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7/96 Reviews HW: CTX VL700

Listing of July 1996 Reviews

Blue Hues Mar Monitor

By Joel T. Patz

At first glance, the new VL700 from CTX International seems like it ought to be a promising candidate for users in the market for a 17-inch flat, square screen color monitor at a good price. On closer inspection, our test unit demonstrated a flaw that tarnishes that promise.

I used Sonera Technologies' DisplayMate to check convergence, color, focus, moir... distortion, linearity, sharpness and resolution. While the results were uniformly good, a disturbing blue tint near the screen's lower-right corner was clearly noticeable in several tests, as well as in various business applications.

Weighing in at approximately 38.5 pounds, the VL700 measures 17.3 by 16.5 by 16.4 inches and has a 15.7-inch diagonal viewing area. It offers a 0.28mm dot pitch with Invar shadow mask technology along with an antiglare, antistatic and antireflective screen surface.

Next to the on/off push button on the front of the housing, you'll find a dual-color LED that indicates the power usage mode of this Energy Star, VESA DPMS and MPRII-compliant unit. Rotating thumb wheels under the front panel adjust brightness and contrast, and buttons permit degaussing and resetting the monitor.

In addition, you'll find six buttons for fine-tuning the monitor's various functions. By using the menu button, combined with four adjustment buttons, you can activate the on-screen menu for seven functions: position (right and left, up and down placement of the display), size (increasing or reducing horizontal and vertical dimensions), pincushion, geometry (keystone, tilt and rotation), color (three preset levels, 9300 degrees Kelvin, 7500K and 6500K with allowance for RGB gain), mode (resolution, frequency and polarity) and the On-Screen Display control (for adjusting the duration of the menu block's appearance). The remaining button, Exit, closes the on-screen menu.

With a horizontal scanning frequency of 30kHz to 70kHz and a vertical scanning frequency of 50Hz to 120Hz, the monitor provides a maximum resolution of 1280x1024 with a 65Hz refresh rate and a recommended resolution of 1024x768 at 75Hz.

The unit's back has the standard 15-pin connector cord to attach to your monitor and the plug for the power cord. The monitor consumes a maximum of 120 watts, less than 80W in standby mode, less than 10W in suspend mode and less than 6W in off mode.

At $659, the CTX VL700 is clearly priced below its competitors and includes on-screen adjustments usually found in pricier monitors. Were it not for the annoying blue tint in the test unit, this would be a monitor I could recommend.

--Info File--
$659 (street)
Pros: Price
Cons: Color reproduction
CTX International
800-888-2012, 818-839-0500
WinMag Box Score: 3.0

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