If you’re after an affordable, large LCD screen to drive your PC, or even act as your TV, take a look at Panasonic’s new PanaView TX-LCD17S.
It is a 17in display with a native resolution of 1280x1024, has a contrast ratio of 450:1 and has a wide viewable angle, which is specified as being 160º vertically and horizontally. You can view this screen comfortably even while sitting at a very narrow angle. It has a response time (the time it takes for an image to go from all black to all white) of 25-40 milliseconds, a figure that is adequate for gaming as well as movie watching in terms of combating ghosting effects.
Connectivity ports on its rear include VGA, DVI, S-Video, and composite video (RCA) audio in and out, as well as a TV aerial via the installed card. All necessary video cables are supplied with the unit and the back covers of the screen allow neat and efficient cable management. The PanaView can be wall mounted via an optional kit. The swivelling base means the monitor can be turned almost 360º and tilted 25º up or 5º down.
Its image quality was sharp and bright during our tests, although the colour needed some adjustment. The monitor features a one-touch auto adjustment, and once this was invoked the whites became whiter and the image transformed vividly. While the display is connected to your PC, you can watch TV or a video source simultaneously via the picture-in-picture feature. TV channels can be scanned and found automatically. A thin remote control (supplied) allows you to manipulate the monitor settings remotely as well as change the TV channels from your lounging position.
In brief: Panasonic PanaView TX-LCD17S
Boasting functionality as a TV in addition to being a PC monitor, the PanaView TX-LCD17S is competitively priced, with a three-year on-site warranty. It offers very good overall image quality.
Price: $1299 + $99 for TV tuner card
Phone: 13 2600