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On the eyes that is. For many years I, like a number of people, used a 14 or 15 inch monitor with my computer. In the olden days the screens were extremely small and had green or amber writing (anybody remember those or am I just too old ?).
For about 2 years I have been using a 17 inch screen and the difference was amazing. Recently my husband has wandered home – I should say struggled home – with a hefty 19 inch monitor by NEC, the FP950. Now when I say hefty I really do mean it since this screen weighs in at 28kg !
When you eventually get the thing in the house and have had a cup of tea to recover, you can start to discover what all the multitude of cables are for. Now readers may know that I am not a very technical person and am often heard mumbling about thingamabobs and whatchamacallits (my spellchecker actually likes one of these words!) I will try to be a bit more specific for the more patient among you.
<Cables> The monitor box includes a Power Cable – useful for switching the thing on. A Signal cable which connects the monitor to the hard drive and a USB Cable for instant plug and play facility
<Software> The monitor installation software is supplied on CD Rom and takes seconds to install
<Manual> The manual looks deceptively detailed until you discover that it covers 15 pages of info. for the general European population in English, French, German, Spanish and Italian. There are easy to follow diagrams throughout and an in depth explanation of the buttons on the front of the monitor.
<Buttons On The Front Of The Monitor> (otherwise called the Menu) There is an array of menu buttons to play about with and because they are quite accessible may be prone to being fiddled with by curious children (husbands). These buttons are very similar to those you would expect to see on a standard TV.
Most are self-explanatory such as brightness, colour, increase/decrease the width and height, sharpness etc. but some are more unusual.
<Moiré Canceler> (told you I would try to be a bit more technical). In English this basically helps to eliminate that wavy pattern that you can sometimes see go across the screen. This is one of those annoying things that can cause eye strain and headaches.
<Geometry Controls> (my worse subject at school) These allow you to increase/decrease the curvature of the screen at the sides or top and bottom, hopefully avoiding that goldfish bowl look.
<Fitness Tips> This is a little sub menu that you can pre-set whereby the monitor will remind you to rest your eyes after your pre-set number of minutes have elapsed. Very health conscious so needless to say mine is set to off!
Overall -------- The monitor is a flat screen and you actually get 18 inches of viewing area. It has a very clear display and the connection is extremely easy. The manual may be a bit daunting but most of the information is standard common sense. The display is advertised as being flicker free and I have not noticed any flickering during my use. The monitor emits very low radiation and static and has a special coating to promote better picture quality. It is compatible with Windows 98 and above, as well as for Workstations and the Apple Mac and it has the plug and play facility via the USB cable. It is, however, extremely heavy, both to carry and to store (the rickety table in the shed just won’t do).It takes up no more desk space than was previously occupied by my 17 inch monitor but obviously more than a 15 inch would do. We managed to get ours for just over £ 400 which I think you will agree is a good price for such a piece of equipment. I have noticed less eye strain since using it and since I use the computer 12-14 hours a day this is very important to me. If your budget can stretch to it and you have the space, this model is impressive enough to have won a few awards for design and functionality.