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October 1996 Reviews TOC

10/96 Reviews HW: Compaq V70 Color Monitor

Mainstream Monitor Is Good Enough for CAD

By Jonathan Blackwood

Compaq has always produced award-winning monitors, and its new V70 17-inch unit continues the tradition. The V70's 15.67-inch diagonal viewing area offers a stunning, distortion-free image with excellent quality. Its tilt-swivel design with an extended vertical pivot range provides an ergonomic advantage far greater than what most of its competitors offer. Ideal for mainstream corporate users, this is one unit that's also good enough for CAD.The Compaq design team has produced a 0.28mm-dot-pitch, Invar-shadow-mask monitor that's nice to look at even when it's off. With an antiglare, antistatic coated screen and weighing 44.1 pounds, this space-saving unit measures 17.3 by 16.5 by 17.3 inches. Concealed cable management at the back lets you place the V70 right against the wall. The monitor is Energy Star-compliant and meets MPRII standards for low electromagnetic radiation emissions.

The V70 offers a maximum resolution of 1280x1024 pixels at a vertical refresh rate of only 60Hz, but I wouldn't recommend this monitor for prolonged use at that setting. Lower resolutions, including 1024x768 pixels, are supported at 85Hz. Horizontal and vertical scanning frequencies range from 30kHz to 69kHz and 47.5Hz to 125Hz, respectively.

The easy-to-use controls include thumbscrews for brightness and contrast at the bottom left of the bezel. There are three small buttons at bottom center. One button calls on-screen menus. The other two, labeled "+" and "-", let you adjust or choose from simplified menu selections, including size and position, geometry, degauss, factory reset and language. The geometry control adjusts for pincushion or trapezoidal distortion, or for tilt (rotation).

My tests with Sonera Technologies' DisplayMate for Windows demonstrated tight focus across the entire screen and rich, saturated colors-even for hard-to-reproduce orange tones-and an almost total lack of geometric distortion. The one weakness in overall image quality appeared in the screen regulation tests, a measure of the monitor's ability to hold a geometric shape when there are rapid changes in brightness nearby. Most users, however, would never be aware of the problem.

While sophisticated folks may find the simplicity of the controls a drawback, for mainstream corporate users-and the personnel who support them-it's probably an advantage. With Compaq's usual three-year warranty, the V70 is certainly worth a look.

--Info File--
Compaq V70 Color Monitor
Pros: Distortion-free image; simple controls
Cons: Low refresh rate at 1280x1024 pixels
Platforms: Windows 95, 3.1x, NT
Compaq Computer Corp.
WinMag Box Score 4.5

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