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BERLINEA 10 70 40, 17-inch Monitor

 

STANDFIRST

German-based Belinea are a relative newcomer to the UK but in just over a year they've built up an impressive range of affordable monitors. We've been looking at their latest 17-inch model, known to its friends as the 10 70 40

 

COPY

There’s something slightly odd about Belinea monitors. With most other manufacturer’s products there is usually a distinctive design theme or some sort of conformity across the range. Often the only visible differences between one model and the next, is screen size and price. They have other ideas at Belinea, the styling of their monitors varies considerably, it's almost as though they have come from different factories.

 

The 10 70 40 which has a 17-inch screen is a case in point. To begin with it looks unusual, the screen surround is trapezoid in shape. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so we’ll leave you to make up your own minds; suffice it to say that at first glance we thought it must be some kind of detachable shop display card, and were quite disappointed to find that it didn’t come off. The top and sides are unusual too, it looks as though it’s made of perforated pegboard, at least it is well ventilated.

 

In industry-speak this is a step-up model, it is aimed principally at SoHo and multimedia PC users, with a captive video cable, terminated with a standard 15-pin D-Sub plug. Its housed in the same cabinet as LG's 17-inch entry level design, but this one has a higher performance Hitachi tube, with a dot pitch of 0.26mm. It is a multi-synch design with a claimed maximum resolution of 1600 x 1200, though this is a tad unrealistic on a 17-inch screen, (even assuming you have a suitable graphics card). The preset range of display modes covers the most commonly used Vesa standards, up to and including 1280 x 1024 pixels at 75Hz.

 

Front panel controls are spread out in a neat row below the screen. Brightness and contrast adjustments share a pair of buttons, all other functions are accessed from an on-screen menu display. They include picture geometry (vertical/horizontal size and position, pincushion, trapezium, parallelogram and rotation), plus colour balance, red and blue gain and degauss. It supports Vesa and EPA Energy Star power management functions, though it's not especially frugal with maximum power consumption quoted at 150 watts, this drops to 5 watts in full standby. There's a push button standby button on the front panel; the main on/off switch is on the back panel.

  

PERFORMANCE

Previous Belinea monitors we've looked at gave a good account of themselves and so we expected a fairly easy ride with this one. After the usual warm up there was nothing to worry about in the general display department. The image is sharply focused up to the edges of the screen on all resolution settings, up to 1280 x 1024 with no moiré patterning to speak of. Ntest and CheckScreen monitor test software confirmed that geometry and convergence were both spot on and there's sufficient adjustment to get a crisp, well-defined picture on all display modes. There is a problem though, and it's quite a big one. Power regulation on our sample was poor and the tests, which include rapid changes in brightness in small and large areas of the screen, produced significant 'ballooning'. It's enough to be quite distracting on dynamic moving video and games, though it should go unnoticed on relatively static displays.

 

SUMMARY

It's good value but the iffy screen regulation is a concern. We would be reluctant to use this monitor for anything more demanding than word processing or the kind of applications where screen brightness remains fairly constant. Under those circumstances it stacks up well, but if our sample is anything to go by, desktop video, or anything involving a lot of sudden changes in luminance levels, is asking too much of it.    

 

How Much?                  

£300

Tube size                     

17-inch FST

Visible display area     

300 x 225 mm

Dot Pitch                      

0.26mm

Max Resolution 

1280 x 1024  pixels

Max refresh rate

auto scan to 85Hz

Dimensions                  

444 (w) x 448 (h) x 434 (d) mm

Weight             

17kg

 

Belinea, telephone Maxdata (01189) 362900

 

 

CV RATINGS

Features                       8

Performance                  7

Ease of use                   8

Value for money            8

Overall Rating  85%

 

 

 

 

 

 

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