What is it: the world?s first commercially available 20.1in LCD monitor. It has an image the same size as a 21in monitor, but measures less than 4in thick.
Applications: ideal for situations where the quality of the image and good looks are important ? and where space is at a premium.
Verdict: NEC?s LCD2000 displays a simply superb 20.1in image. It does cost around five times as much as an equivalent 21in CRT but, if you consider the slimness, the perfectly flat distortion-free image, the low power and low emissions, it will surely find many happy ? albeit fairly specialist ? homes.
Contact: NEC on 0645 404020 or at www.nec.com
A flat-panel desktop monitor is essentially a notebook computer display without the notebook attached. What you?re left with is a perfectly flat, distortion-free, low-power, low-radiation, and extremely thin display.
While today?s notebook screens are limited by the size of the small keyboard to approximately a 13in diagonal, there are no such limitations on the desktop. NEC, one of the major panel manufacturers in the world, has recently announced the largest commercial model yet.
Measuring a whopping 20.1in diagonally across its image, but under 100mm at its thickest point, NEC?s Multisync LCD2000 is impressive whichever direction you look at it. Better still is the fact that, unlike their cathode-ray-tube (CRT) counterparts, panel displays are measured by their usable image size. Consequently, a 15.5in panel monitor will have an equivalent image size approaching that of most 17in CRT monitors, which are naughtily measured to the edge of the tube, hidden behind the plastic surround. That makes the 20.1in LCD2000 similar in image size to at least a 21in CRT, but at a fraction of the desk space.
NEC?s LCD2000 uses a high-quality TFT panel with a maximum resolution of 1,280x 1,024 pixels, which can be driven at refresh rates up to 76Hz. However, thanks to capacitors on each LCD pixel, which store the charge and keep them illuminated until the next pass, it is possible for most LCD monitors to have a flicker-free display when driven at 60Hz, a setting intolerable on CRT monitors.
Employing cunning technology, NEC is able to simulate full 24-bit colour, and also boast a wide viewing angle of +/- 80 degrees both horizontally and vertically, allowing the image to be seen by a large group. The excellent on-screen display offers a wide range of controls, including auto image optimisation; the LCD2000 automatically scales lower display resolutions, including DOS sessions, to fill the screen.
The only downside to LCD monitors is their price: around four to five times that of a CRT with a similar image size. So who?s buying them?
There are many situations where an LCD panel?s slimness can save a fortune. City dealing rooms, where traders need as much information as possible are a perfect environment for LCD panels, where slimmer displays mean spare room for extra traders, generating further money. LCD monitors employed company-wide are also said to make significant savings in terms of electricity and air-conditioning bills, thanks to low heat and power consumption.
LCD monitors have also proven very popular in many front-of-house locations, where the sight of such a cool, sophisticated piece of equipment may impress sufficiently to win business.
And since the pixels in the corners are the same as those in the middle, LCD displays are extremely sharp and distortion-free. They?re great for perusing large spreadsheets or databases, and ideal for fine detail work like CAD and DTP.
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