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BELINEA 10 60 30

 

INTRO

A 19-inch monitor for less than £250, so what’s the catch? Rick Maybury weighs up the memorably named Belinea 10 60 30

 

COPY

As recently as a year ago the average street price of an entry-level 19-inch monitor was over £400. If price erosion continues at the current rate -- and if the Belinea 10 60 30 is anything to go by -- this time next year manufacturers will be paying us to take them away. Even so, £250 for a 19-inch monitor sounds just too good to be true, there has to be a catch?

 

There are one or two, but they’re relatively minor ones that most users will be able to live with; moreover you can’t see them from the outside, at least it looks like it could cost a whole lot more. It is a very straightforward design with few, if any bells and whistles, unless you count an on-screen display as a luxury feature. There are signs of cost cutting when you delve a little deeper. The manufacturer ‘highly recommends’ the use of its Windows 95/98 driver software, but manages to save a few pennies by not including a driver disc in the box, instead owners are urged to downloads it from the Belinea web site. They probably shaved another few bob off the price by giving it a captive video lead and making no effort to give it any sort of Mac compatibility. However, the biggest saving must have been on the tilt stand. It really doesn’t seem to be up to the job of supporting over 20kgs of dead weight. It wobbles alarmingly and the adjustment is stiff and awkward.

 

The tech spec look okay though; the sync range covers all commonly used Windows resolutions and graphics modes up to and including 1600 x 1200. It conforms to all power saving protocols and the on-screen display includes a wide range of adjustments and user preferences. The display is called up by pressing the right side of the large semicircular button on the front panel, the two other button-like protuberances are in fact cosmetic and possibly an effort to stop it look like a frowning face. Menu item selections and adjustments are made using a concealed thumbwheel beneath the screen surround. This is actually quite clever, when there’s no display on the screen if you turn the thumbwheel clockwise the contrast adjustment appears, and moving it counter clockwise calls up the brightness display.

 

PERFORMANCE

The 10 60 30 like one or two other Belinea models we’ve tested has very little in brightness reserve, which can make the image look washed out in a brightly-lit room. It’s not helped by only moderately effective anti-reflective coatings on the screen. The OSD has moiré correction settings but neither completely eliminated the faint patterning that is visible on light grey backgrounds and desktops. Our sample suffered from some slight colour staining in the top left hand corner of the screen, which would not go away, despite repeated use of the degauss facility, however we’ll treat this as a one off and in any case it can be easily eliminated using a manual degauss coil. Our standard test routines and patterns indicated that focus, convergence and linearity were all spot on, but they did throw up a couple of niggly faults. There was some slight smearing on sharp black/white transitions – not enough to be concerned about it has to be said – and the power supply grumbled a bit when we got to the power regulation test (slight ballooning when fed with a flashing black/white test pattern). Again it wasn’t enough to worry about but it does suggest some penny-pinching in the design of the electronics.

 

Moving video looked quite good though, pictures are sharp, showing plenty of detail and crisp, natural looking colours. Images are not as vibrant as a similarly sized Trinitron screen, say, or some of the top-end CRTs but it’s certainly liveable, assuming it’s not going to be used in very brightly lit surroundings.

 

SUMMARY

Against the low price must be weighed the fairly average picture performance the cheapo stand and lack of Mac compatibility. It’s not really in the serious CAD/CAM league but for general Windows applications and video editing the 10 60 30 looks like quite a good deal, especially if you’re on a tight budget.

 

MAKE/MODEL

BELINEA 10 60 30

 

How Much?                  

 £249 (inc. VAT)*

 

Tube size                     

19-inch FST

 

Visible display area     

mm

 

Dot Pitch                      

0.26mm

 

Synch range     

Horizontal: 30 to 96KHz

Vertical: 50 to 160Hz

 

Max Resolution 

1600 x 1200 pixels

 

Dimensions                  

460 x 462 x 407mm

 

Weight             

21.5kg

 

Maxdata, telephone  (01344) 788900

 

CV RATINGS

Features                       ***

Performance                  ***

Ease of use                   ***

Value for money            ****

Overall Rating 74%

 

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ã R. Maybury 2000 0205

 


 

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