CTX PV 720 17”
I recently put this monitor
through it’s paces in search of answers to several
questions, and learned some interesting things. In the broadest terms, I wanted
to find out if it was time for people to start seriously considering spending
the extra cash on LCD technology. In short, the answer is a (qualified, but
resounding) yes. Furthermore, I wondered if this technology was sufficiently
capable to be used in a professional digital imaging environment. My preliminary
results are encouraging.
A new definition
I haven’t found quite
the right metaphor to describe it, but the image on a modern LCD monitor has
its own unique quality. This quality is largely due to the extreme sharpness
and stability of the image, along with vibrant backlit color. You might compare
it to the sonic differences between a digital audio CD and an analog vinyl
LP of the same program. One can argue the virtues of either, but the difference
is obvious. Similarly, I believe most people will favor the clear, crisp and
visually stunning LCD.
- Active Matrix
- 17" viewable
- True 1280x1024
- 0.264 x 0.264mm
- 350:1 Contrast
- 120° Horizontal,
115° Vertical Viewing Angel
- Analog input
- Pivot option
Some not-so-obvious advantages
LCD panels are lightweight
and require much less space on the desktop than traditional CRTs – this much
we know. They also consume less than half as much electricity, which in an
office with more than a couple of monitors can add up to a significant savings.
They don’t give off as much radiation or heat as a CRT, either. But there
is another aspect I haven’t heard mentioned – they’re “safe” to mail order.
Hundreds of thousands
of monitors have been shipped by mail order companies over the past decade
or so with apparent success, but I have always warned people to buy them locally,
for a number of reasons. First, CRT monitors are fragile, and quite vulnerable
to damage from rough handling. While the LCD panel’s surface itself must be
treated gently, a safely packaged LCD display should be far less susceptible
to damage in transport.
Second, CRT monitor
quality can vary widely from unit to unit. Even buying monitors locally, I’ve
unpacked a couple of fresh units that I’ve had to exchange for one defect
or another. If the inventory is accessible to customers, I always try to find
the box in the best condition, and look for dates stamped on the cartons in
case I might find one that’s newer than the others. Still, I have encountered
problems such as one highly-rated model with a horrible discoloration that
I could not exorcise out of it, and another with some geometry problems that
nearly made me seasick while scrolling up and down the screen.
When you discover
the cost of return shipping on a 19” or larger CRT monitor is when you realize
the value of shopping locally. Add the fragile nature and somewhat inconsistent
performance of these beasts into the equation, and it’s obvious why mail order
can be a gamble. One return can easily cost you what you saved – and it takes
several days to get another, unless you’re willing to break the bank for next-day
shipping of a 80 lb. package. Then you may as well has
ordered an expensive LCD display in the first place.
Aside from the occasional
dead or ‘stuck’ pixels, LCD monitors are much more rugged than CRTs. Note
that laptop torture tests routinely include a 2 ˝ foot drop onto a hard surface,
and that the displays are seldom affected. Try that with a 100 lb. 21” CRT.
This 17” CTX display came
in a box similar in size to that which a scanner comes in, with a commensurately
affordable shipping fee. It arrived in perfect condition, and you could tote
it from lan party to lan party all
night long without breaking a sweat (just be sure to protect the screen).