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Head to Head: 21-Inch Monitors
Set Your Sights on the Big Guys
-- by Deborah K. Wong
Graphic artists dream of big monitors, but the price can be a nightmare. The WyseVision WY-896D and the iiyama VisionMaster 500 offer reasonable large-area viewing for the money, but neither was good enough to knock the Panasonic PanaSync E21 off our WinList of recommended products.
Although it's sturdy and competent, the 21-inch WYSEvision WY-896D monitor-like a Volvo at a Corvette rally-needs a bit more flair to stand out in this crowd. But though it doesn't have the brightest or sharpest picture around, the monitor's 19.69-inch diagonal viewable image is practically distortion-free.
Its DiamondTron tube supports an autosynchronizing horizontal scan range from 30kHz to 96kHz and vertical frequencies from 50Hz to 150Hz. Wyse delivers a 0.31mm aperturegrille pitch and a maximum resolution of an addressable, noninterlaced 1600x1200 at a 75Hz refresh rate. Optimal resolution, however, is 1024x768 at 85Hz.
This 68.3-pound unit is a featherweight compared to others in its class. The unit measures 19.29 by 19.69 by 19.92 inches. Wyse includes a BNC\D-Sub connection and an ACCESS.bus located in the rear of the monitor that can be used to connect DDC 2A/B-compatible peripherals.
To optimize the display, the WY-896D provides two push buttons (recall and a power switch) and one thumbwheel for on-screen display (OSD) controls. Although the controls include 20 preset factory screen adjustments, the thumbwheel control and function button require too much fiddling.
The WY-896D complies with the EPA Energy Star program for power savings and MPRII guidelines for low electromagnetic and static emissions. The monitor recognizes VESA DPMS standards, and power consumption ranges from 150 watts in Operation mode to less than 20W in Standby and Suspend mode.
Sonera Technologies' DisplayMate test suite maintained a given image shape despite dramatic changes in brightness in a nearby area-with minimal distortion. Screen uniformity, a test for variations of color or intensity across the screen, displayed dark blotches on the left side of the screen.
The WY-896D is a little more expensive than the Panasonic PanaSync E21 (see Reviews, January), with a bit lower picture quality and output.
iiyama VisionMaster 500
The 21-inch iiyama VisionMaster 500 color monitor is a visual jack-of-all-trades; unfortunately, that makes it a master of none. Its 20-inch viewable area would seem great for high-end graphics, GIS analysis or advanced imaging applications, but its image falls short in brightness and focus.
When tested with Sonera Technologies' DisplayMate for Windows and a Number Nine Imagine Series 2e video card, the unit displayed excellent geometric and corner linearity and no signs of moire distortion. The screen uniformity test uncovered greenish blotches on the screen's bottom left. The VisionMaster 500 fared poorly on most focusing tests. It showed a pronounced blurriness across the entire screen. Additionally, it also turned in weak performances on color scales and screen regulation.
The VisionMaster has a 0.27mm dot pitch and a maximum noninterlaced resolution of 1800x1440 at a 73Hz refresh rate, but is best viewed at 1600x1200 at 85Hz. Its flat-square tube supports a horizontal frequency range of 27kHz to 110kHz and vertical frequencies from 50Hz to 160Hz, with up to 24MHz bandwidth.
This 68-pound unit measures 19.1 by 19.2 by 19.1 inches and includes a tilt-swivel base. Although its supporting documentation suggests a 5-degree downward and 15-degree upward movement, our test unit moved in neither direction.
To optimize the display, the VisionMaster provides three push-button controls ("+," "-" and menu button) for its on-screen controls and one power switch. The on-screen controls, include 20 preset factory screen adjustments. A BNC\D-Sub connection in the rear lets you switch between two monitors.
The unit complies with the EPA Energy Star program for power savings and complies with MPRII and TCO '92 for low emissions. It recognizes VESA DPMS standards, with power consumption from 160W in operation mode to less than 10W in standby and close to 6W in suspend mode.
Either monitor will provide a reasonable wide-area workspace. The PanaSync E21, however, remains the better value.