What is it: a high-quality 17in monitor.
Applications: particularly useful for higher-end applications, such as demanding graphics, CAD, or even intensive spreadsheets or databases.
After years of accepting poor-quality, small displays as the norm, computer monitors are finally moving up-market. The ubiquitous 14in model is gradually being replaced by 15in as standard, while 17in models are the most popular choice for second or discerning first-time purchasers.
Alternative display technologies such as flat-screen LCD panels are available, but the CRT still rules, and boasts numerous features today. Sleep modes save power, while concerns about radiation and emissions are taken care of by a number of northern European guidelines.
These are known, in increasing order of strictness, as MPR-II, TCO-1992 and TCO-1995, with the latter also including restrictions about recycling and the environment. Each will add a little more to the cost of your display, but they are slowly becoming the norm, and eventually will become the legal requirement.
Traditionally, CRT monitors have been described by the size of the actual tube inside the case, and not what you see on the outside.
So, a typical 17in monitor may only have a 16in viewable diagonal. But, because of a recent legal case in the US, manufacturers are renaming their products without referring to screen size.
High-quality 17in (or rather, the size previously known as 17in) CRT monitors are available from as little as #400. This Viewsonic model costs a little more at #645, but it?s the best we?ve seen recently.
Viewsonic PT775 is based on a first-class Mitsubishi Diamondtron tube, which gives an extremely bright, sharp image. Diamondtron tubes use what is known as aperture grill technology, developed by Sony for its Trinitron tubes.
This uses colour phosphors, painted on the back of the glass screen, which are separated by the grill or mask. An aperture grill only separates the phosphors vertically, so more of it can be seen, which results in a brighter display.
However, this design is more unstable, so one or two fine but visible wires run across the picture to hold it steady, which may be distracting.
The PT775?s tube has a maximum horizontal scanning frequency of 96KHz, which can display a resolution of up to 1,280x1,024 pixels at a flicker-free and steady 85Hz non-interlaced refresh rate. At lower resolutions, this refresh rate can be still higher. Even pushed to its limits, the picture is clear, clean and well-focused.
There are comprehensive on-screen controls which are easy to use, while two sets of video inputs allow you to connect two PCs and switch between them. The PT775 meets TCO-1992 requirements, which will be sufficient for most users.
Viewsonic has produced an excellent, high-performance monitor which will more than satisfy the most exacting user.
Contact: Viewsonic Europe on 0800 833648
Verdict: An extremely high-quality 17in monitor which will satisfy the most demanding users and applications. While it may not be the cheapest on the market, it represents excellent value for money.
IBM and Technical University of Munich team demonstrate how Shor's algorithm, which can't be cracked by conventional computers, can be solved quickly with quantum computing
Hubble Space Telescope finds superflares from young red dwarfs could strip away planetary atmosphere
Younger stars are 100 to 1,000 times more energetic than when they're older
Two of the big four supermarkets will use the system to control sales of restricted products
PUBG news and updates: November's Update #23 to bring new Skorpion pistol and changes to blue zone visibility
Genuinely useful side-arm coming to PUBG in Update #23