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SONY MULTISCAN CPD-E200

 

STANDFIRST

Sony has made some cracking monitors in the past but this time theyíve excelled themselvesÖ

 

COPY

If you thought the picture tubes used in mid-range monitors were  all much of a muchness, think again. Aside from any quality issues thereís the whole question of teccy-sounding design features, and in that respect Sony is an acknowledged world leaderÖ Take the 17-inch Super Fine Pitch FD Trinitron tube used in the Multiscan CPD-E200 for example. It has DQL (Dynamic Quadrupole Lens) and MALS (Multi-Astigmatism Lens) dynamic focussing systems with Hi Con and AR screen coatings and thatís just for starters. We could go on, believe us, but all you really need to know about this tube is how flat the screen is, and itís flat, very flat! Flat screens mean low reflectivity and that can be a big relief to the eyes when youíre working in brightly lit surroundings, so the E200 is off to a pretty good start.

 

The CPD-E200 is part of the Sonyís ĎEntry-Levelí range Ė thatís what the E stands for Ė and it is also very reasonably priced at around £276 or thereabouts. Itís surprisingly compact too though its no lightweight and your desk or table will need to be able to support a hefty 20kgs. The spec looks good, itís a competent Multiscan design, able to automatically configure itself and operate in most commonly used graphics modes, resolutions and refresh rates. For the record the useable display maximums are 1280 x 1024 at 81Hz. Horizontal frequencies are from 30 to 85kHz and vertical frequency is in the range 48 to 120Hz, which should cover most eventualities.

 

Connection options reflect the monitorís intended market Ė i.e. SoHo consumers with IBM PCs Ė and that is why there are no sockets, just a captive lead with a standard 15-pin D Sub connector on the end. Thereís not much to see around the front either, below the screen surround on the left side thereís a recessed reset button, to restore the monitor to factory settings; on the right side thereís the main power on/off switch and the control button, otherwise known as DisplayMouse. This is basically a four way cursor/joypad and is used to select and set options on the on-screen display. The front page or menu has 9 options covering colour adjustment, image position, size, geometry, convergence, language selection plus a useful Help menu, listing common alignment problems and remedies.

 

PERFORMANCE

The image on the super-flat screen really stands out -- if thatís not a contradiction in terms -- but there is an almost three-dimensional quality to the display. The lack of reflections and broad contrast range helps increase colour depth, shades and textures are faithfully rendered when showing video, the picture has a vibrancy that you wonít see on a regular monitor. PC displays and desktops look almost clinically clean, like theyíve been printed and stuck to the screen, itís that sharp and stable. Focus and convergence on our sample were on the nail, right to the edges of the screen and it didnít miss a beat during the power regulation tests. Picture geometry and linearity can be as good (or as bad) as you want it to be, such is the degree of control. Picture performance is almost flawless, unless you count the shadows cast by the two suspension wires, but even theyíre less intrusive than usual. Operationally the story is slightly different, using DisplayMouse to navigate around and change items on the on-screen displays can be hard work, fortunately itís a set-and-forget type of product so you wonít need to use it very often.

 

SUMMARY

We usually have a grumble about Sony prices, but not this time, the E200 is worth every penny! Image quality is outstanding, itís a pleasing shape and we can live with the DisplayMouse. Itís not very Mac-friendly, though thereís plenty of other fine Sony monitors to choose from, and thereís a few (very few) very specialist display modes and resolutions it canít handle, but we canít see that being a problem. If you are in the market for a 17-inch monitor for office applications, desktop editing and video display make sure you see this one first!

 

SONY MULTISCAN CPD-E200

 

How Much?                  

£ 276 (inc. VAT)*

 

Tube size                     

17-inch FD Trinitron

 

Visible display area     

327 x 423mm

 

Aperture Grille Pitch                

0.24mm

 

Max Resolution 

1280 x 1024 pixels

 

Max refresh rate

Multiscan up to 120Hz

 

Dimensions                  

414 x 404 x 420 mm

 

Weight             

20 kg

 

Sony UK Ltd., telephone (0990)  424424, www.sony.com

 

 

CV RATINGS

Features                       ****

Performance                  *****

Ease of use                   ***

Value for money            *****

Overall Rating  92%

 

 

* Sony suggested

 

 

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R. Maybury 2000 2502

 

 


 

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