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Any of you who have read any of my recent reviews will be aware that where I work we have in excess of 20 computers working. That of course means we also have in excess of 20 monitors. They all work 24hrs a day 7 days a week and are used continuously. So with that in mind it is a good test of how robust the equipment we use is. When you consider that the ones we are using have been in situation since 2000 then they really do have a good life span.
We have a varied selection of monitors and have 6 of the Compaq P1210 model. OK when you look at the thin LCD type monitors that are becoming more and more common, you might ask why are we still using these, and why will we probably continue to use these for a long time to come. Well the answer is simple; they just keep going and going, not unlike the rabbit in the Duracell adverts.
We use them with a variety of programs, some of which are used solely by our company. These can be on for hours at a time and they may have the same image on the screen yet there is not a hint of anything being burnt onto the screen. So the result is we have always enjoyed a crisp and clear display. The colour output of this monitor is great, it really does not matter whether it is word processing, email, internet, presentation packages, moving or still images, the end result is always the same; a well focused and balanced display.
Those of you thinking of all nice modern thin, light monitors. Let me tell you this is a beast it is huge, yes it has it does have a flatish (Compaq call it virtually flat, they say it eliminates reflections and glare to reduce eyestrain and yes is does), squarish display. It also has a very large back; it is nearly as deep as it is wide. Although I am not one to give you a review stuffed full of technical bits, to help you understand just how big this is, you need the following, the screen is 22” (corner to corner). The dimensions are approx 20” wide, 20” high and 19” deep (not for a small work desk). I will add the weight it drops in at a very impressive 66lbs.
I am surprised that the swivel foot/stand that it sits on supports it so well. Whilst mentioning the foot, it not only supports the monitor well, but it enables the monitor to be swivelled without any fuss, tilting it up or down can also be achieved although this takes slightly more effort, having said that I have not heard it creek or groan when being moved, this is in contrast to some monitors I have used in the past. I would say the disadvantage with the weight is moving it into position and making sure it is not on a flimsy workstation. The plus is it stays put, and any adjustments you make stay put.
When you look at this monitor you see it is the usual buff/creamy colour of most computers, Compaq call it Opal. Looking from the front just below the screen are 6 buttons the furthest to the right and the only one with a little green led is the power on/off button (yes it does go on stand by when the pc is switched off). The button on the left is marked signal A/B above the button, I will tell you more about that further along this review. Below the button it is marked OSD OFF (this turns off the menu screen). In between these are the other four buttons, from left to right down direction arrow button, right direction arrow button, minus button and plus button. All of these are used to change the settings when working through the menu. Contrast, brightness, colour, degauss etc. I have to say they are very simple to operate, the navigation system is picked up in minutes.
At the back of the monitor is the usual power socket, along with four smaller sockets (three look like usbs and one the sort that fits into a scanner or camera) I can only guess that these are or can be used for sending picture signals to the monitor, the reason guess is we simply don’t use them. Then there are two more sockets, the usual type that connect the monitor to the PC, this is where the A/B button comes into play as it selects the screen output from the chosen socket which coincidentally are also marked A and B.
At first I could not think of what practical use this A/B would be to anyone. I thought well two people could share one monitor. Well err no not really, people would not have two PC’s yet only the one monitor, reason one would be unable to work so why have the two PC’s. No there had to be a logical reason, I thought maybe one is a spare, no because that does not explain why you would have a signal A/B button on the front.
Well in the end I did come up with a practical reason, this was followed by a lot more ideas, I am sure that a lot of people could make even more reasons why the A/B could be handy. Mine is, as I said earlier in the review, we have a lot of programs running on different PC’s at the same time, some of these programs need to run in real time and have to be logged into, although we may only need to use them for reference. So with that in mind, we could have two PCs running and only use the one monitor, switching as and when we need to, space where we work is not an issue, but if it were then this could be a good move. Another use could be, thinking of the size of the screen, one of these monitors could be set up as a visual display unit, then DVD VHS type media could be streamed through it, just an idea.
Overall although old and heavy, it is reliable. Now these can be picked up second hand at a very cheap price, so for the office working on a budget these might just be a good solution.