Sony SDMN80

Sony recently expanded its range of Flat Panel LCD monitors with the introduction of the 18.1in SDMN80. It debuts with the same metallic, slim, trim and sexy Sony LCD characteristics evident in the 15in SDMN50. Brushed aluminium and titanium are used in the design of this monitor.

There are two components - the flat panel, which weighs 6.5kg, and the 1.5kg detached media box, which contains the main circuits and power supply that are normally incorporated into the housing of standard LCD monitors. The flat panel is made from a slimline metal frame attached to domed base unit via a supporting arm that is adjustable in tilt, height and swivel. The domed base houses a jack for the proprietary cable from the media box and also contains two USB ports.

Other features of the screen are an 18.1in viewable area, native resolution of 1280x1024, built-in 1W stereo speakers and a comprehensive on-screen display (OSD) driven by the six easy-to-use, soft-touch digital control buttons. The speakers and the control panel, which also houses the light sensor and user sensor, are located, unusually, at the top of the screen's bezel. The light sensor is used in conjunction with the monitor's electronic smarts to adjust screen brightness automatically in relation to ambient light conditions. The user sensor is infrared and will automatically power down the unit 20 seconds after you walk away from it and start it up again seconds after you sit in front of it.

Using 200 cd/m2 of luminance and "a 350:1 contrast ratio, picture quality is of a very high standard, boasting crisp, bright images and colours as well as stated viewable angles of 140§ horizontal and 125§ vertical.

The media box is as presentable as the monitor and does not look out of place on the desktop. It takes a straight 'jug plug' connection for power, and houses an analog VGA and a DVI-I digital connector as separate inputs. There are two separate audio in jacks and two USB connectors.

The SDMN80 is priced at $5599, putting it out of the reach of most end users, but it is a feasible option for offices wanting to make a style statement. It is compatible with both PCs and Macintosh systems and ships with all the necessary cables and adapters to work with both.

Sony SDMN80

Price: $5599; Phone: 1300 137 669; URL: www.sony.com.au

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Spiro Hionis

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