A feature-packed flatpanel well worth a look if you can afford it.
ViewSonic Europe Limited
As we've always said, flatpanels are expensive. Consider a 19" CRT monitor, which has an equivelent viewable area to an 18" LCD display. The CRT costs around £500, whereas the LCD will set you back around £3000. There's not much competition in our minds which one we would choose. Viewsonic's VP151 is a 15" active matrix TFT monitor which has a couple of tricks up its sleeve to make it more appealing. Firstly, it pivots from landscape to portrait mode, allowing you to view documents 'full page', using the software drivers provided. It's also wall-mountable and has two USB hubs, letting you easily connect up to five USB peripherals.
The VP151 will accept composite and S-video inputs, so you can watch DVD movies, videos or film from your camcorder. Built-in speakers provide the usual 'business audio' and two separate audio sources can be connected via the 3.5mm minijack sockets. More importantly, there are two 15-pin D-sub connectors on the base, and two digital DFP connectors on the display itself. These allow you to switch between two different PCs (or Macs) via a button on the front. In terms of buttons and the OSD, there are the usual Viewsonic four-button controls with an extra three for controlling the audio volume. As with the mermaid ventura, we noticed that the quality of the menus had improved from older user-unfriendly versions to a colourful and comprehensive system. Advanced controls allowed us to adjust scaling, zoom, sharpness and PIP (Picture In Picture) settings. With a native resolution of 1024 x 768, the image on the VP151 looked crisp and text was easily readable. In other resolutions, the display did an admirable job of scaling to provide an adequate picture.
In our flatpanel tests, we found that the auto adjust option worked extremely well. After invoking this option the image was practically perfect. Apart from filling the screen completely and being flicker-free, the image had no horizontal or vertical interference. This meant that the display was pleasing to use for long periods, aided by the anti-glare coating and the fact that flatpanels are naturally non-reflective.