Too expensive for consumers, but could be the answer for corporates.
Eighteen-inch flatpanels are still a relatively new technology. Currently it costs a lot to manufacture an 18.1" LCD, and this is reflected in the price of Philips' 181AS - a staggering £3171.
The 181AS is the equivalent of a 19" CRT monitor but takes up just a fraction of the desk space. In fact, the total depth is just 18cm compared to 45-50cm for a CRT. With a top, and native, resolution of 1280 x 1024 at 75Hz refresh, the 181AS can't quite match the higher resolution a CRT is capable of. Both mini D-Sub and BNC connections can be used to connect the panel to a PC, and there's a handy button on the front to switch between the inputs. There's one USB port for controlling the OSD from your PC using the supplied CustoMax software, but a hub is optional.
The OSD itself is similar to that of the 181's stablemate, the 151AX. A rotary wheel controls most of the adjustments, in conjunction with one button. There are two other buttons, for immediate adjustment of volume and brightness.
We tested the 181AS using our LCD panel application and the results were good. We couldn't completely eliminate flicker in one of the test patterns, but it wasn't at all noticeable during normal Windows use. As with most LCDs, solid colours were a bit patchy and not as consistent as we would have liked. LCD displays inherently have good geometry, focus and convergence, and the 181 shone in all these areas - even small fonts were perfectly readable and images were sharp. However, switching to any other resolution from 1280 x 1024 made text fuzzy and almost unreadable. Brightness wasn't great, but still bright enough under office lighting.
After using the Brilliance 181AS for a few hours we became quite attached to it. It's much more pleasant to look at than a CRT.