Built in an alley but welcome on any desktop,
the CTX 1792UA is screen gem
Chuntex Electronics -- CTX to its friends --
must have one of the least prestigious addresses of any consumer electronics manufacturer.
It's hard to imagine anything other than overflowing dustbins coming out of somewhere
called Alley number 6, Lane 235, Pao Chiao Road, Taipei. The 1792UA 17-inch
monitor shows how wrong you can be…
It is based on a Sony Trinitron tube, a fact
CTX curiously fail to mention on the box or in the instructions. The dark and
unusually flat faceplate is a dead give-away but we whipped off the lid just to
make sure. Whilst inside we gave the circuitry and components a quick
once-over. The standard of construction is generally good though the wiring is
a bit of a rats-nest; any service engineer having to deal with a faulty one has
our sympathy. But we digress. The main points of interest are full auto scan
between 30 and 70kHz (horizontal) and 50 to 160Hz (vertical), most graphics
standards and resolutions between 640 x 480 and 1600 x 1200 so it will happily
operate with pretty well all PCs and Macs.
Although the 1792UA supports all VESA DPMS
power management protocols the environmentally aware might like to note that it
never quite manages to achieve zero power consumption whilst it is connected to
a PC. In the 'off' mode it still manages to use 6 watts, this rises to 10 watts
in standby and up to 120 watts when showing a bright, busy image.
The cosmetics are fairly plain and
understated, which is no bad thing, you're supposed to be looking at the
screen, after all. All of the front panel controls are arranged in a neat row,
with the on/off power switch on the far right. From left to right they are:
picture, colour and status menu calls, plus/minus and up/down menu selectors, (which
also double up as brightness and contrast controls), plus two buttons for input
select and manual degauss. Around the back there's a standard 15-pin D-sub
monitor socket and a set of BNC sockets. The latter is for a Mac cable, or it
could be connected to a second PC and switched using the front panel selector.
A clip-on tilt/swivel stand, PC video cable and power lead is included.
At switch-on there's further confirmation of
the picture tube's origins. The characteristic shadows cast by the two aperture
grille support wires, across the top and bottom thirds of the screen, are
immediately obvious. Trintron aficionados are untroubled by the shadows but some
find them distracting. It's fair to say that they are virtually invisible on
moving video, but they do show up quite clearly on a static white desktop. If
you've never used a largish Trinitron screen it's worth seeing one in action,
before you decide. The multi-lingual menu-driven on-screen displays are crisp
and easy to read they can also be moved to any position on the screen, which is
a neat touch. In addition to all of the usual picture and picture geometry
controls there are four user pre-settable colour settings, and convergence
adjustment. The latter is unusual, normally this is left to service engineers
as it can be a swine to get right, without specialist test patterns, and a lot
After a 30-minute warm-up the 1792UA was subjected
to our usual test routines, which includes two monitor checking programs (Ntest
and CheckScreen), plus some moving video and a selection of Windows desktops,
across as may resolution settings as we can muster. The geometry and picture
settings needed only a few slight tweaks to get a near perfect result. At all settings
colour purity was on the nail with no visible defects, focus is pin-sharp
across the whole screen area and the power supply sailed through our stability tests.
All good stuff, but the icing on the cake is resolution, the fine dot-pitch
produces a crisp, highly detailed image and that combined with the wider than
normal contrast range of the Trinitron tube gives a picture that appears to
have added depth and sharpness.
A 17-inch screen is about as small as you
want to go for serious desktop video and graphics applications but if that's
your limit then the CTX 1792US is definitely worth including on your shortlist.
The price and specification are fairly run of the mill but picture quality is outstanding.
How Much? £386 (inc. VAT)
Tube size 17-inch Trinitron
Visible display area 300 x 225mm
Aperture grille pitch 0.25mm
Max Resolution 1600 x 1200 pixels
Max refresh rate auto scan to 160Hz
Dimensions 418 x 430 x 446mm
Ease of use 8
Value for money 8
Overall Rating 88%
CTX Europe (01923) 810800, www.ctxeurope.demon.co.uk
ã R. Maybury 1998 2008