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BELINEA 10 30 40

 

STANDFIRST

Once upon a time a seventeen-inch monitors were considered an expensive luxury, not any more, the Belinea 10 30 40 costs less than some 15-inch displays…

 

COPY

In a little under two years Belinea has come from almost nowhere to become one of the best selling monitor brands in the UK. One of the reasons for this inspiring success story is the aggressive pricing policy of the importers, Maxdata UK. From the looks of it, it’s a trend that’s set to continue with the company’s latest 17-inch model, the memorably named 10 30 40. 

 

It is a no-frills design though you probably wouldn’t guess it from the outside. The casework is crisply sculptured with one of the best ventilated backsides we’ve seen in a while, not that it seems to need it as it runs fairly cool (or maybe that's because of all the holes…?). Front panel controls are confined to an on/off switch and a cunningly contoured button that looks more like a piece of trim. Pressing the right side of the ‘button’ brings up the on-screen menu. Options are chosen using a hidden thumb-wheel under the screen surround; selections are made by pressing the right side of the button, then its back to the thumb-wheel to carry out the adjustment. It sounds more complicated than it is but it is reasonably easy to use, once you’ve got used to the very sensitive selector knob.

 

The menu options covers all of the basics, including picture geometry, moiré reduction and colour fine-tuning. There are also two colour temperature presets as well as the user-set RGB levels. The only thing missing is a one-stop picture zoom control but it’s no great hardship to adjust the horizontal and vertical dimensions manually.   

 

It’s is a fully-fledged multi-scan design, the display circuitry can handle all standard VESA modes, from 640 x 480 up to 1280 x 1024 pixels (and beyond) with refresh rates of 50 to 150Hz, additionally it can store up to 15 custom settings. There’s no mention of Mac compatibility but it should be able to cope with the most commonly used settings, when used with an appropriate video cable adaptor. Connections to the outside world are confined to a captive video cable terminated with a standard 15-pin D-Sub connector and the mains lead. The 10 30 40 is supplied with a set of drivers on floppy disc.

 

PERFORMANCE

So far so good, but from now on things start to go a bit awry. However, first some good news. Picture geometry is good, focus is sharp up to the edges of the screen and convergence is spot-on. We found no problems with colour purity and the moiré cancelling adjustment were never needed. Now for the bad bits. The brightness range on our sample left almost nothing in reserve in fact peak whites looked dull and lacked vibrancy. Problem number two; our standard test patterns showed up some smearing on sharp black/white transitions, the effect was slight and would probably go unnoticed – unless, like us saddos you enjoy looking at test patterns -- but it was there nonetheless. Problem number three; the power supply had trouble dealing with the stabilisation test routine. This involves feeding the monitor with an alternating sequence of solid black and white test patterns of varying size. The sudden change puts quite a strain on a monitor’s power supply but most of the monitors we test cope without any noticeable effect on the image. The 10 30 40 struggled and the display ‘ballooned’ noticeably in sympathy with the pattern.

 

SUMMARY

On their own none of these quirks and quibbles amount to much and normally wouldn’t be enough to dismiss the 10 30 40 out of hand, but together they suggest corners may have cut in order to get the price down.  A sub standard tube is a possibility but in the light of the weaknesses exhibited by the power supply suspicion falls on the video processing and control circuitry. The 10 30 40 is suitable for general PC duties, and desktop video applications are within its capabilities, but even taking into account the low price, it wouldn’t be our first choice. 

 

How Much?                  

 £179 + VAT*

 

Tube size                     

17-inch FST

 

Visible display area     

320 x 243mm

 

Dot Pitch                      

0.26mm

 

Max Resolution 

1280 x 1024 pixels

 

Max refresh rate

150Hz

 

Dimensions                  

408 x 420 x 426mm

 

Weight             

17.5kg

 

Maxdata, telephone  (01189) 362900

 

 

CV RATINGS

Features                       ***

Performance                  ***

Ease of use                   ***

Value for money            ****

Overall Rating  75%

 

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ã R. Maybury 1999 1207

 

 


 

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