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LG STUDIOWORKS 99T 19-inch Monitor

 

STANDFIRST

19-inch monitors are becoming increasingly popular with power users, the new StudioWorks 99T from LG is just the job if you need a big high-performance screen, but funds and desk space are limited

 

COPY

There is no doubt whatsoever that when it comes to computer video and monitor screens the simple rule of thumb is the bigger the better. However, until fairly recently the choice was limited to 21-inch monsters, that cost a small fortune, or 17-inch models, that are only barely large enough for this kind of application. Within the past year of so things have improved and now there's a growing selection of 19-inch monitors coming on to the market, with the screen acreage you need, at a sensible price.

 

One of the most recent newcomers is the StudioWorks 99T from LG Electronics, the recommended selling price is around 676 but as usual it is well worth shopping around as the street price is likely to be quite a bit less. It's a high-end design, built around a high contrast FST from Hitachi with 0.26mm dot pitch and a maximum resolution of 1600 x 1200. It has a dozen factory programmed display modes, plus a further twelve 'soft' programmed modes that can be overwritten, and there are 16 blank user memory slots, making a total of 40 possible display settings. That should be enough to suit even the most adventurous and well-equipped user. Auto-scanning circuitry locks on to all horizontal frequencies between 30 and 96kHz and vertical scans rates between 50 and 160Hz, in short it can handle just about anything your PC or Mac can throw at it!

 

Head on it's a fairly conventional design but from the sides it looks quite snazzy. On the front there are just five buttons, a big one for power on/off, and four others for navigating the on-screen display. Brightness and contrast have their own separate thumb wheels tucked away under the screen surround; they're continuous-turn digital controls, (not potentiometers) linked to their own on-screen bargraph displays. On the back panel it has separate 15-pin D-sub and BNC input sockets. Power management systems comply with Energy Star and Vesa DPMS (display power management signalling) protocols; at full whack power consumption is in the order of 120 watts, which is quite good for such a large screen.

 

Operationally it's fairly easy to live with though the on-screen display takes a bit of getting used to. The control layout and functions are not very intuitive and it's easy to make mistakes.  On the plus side, the OSD panel can be moved around the screen, so you can more easily judge the effect of any changes. Display mode settings are fully automatic, with the monitor storing details of any new configurations it encounters

 

PERFORMANCE

The Hitachi picture tube is one of their finest. Images have noticeable depth, the kind of semi-3D effect you see on the best Trinitron and aperture grille tubes. Bright colours are vibrant, they leap out of the screen yet subtle shades and tones are cleanly resolved; the amount of fine detail in the picture is most impressive, especially on moving video, (a stern test for any PC display). CheckScreen and Ntest were used to assess focus, geometry, convergence, colour purity and power supply stability. Focus remained pin-sharp across the entire display area; the rest of the picture parameters were similarly first-rate, though the display fluctuated slightly when subjected to the full-screen black-white flash test pattern. This puts the power supply under immense strain and very few monitors escape without a twitch; the effect on the 99T is so slight as to be inconsequential.

 

SUMMARY

Apart from the slightly awkward on-screen display controls the 99T gets a big thumbs up. It excels as a PC monitor but it really comes into its own with moving video. Most large screen monitors seem to be good at one thing or the other, the 99T is one of those rare animals in the PC peripherals market, that qualifies as a real Jack-of-all-trades.     

 

How Much?                  

676 (suggested retail price, inc. VAT)

Tube size                     

19-inch FST

Visible display area     

365 x 274 mm

Dot Pitch                      

0.26mm

Max Resolution 

1600 x 1200 pixels

Max refresh rate

auto scan to 85Hz

Dimensions                  

457 x 467 x 480mm

Weight             

24.3kg

 

LG Electronics,  

(01753) 500400

 

CV RATINGS

Features                       9

Performance                  9

Ease of use                   8

Value for money            8

Overall Rating  93%

 

 

 

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R. Maybury 1998 1105

 

 

 


 

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