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7/96 Reviews HW: Panasonic PanaSync S17

Listing of July 1996 Reviews

Panasonic's Panoramic View

By Catherine Silverman

For me, there's nothing worse than an eyestrain headache that creeps up on you as the day wears on. Before you know it, staring at a too-small or slightly flickery monitor takes its toll, and you find yourself reaching for over-the-counter relief once too often. Not so with the Panasonic PanaSync S17. I've been using this 17-incher for several weeks now, and I'm loving it. Its 16-inch viewable area doesn't overwhelm my desktop, and it delivers a clear, crisp image with nary a flicker or stray ghost.

The PanaSync S17's front-panel controls and on-screen display (OSD) are a snap to use and are among the monitor's best features. No hidden thumbwheel controls here. Instead, four simple keys control the OSD. With the first key, you can display the control selection menu. The two center keys help you maneuver through the menu of symbols. And the display doesn't leave you groping for the meaning of the on-screen hieroglyphics: As you click on it, each symbol is clearly labeled. Once you've made your selection, the fourth key lets you display the control for that adjustment. From the OSD, you can control contrast, brightness, manual degaussing, memory recall, horizontal and vertical position and size, pincushioning, trapezoidal and parallelogram adjustment, color selection and adjustment, display frequency and video input level.

The flat, square monitor is Plug-and-Play compatible and uses the VESA DDC standard. It is Energy Star-compliant, and all its plastic parts are recyclable. It has a 0.27-millimeter dot pitch and affords a resolution of 1280x1024 at 60Hz. The monitor measures 16.5 by 15.6 by 16.4 inches and weighs 38.6 pounds. The screen's antiglare, antistatic, antireflective coating heightens picture clarity. The documentation is thorough and easily understandable.

The PanaSync S17 aced virtually all the Sonera Technologies' DisplayMate tests, with a sharp picture and balanced colors that were in focus even to the screen's corners and edges. One exception was the screen regulation test, which measures the monitor's ability to hold an image constant despite rapid changes in the nearby brightness. In this test, the outer frame jiggled somewhat. Some whirling fingerprint-like patterns were also evident on the sparse-dot moir... pattern test. Additionally, the midrange colors were a bit off in the color scales test. But these are minor flaws not evident in normal use.

I used to think I should buy stock in the makers of ibuprofen. But since the PanaSync S17 has been sitting on my desk, I'm reevaluating my investment strategy.

--Info File--
Panasonic PanaSync S17
Price: $899
Pros: Control panel; OSD
Cons: No moir adjustment
Platforms: Windows 95, 3.1x, NT
Panasonic Computer Peripheral Co.
800-742-8086, 201-348-2000
WinMag Box Score: 4.0
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