Computer Video

 BootLog.co.uk

HomeSoftwareArchiveTop TipsGlossaryOther Stuff

ADI MICROSCAN G66 AND PROVISTA E55

 

STANDFIRST

Tired of squinting at that pitifully small goggle box that came with your PC? Well, what are you waiting for, get a bigger monitor! Here are a couple of mid-rangers from ADI that might be worth considering

 

COPY

We don't just throw these reviews together you know, months of painstaking research goes into every report. For example, are you aware that ADI stands for Actual Datum International, and the company was founded twenty years ago in Taiwan by one James C.C. Liao?  We also discovered there's another ADI Corporation, this one is based in Virginia USA, it provides safety and quality assurances to the Navy's Submarine Directorate, and that takes us neatly to the subject of 17 and 19 inch monitors…

 

The two ADI monitors we're looking at are from the ProVista and MicroScan ranges, the former is aimed at home and small office users, the latter is designed for more demanding applications, including computer aided design and manufacturer (CAD/CAM). The ProVista E55 is a 17-inch model with a street price of just over £200 whilst the 19-inch MicroScan G66 sells for around £428 (both prices include VAT). As usual – and this applies to any CRT-based monitor – you should take the screen size numbers with a big pinch of salt. In this case 17 and 19 inches refers to the outside dimensions of the picture tubes, the actual displays measure 15.75 and 17.5 inches respectively (measured diagonally).

 

Whilst not exactly peas from the same pod it is fairly evident from the external features they are closely related. However, the two-inch difference in screen size between the E55 and G66 bumps up the price by what appears to be a disproportionate amount. There are several good reasons for that. To begin with larger tubes are produced in smaller quantities, so there isn't the same economy of scale, and more care has to be taken during manufacture as faults and flaws will show up more readily on larger displays. Equally significant is the difference in dot pitch. This denotes the size and distance between the phosphor dots on the screen. The E55 CRT has a fairly standard dot pitch of 0.28mm whilst the G66 is 0.26mm, as befits its higher calling, and it also means it is capable of reproducing finer detail. The monitor's maximum supported resolution figures are matched to the tube specifications, the E55 goes up to 1280 x 1024 (at 60Hz) whilst the G66 can display 1600 x 1200 (at 75Hz).

 

There are a number of similarities though. Both monitors support and automatically configure themselves to a wide range of commonly used PC and Mac resolution modes. The on-screen display systems are almost identical, so too are the three control buttons on the front, and the rotary brightness and contrast thumbwheels tucked away below the screen surrounds. For some reason best known to ADI the OSD buttons are laid out in the most illogical manner possible. You have to press the middle button to bring up the display, select the option with the two outer buttons, press the middle one again to engage a selection and use the outer buttons to make changes, you do get used to it, eventually. The higher specified G66 has a few extra functions, including moiré cancelling, linearity, pin balance, pin cushion and parallelogram adjustments. Both monitors have captive video cable with standard 15-pin connectors and they come with the manual and utilities on a CD-ROM. The G66 has one extra feature and that's a built-in microphone, a connector cable is supplied.

 

PERFORMANCE

Even after taking the variation in screen sizes into account the two monitors have quite different performance characteristics. The E55 does well as far as colour purity, focus, geometry and convergence are concerned but the dynamic range, which roughly translates as contrast, is fairly average. We also noticed some mild moiré patterning on fine gratings; unfortunately, unlike the G66 there is no way of getting rid of it. Power stabilisation could also be better and our pulsating test pattern made the image 'balloon' slightly. The G55 did a similarly good job with the main picture parameters but the contrast range was noticeably wide with really solid blacks and vibrant whites. There was no moiré patterning and the power supply was rock solid.

 

SUMMARY

ADI have got it about right. The E55 is an affordable 17-inch monitor, performance is satisfactory, there's one or two slightly rough edges but for routine home and office applications – word processing spreadsheets and simple graphics – it's relatively minor shortcomings shouldn't matter. Image quality on the G66 is a definite notch up on its stablemate, certainly well within the desktop video ballpark. Build quality is good, the styling (on both models) is neutral and the G66 is fairly priced. What both monitors lack – and you may consider this is an advantage – is glitz or pizzazz, interesting features that make them stand out from the crowd. That's not meant to be a criticism, merely an observation. In the scheme of things the E55 is unremarkable but it is quite good value. If all you want is a straightforward, decent quality but no frills 19-inch monitor you should certainly put the G66 on your shortlist.

 

PROVISTA E55

 

How Much?                  

£205 *

Tube size                     

17-inch FST

 

Visible display area     

325 x 242 mm

 

Dot Pitch                      

0.28mm

 

Max Resolution 

1280 x 1024 pixels

 

Max refresh rate

160Hz

 

Dimensions                  

mm 400 x 410 x 410

 

Weight             

20kg

 

ADI, telephone  0181-327 1900 www.adimicroscan.com

 

 

CV RATINGS

Features                       ****

Performance                  ****

Ease of use                   ****

Value for money            ****

Overall Rating  88%

 

 

MICROSCAN G66

How Much?                  

£428*

Tube size                     

19-inch FST

 

Visible display area     

0.26mm

 

Dot Pitch                      

0.26mm

 

Max Resolution 

1600 x 1200pixels

 

Max refresh rate

160Hz

 

Dimensions                  

495 x 470 x 410mm

 

Weight             

24kg

 

ADI, telephone  0181-327 1900 ,

 

CV RATINGS

Features                       ****

Performance                  ****

Ease of use                   ***

Value for money            ****

Overall Rating  85%

 

 

*Choice Insight

 

 

---end---

ã R. Maybury 1999 2204

 

 


 

[Home][Software][Archive][Top Tips][Glossary][Other Stuff]


Copyright (c) 2005 Rick Maybury Ltd.

admin@rickmaybury.com