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ViewSonic VP201b

ViewSonic built its top-of-the-line VP201b LCD for video editors, financial traders, CAD/CAM engineers and also 'power gamers'. Is the VP201b actually worthy of such demanding graphics pros? Its versatile design and useful features suggests that it is, but its image quality, while competent -- especially when it comes to displaying text and video -- isn't as good as it could be. ViewSonic put a lot of thought into the VP201b's design. The very thin 2cm bezel lets you tile multiple panels together for the wall-of-monitors effect so popular with financiers and others who need a huge viewing area. Two wings...

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NEC PlasmaSync 42XM2

NEC’s latest 42in. plasma display attempts to overcome some issues associated with running a wide-screen display from a PC, but in doing so brings another, equally trying problem with it. Although this screen has a higher resolution than other 42in. plasma displays, you may find that you’re still not pleased with the image you get on-screen. The problem with many wide-screen displays is that they have a non-standard native resolution, which some graphics cards are unable to handle, so you end up running at a non-native resolution. NEC has solved this problem by making the native resolution of the PlasmaSync...

PolyCom VSX 3000

Regular users of video conferencing may welcome the VSX 3000, an integrated LCD monitor and conferencing system. Designed to save space on the desktop, it integrates the functions of a full-size video conferencing system into a standard monitor form factor. It aims to offer higher-quality conferencing than PC-based systems, but this will depend on the other party’s equipment being of a similar standard. The VSX 3000 includes an H.323-compliant video conferencing system that can use ISDN or an IP network. Up to four ISDN Basic Rate Interfaces (BRIs) can be used, or 100Mbps Ethernet is provided as a network connection....

Apple Cinema HD Display (23in.)

Apple's latest line of Cinema HD Displays (available in 20in., 23in. and 30in. models) ushers in a renewed spirit of cross-platform cooperation. Thanks to a DVI connector on every Cinema HD Display, PC users can now enjoy the fabulous design and stunning image quality that Apple aficionados have been luxuriating in since the iMac. The 23in. Cinema HD Display, in particular, is a looker. It's so lovely that we're willing to forgive its high price (£1,318.30 ex. VAT, or £1,549 inc. VAT), limited adjustability and lack of video inputs. In fact, hooking it up to a comparatively hideous Intel-based PC...

Sharp LL-151-3D

Sharp announced its first device with a 3D display -- a notebook called the Actius RD3D -- in the US towards the end of 2003. The Actius RD3D has not shown up in the UK, and Sharp has no plans to launch it here. However, the company has introduced the same technology into a standalone 15in. LCD monitor which is available to UK buyers. It’s not cheap at £950 (ex. VAT; £1,116.25 inc. VAT), but, like the Actius RD3D, this monitor does offer 3D viewing without the need for those awful 3D glasses. The Sharp LL-151-3D is nothing special to...

Dell UltraSharp 1905FP

With above-average image quality and a competitive price, the Dell 1905FP is well worth the money. The 19in. LCD retains the basic look and flexible design of its predecessors -- although the stand feels a bit sturdier -- and it offers the same height adjustment range of about 13cm. It also smoothly tilts, swivels and rotates from Portrait to Landscape mode. You can lock the monitor at its lowest height position and remove the panel from the pillar by pressing a release button, which makes this display easy to transport and store. A rubber sleeve on the back of the...

Samsung SyncMaster 910T

The Samsung SyncMaster 910T is a large-screen business-oriented LCD with an attractive price because it lacks multimedia extras such as speakers. The 19in. Samsung 910T has a crisp, professional look, thanks to a clean, 2cm-wide bezel that surrounds three sides of the screen and widens to just 2.5cm along the bottom edge. The 910T's design stays focused on getting down to business without flashy distractions. The six-button control panel is so bland as to be nearly invisible -- the raised black-on-black labels and icons are practically impossible to read. Fortunately, the SyncMaster 910T comes with MagicTune software, which lets you...

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Apple previews 'Tiger' OS, launches 30in. Cinema HD display

Every Jobs presentation must, it seems, feature at least one device to 'ooh and ahh' over. This year, the WWDC keynote showcased an aluminium-encased, ultra-flat, 30in. Apple Cinema HD display. The digital display is part of a new family of restyled displays, which includes a 20in. and a 23in. model. The flagship 30in. model will debut in August with a shocking £2,549 (inc. VAT) price tag, 2,560 by 1,600 resolution, and built-in FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 hubs. Now for the drawbacks (in case the £2,549 didn't knock you sideways): the display requires a 'dual-link' DVI interface found only on...

Samsung SyncMaster 173P

Samsung SyncMaster 173P's stylish matte-silver and glossy-white plastic makes it fingerprint-resistant; it also makes it look like an Apple iMac's cousin. The display sits on a small but stable circular base, under which is an embedded lazy Susan that swivels 360 degrees. With a dual-hinged neck similar to that of the SyncMaster 192T, the SyncMaster 173P's screen tilts 5 degrees forward and an impressive 135 degrees backward. You can also raise the panel about 7cm -- just a bit less than with the extremely adjustable Dell 1703FP. The panel pivots from Landscape to Portrait mode -- a nice extra on...

Sony SDM-S204

Sony's 20.1in. SDM-S204 has a super-thin bezel measuring around 1.3cm wide on the sides, 1.9cm along the top, and 2.6cm on the bottom. Seven round control buttons are tucked discreetly along the lower-right bezel. For such a large monitor, the SDM-S204 sits low -- the top of the screen is just 46cm from the desktop -- and it's considerably less adjustable than other large LCDs are. You cannot raise or lower the panel, nor can you rotate it to Portrait mode. However, the SDM-S204 swivels a generous 175 degrees on a lazy Susan underneath the base, and you can tilt...

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