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Description: Best Screen Thing – Review on NEC MultiSync LCD2070VX 20.1 in.
Picture quality Image Size in relation to tube size Colour sensitivity Design Ease of use Ease of Installation Speed Manufacturer Support Instruction manual Value For Money
For the last 5 years I've enjoyed the luxury of a 21" Iiyama monitor. Bought very cheap from a bankruptcy sale, it has served me well and supported resolutions beyond my wildest dreams. In truth it was more than I needed, but I became accustomed to it. It's bulk. weight and warming, irradiating glow were all part of my working life. Not to mention the excellent colour reproduction, flat tube and wonderful detail.
When it started making horrific buzzing noises when first switched on and high pitched whistling noises after a couple of hours of use, I realised that it was probably time to part company.
Looking for a replacement, I dreamed of recovering vast swathes of desk space by opting for a slim-line LCD screen. Of lower electricity bills from not having to power a cathode-ray gun that the CERN particle accelerator would be envious of. Of working for several hours without getting rosy cheeks from the rays emitted by my screen. Of not breaking my back when trying to adjust it's 35Kg weight to a slightly more comfortable viewing angle.
Bearing in mind the screen I'd been using for the last 5 years had been 21" at a resolution of 1600x1200 the bar was pretty much set - anything less would be a significant backward step.
With a single-minded purpose, I set about scouring the interweb for an LCD screen that would provide 1600x1200 resolution at a decent screen size. There is a reasonable range of choices here, with prices starting at about £300 and proceeding to upwards of £600. Starting as close to the £300 end as possible I came across the NEC 2070vx for only £320. It offered everything I was looking for - the right resolution, a good refresh rate (5ms!) with both DVI and VGA inputs. We have NEC LCD screens at work so I was confident that it would be a high quality product.
It came well packaged with European and UK power cords as well as VGA and DVI cables, a manual and a driver CD .
Setup was trivial - the hardest part was taking my old monitor off the desk! Plugged the cables in, pressed the power switch and it just worked. There were no dead pixels, no glitches, no software that HAD to be installed before it would work. The fact that my desktop was already running at the monitor's preferred resolution helped but really, it was that simple.
Adjusting the image isn't necessary if you connect via the DVI-Digital cable (assuming your video card supports it). All you might want to do is adjust the brightness and contrast - I found the default setting of 100% for both brightness (which is a claimed 300 cd /m2) and contrast (a documented ratio of 800:1)to be a little too glaring for my tastes. The on-screen display and neat "navi-key" joystick makes this, and any other adjustments, an absolute doddle.
Connecting via the VGA cable and interpreting the analogue signal means that the image needs to be tuned but the monitor will do this for you every time you switch to the analogue input. automatically adjusting the image position, fineness and other variables to give you as good an image as possible. Of course you can fine-tune any of these settings should you want to, again using the intuitive and self explanatory Navi-key and on-screen menu.
If you really aren't into manual labour, you could also install the supplied Navi-Key software which will, providing your graphics card supports it, allow you to set monitor parameters through the Windows display properties dialogue box, meaning you never have to touch the monitor again!
One thing you can't adjust through software is the monitor height and tilt, both of which are eminently adjustable thanks to the excellent stand. Height adjustment is possible over a range of about 15cm and the tilt of the display can range from -5 deg to 30deg. The only thing it doesn't do is rotate to portrait format. The stand does a reasonable job of cable management provided you use the supplied cables. Anything thicker and you will probably not be able to tuck it neatly out of sight.
It's physical presence is very discreet - certainly compared to my old Iiyama. I now have the acres of desk space that I'd dreamed about and it's flat enough that the latest generation of webcams can be neatly perched on the top. The screen has a matt finish so doesn't suffer from glare or reflection. It's thin enough that I can position the screen a better distance (about arms reach) from my eyes and at the correct height, so it's even good for my posture. The thin silver surround is less oppressive than the black model and the apparently "floating" control buttons on the bottom are easy enough to use.