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Compaq V55 - End of the road for 15" CRTs?

Quote-end
27.04.2004

Advantages:
Cheap, relatively small, does everything a monitor should do

Disadvantages:
bland design, old fashioned,

Recommendable Yes:

Detailed rating:

Picture quality

Colour sensitivity

Design

Ease of use

Value For Money

Image Size in relation to tube sizeGood

Ease of InstallationGood - quick to install

SpeedAverage

Manufacturer SupportGood

Instruction manualGood

3 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
very helpful by (100%):
  1. Saajan
  2. ralfschumacher
  3. dac2000
and 11 other members

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The Compaq V55 is an ideal monitor; it was an important part of our receptionists life for a good 5 years but after recently replacing it with a TFT, I decided it was only fair we rewarded it by giving it a good write up on ciao.

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PRICE
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It was back in 1997, in which our comapany first purchased this monitor. We had a dell base unit which was perfect for the general office work of the receptionist; now all we needed was a nice monitor to go with it. At £129.99 it was not badly priced at all, in fact its probably worth that today. It seemed a bargain; despite it being compaqs lowest in their range, it would be all that was needed for the day to day chores of our receptionist. The prices of these monitors will have come down considerably since then, brand new your probably looking at under £60, a bargain for a monitor, yet on ebay I've seen these go for as little as £10 or £20, now thats a real bargain! In comparison with todays monitors, 15" TFTs are about £200, so under £60 seems a fair price for a CRT.

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AVAILIBILITY
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This is certainly a weak point of the monitor, particularly recently. After browsing the web I found about one or two retailers that actually stocked this monitor! The thing is people just dont want 15" CRTs anymore, when we bought this back in 1997, they were as popular as ever, but now retailers, and even manufacturers themselves are gradually fading them out, or stopping making them. Take PC World for example, all their PCS come standard with a 17" CRT or 15" TFT, no one seems to want 15" CRTs anymore. PC World offer one 15" CRT which is just £37.00! Such a massive store and they only stock one 15" CRT monitor! Well its like anything I suppose, they all gradually fade out, in a few years maybe no one will settle for 15" TFTs and 17" TFTs will become standard. If you can find one however, then its ideal for use with an older computer or second computer perhaps, especially for £10 off ebay!

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DESIGN
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The design is pretty basic; its your typical beige 15" CRT Monitor. Its quite small, not as bulky as some of the older model CRTs. The base is quite bulky, it stands on a grey block which is rather large and unsightly. The monitor has "compaq" across the top in red lettering. At the bottom of the monitor is a range of small circular buttons from which one can control brightness, contrast etc. Most CRTs these days are slightly jazzed up, like the recent Compaq ones come in silver and the dell ones are a stylish midnight grey. But at the end of the day, design wasn't particularly important to our office, as long as it did the job, perhaps if your buying the monitor for home use you might fancy something a bit more snazzy.

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EASE OF USE
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The monitor is really simple to use, its plug and play which means you connect it to the back of your computer unit and it works instantly. We didn't need drivers although you may need drivers with older computers. As far as settings etc are concerned, these are all controlled from a series of small circular buttons at the bottom of the monitor. There is a standby button which quite simply turns the monitor on or off. When the monitor is on a small LED indicator shows up green, when off but plugged its an amber colour which flashes, which is quite annoying because essentially it means you have to turn the monitor off to stop the flashing.

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PICTURE/ QUALITY
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This monitor isn't going to give you the best picture quality on the market but its certainly adequate. Most 15" CRTs share a fairly similiar resolution so its fair to say its as good as any other 15" CRT, despite this however it won't be as good as the latest TFTs which are brighter and sharper, and neither will it be as good as 17" CRTs. The colours are reasonable, theres a choice of 16, 256 and 512 colours, 256 proved adequate for our basic office use. Brightness and contrast can easily be adjusted however the monitor colours are naturally quite dark, not as bright as most other monitors.

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RELIABILITY
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This monitor is bery reliable, we used the monitor for a whole five years, an average 40 weeks per year and 5 days per week. In all this time we never once had to take the monitor to be repaired or have to return it to the manufacturers. We had very little problems and thus we saw it as a greatly reliable monitor. Even after our five years of use the only reason we decided to upgrade was the changing office environment; we each had our own fancy new monitors so it was only fair recption be allowed one too. It still works perfectly well however, it seems a waste for it to be sat on the floor in the paper room.

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INSTRUCTION MANUAL/ MANUFACTURER SUPPORT
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As already commented; we never once had to return the monitor to ther manufacturer which means we didn't really get a taste of how good the manufacturers support was. Despite this however, Compaq is a large reliable brand thats a key holder of market share in the IT industry, therefore I'm sure they must base themselves on good customer care to have achieved such a dominant market role. As for the instruction manual, it was excellent, with all the information we needed included and more; although it was very rare we had to use it anyway!

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VALUE FOR MONEY
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Finally, is this monitor worth the money and would I reccomend it? Well its fair to say that 15" CRTs are becoming a thing of the past so this perhaps isn't the solution for new hi tech businesses...on the otherhand however it would provide adequate to those with an older computer or as a monitor for the kids computer etc, even small businesses would get their money out of these, at the end of the day they work excellent and at the low prices for which they retail at, its an ideal monitor for those that aren't so bothered about the latest technology and image. I think it offer excellent value for money, the 15" CRT which PC world offers is just £37, which is a basic EM beige monitor, considering you can get these Compaq monitors for around the £60 mark for that extra bit of money your getting a better manufacturer and probably a better monitor. If your after a cheap monitor that does its job then go for it, if you are after a top of the range stylish techno TFT then this, quite obviously isn't the monitor for you. Is it the end of the road for 15" CRTs?


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Comments about this review »

Saajan 27.06.2004 15:46

It's not quite the end of the road yet but the proverbial fat lady is certainly flexing her vocal chords! Great review - definitely agree with most of your points.

ralfschumacher 21.06.2004 11:00

Nice review. I have a Compaq S510 and it's really good. I got it off ebay for £13 so it was a bargain. I want a flat screen one but I'll have to save up some pennies first. --Chris--

rosillew 29.04.2004 23:34

A nice detailed review, I have three CRT 15" monitors, all sound similar to the Compaq V55, the one I use now is an IBM 15L10, whatever that means, it is rather bulky but serves it's purpose for a while longer, wouldn't mind one of these new ones, but I guess if I wait long enough they too will come right down in price.... Heatherx

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Product Information »

Manufacturer's product description

Compaq targets value shoppers with this space-saving, lower-priced 15-inch display. The Compaq V55 multiscan monito...

General

MPN 308006-021, 308006-022, SN-VRQV5-24
Display Type CRT monitor / CRT
Diagonal Size 15"

Connectivity

Interfaces 1 x USB - 4 PIN USB Type A - 1, 1 x VGA - 15 pin HD D-Sub (HD-15)
Connections 1 x display / video - VGA - 15 pin HD D-Sub (HD-15) - 1 ¦ 1 x USB - 4 PIN USB Type A - 1

Show all Product Information

Review Ratings »

This review of Compaq V55 has been rated:

"very helpful" by (100%):

  1. Saajan
  2. ralfschumacher
  3. dac2000

and 11 other members

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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