Cornea MP704, Hercules ProphetView 920 DVI, Samsung SyncMaster 181T Flat Planel Displays

Anyone looking to up­-grade a monitor would surely want to consider the latest Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) monitors available on the market. LCD monitors still use less power, weigh less, don’t flicker and give off less radiation than a Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) monitor. We looked at three SXGA TFT screens, scaling in features and price from $1499 to $2699.

The $1499 Cornea MP704 boasts a 17in viewable area. Connectivity for the RGB 15-pin analog connector and the power jack are at the rear of the monitor. The MP704 has a hinged and folding pedestal that doubles as a carry handle for transportation.

Cornea has not been around as long as the other vendors but has provided an excellent entry-level screen that offers good picture quality at an affordable price.

As the name suggests, the $1999 17in Hercules ProphetView 920 DVI comes with a DVI-I connector (Hercules makes an identical monitor with an analog connector for $1799). Apart from the digital connectivity, which requires a DVI graphics card, you can use the provided RGB converter plug attached to the DVI monitor cable to connect the monitor to a standard graphics card.

Picture quality is noteworthy from most angles and images are vibrant and colourful. Wall mounting to VESA specifications helps to make this a great screen for presentations as well as personal use.

The $2699 Samsung SyncMaster 181T TFT screen will be a desirable acquisition for seasoned DTP veterans. The 18in view­able area is equivalent in size to the bezel on a 20in CRT monitor and, although resolution does not go beyond SXGA (1280x1024), the geometry, image sharpness, brightness and overall picture quality are excellent. This makes it appealing to everyone — although desktop publishers should note that the screen swivels to a full portrait orientation, allowing the entire screen to be used for one page only. This is accomplished using the supplied Pivot software which, unfortunately, managed to crash my Pentium 4 Win XP system whenever I tried to access the Start menu in portrait mode.

Connectivity is via either DVI-D or 15-pin RGB. Both cables are provided and allow simultaneous connection to two separate inputs, which can then be switched at the touch of a button. n

In brief: Cornea MP704
The MP704 is an excellent entry-level 17in LCD screen at an affordable price. Recommended for personal use.
Price: $1499
Distributor: Cornea Technology
Phone: (02) 9431 5366

Hercules ProphetView 920 DVI
Stunning picture quality at most angles, excellent aesthetics, very good OSD menu. Excellent for DVD movies, gaming or presentations.
Price: $1999
Distributor: Guillemot Australia
Phone: (02) 8303 1818

Samsung SyncMaster 181T
Excellent picture quality and functionality from the 181T. Ideal for desktop publishing, presentations or sharing between systems.
Price: $2699
Distributor: Plus Corporation
Phone: (02) 9630 3166

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