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Interactive Buyer's Guide


WinLab Reviews
Utobia XP400
Monitor Delivers on 'Utobian' Promise

-- by Erik Sherman

Sometimes competition among established vendors forces new companies to provide exceptional products. Although Utobia Systems is a new name in monitors, its XP400 17-inch high-resolution model is supercharged with specs that belie the relatively low sticker price.

With a 16.18-inch diagonal viewing area, the XP400 is suitable for CAD or graphic designers, but its price places it within reach of corporate users. The XP400's screen delivers crisp, crackling images, due largely to its 0.25mm dot pitch and nonglare, antistatic coating. And, at 16.5 by 16 by 17.1 inches and 48.4 pounds, it won't hog your desk space. The Energy Star-compliant unit meets MPRII standards for low electromagnetic radiation emissions.

The available resolutions and refresh rates are impressive: 1600x1200dpi at 60Hz, 1280x1024 at 75Hz, and 85Hz for lower resolutions. You can choose from 20 factory-set operational and eight user-definable modes. Horizontal scanning frequency ranges from 24kHz to 82kHz, with vertical scanning ranging from 50Hz to 120Hz. In fact, the XP400 is functionally similar to some of the more costly monitors on our Recommended List.

Monitor controls are scattered across the bottom of the XP400. Some were slightly awkward to use. Two buttons on the lower left allow you to resize and relocate the image, and choose a video mode to match the video card sync rates. A button on the lower right places the unit into and out of the low-power sleep mode, so you can save a few pennies by not waiting for the Energy Star time-out. A large panel button with an easy-to-use, concealed knob provides traditional video controls. Pressing the panel reveals on-screen menu choices and controls for brightness and contrast, image size and position, geometry, color and degaussing. More advanced controls for horizontal and vertical convergence, screen purity and saving operational modes are also included.

Under Sonera Technologies' DisplayMate, the XP400 showed an extremely stable image with good color saturation and excellent sharpness on all areas of the screen.

With a three-year warranty for parts, two years for the CRT and one year for labor, this is a unit to consider-especially if you're on a budget.

W Info File

Utobia XP400
Price: $749
Pros: Quality at a moderate price
Cons: Awkward controls
Utobia Systems
909-357-6866, fax 909-357-6877
WinMag Box Score 4.0

Copyright 1997 CMP Media Inc.

(From Windows Magazine, January 1997, page 140.)