors that come to the Lab sport 6- or 8-bit panels, the 730 has a 14-bit panel, which should greatly increase the color depth of this monitor. Additionally, the 730 includes an LED backlight rather than the more typical cold-cathode fluorescent backlight. An LED backlight should produce a truer black than a CCF because unlike the CCF, LEDs can switch on and off while a CCF is always on (for this same reason, an LED backlight should also reduce the amount of light seepage at the edges of a monitor). However, the first LED backlight monitor we reviewed, ViewSonic’s VLED221wm (May 2008), was able to create the darkest black we had ever seen but couldn’t differentiate the darkest grays in our grayscale test.
So you’ve got a heavy chunk of change just burning a hole in your pocket, and you don’t feel that just one monitor is enough for you, huh? Well, the folks at Cinemassive are out to fix that, and they’ve got a price tag to match it.
While in the past there have been imitators, who only hook a measly six monitors together, the new hotness is a very impressive 12 monitors. This display, offered for $12,995 will pack a total screen resolution of 7,860 x 3,600 with a total of 27.6 million pixels. What’s more impressive is that your investment will be well worth it, this bad boy will come along with a 3-year warranty and a very unheard of (especially with a setup like this) zero dead pixel policy.
Should if you have the cash, and live on a street that will allow a fleet of UPS trucks to drive down it, feel free to boast your nerd cred with a monitor that can be seen from space (and hey, if you’re throwing around cash like that, why not buy a nice lunch for us here at Maximum PC?).
Thanks to everybody’s favorite economy, the prices of large-size LCD monitors are on the way down again. After stabilizing for about a month, a lower than expected demand is putting pressure on monitor vendors to drop their prices.
After October prices are expected to drop 5-7%, with that trend continuing in the future. Large financial challenges are expected for the fourth quarter of 2008.
So if you’ve been waiting around to pick up a fancy 30” display, just wait a bit longer and you’ll get the price you’ve always wanted! If you’ve already picked up a 30” display, why not snag another? If you’ve already got three 30” displays, then Al Gore, I’m going to have to ask you to get back to work, sir.
Take note, Rainier Wolfcastle, because these goggles may actually do something. Nvidia’s latest visual computing venture is a serious foray into stereoscopic 3D, a technology that has not found success among mainstream consumers (or even enthusiasts) in recent history. 3D movies and gaming at home have always been seen as gimmicky, a perception that can largely be attributed to the fact that you have to wear some pretty goofy glasses to experience the effect. In fact, past iterations of 3D stereographic technology (including efforts by the now-defunct company ELSA) have been especially troublesome because they required bulky headgear (that had to be tethered to your PC) that had a tendency to give gamers headaches after just a few minutes of use. Nvidia wants to reinvigorate the 3D stereoscopic market by developing its own glasses hardware and driver software, which they hope will avoid the pitfalls of previous efforts.
Do we have the technology to make stereoscopic 3D tech practical? And more importantly, is this something that, as a gamer, you’d be open to embrace?
Buying a new monitor can be tricky. First, you must decipher the manufacturer doublespeak. Not all specifications are created equal, nor are they measured fairly: You truly can’t tell a book by its cover, nor a monitor by its box copy. And then there are the displays themselves. A monitor by itself might look good to you, but you won’t know what you’re missing unless you compare it against the competition.
We’re going to walk you through the basics of today’s LCD monitor technology and what it means to you, a consumer who wants the best picture for your pennies. But we’re not going to leave you hanging: We’re also going to review 10 monitors across a wide swath of sizes and prices to give you a head start on your purchasing decision.