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NOKIA 445X PRO

 

STANDFIRST

Nokia tellies were pretty good, so their monitors should be okay too? They usually are but the 21-inch 445X PRO we looked at recently was not in the best of health…

 

COPY

We tend to get a bit complacent with monitors; they're generally very reliable -- a good one can outlast several PCs -- and performance tends to be fairly consistent from one make to the next. Nevertheless, every so often one comes along that makes us sit up and take notice, and not always for the best of reasons…

 

The Nokia 445X PRO turned out to have a few surprises in store. It looks innocent enough from the outside, it's a fair old size and weight but that's to be expected with a 21-inch screen. The styling is mostly conventional though the front panel has a decidedly retro feel. Most manufacturers try to hide the knobs and buttons, not Nokia, they've made a feature of them, and it doesn't look half-bad.

 

Feature-wise the spec is on a par with similarly sized monitors from other well-known manufacturers. It has a range of 13 preset display modes in memory, four of which are set aside for user settings. They cover all common (and some not so common) PC and Mac configurations, from 640 x 480 right up to 1800 x 1350. It supports VESA power management protocols with a power consumption ranging from 120 watts at full whack to less than 5 watts after auto power-off has kicked in.

 

Connectivity is adequate; in addition to the standard 15-pin D-Sub there's a set of five BNC sockets for the convenience of Mac owners or PCs users with two machines that can share the same monitor. All of the sockets are oriented vertically and face downwards on a recessed panel on the back of the cabinet. This is a neat idea as it means there's nothing poking out of the back to restrict clearance, or get knocked off.

 

From left to right the front panel controls are an input selector button with indicators LEDs for BNC and D-Sub, two chunky knobs adjust brightness and contrast, there's a large rotary control/button for the on-screen menu, and on the far right is the on/off switch and power-on indicator. Pressing the rotary control brings up the menu and turning it changes selections. It's very comprehensive covering image size, position and shape, there's a full set of colour adjustments with 7 presets and 2 custom memories, plus moiré cancelling, convergence fine-tuning and a self-test mode. Menu control is fast and intuitive, it's obvious what everything does and there's virtually no need to consult the instructions.   

 

PERFORMANCE

It has all gone fairly smoothly up until now but our sample had three problems. A faulty red pixel appeared in the bottom right hand corner of the screen, it only showed up on a colour test pattern and it actually seemed to get smaller the longer the monitor was on but it shouldn’t happen. Problem number two was severe moiré patterning at the sides of the screen at resolutions of 800 x 600 and below, no amount of fiddling with the moiré cancellation control made a blind bit of difference. Admittedly most users probably wouldn't use such a low resolution on a big screen, but again, it shouldn't be there. Lastly the auto-size facility, which is supposed to adjust the image for you, kept getting it wrong by shifting the picture far too much to the right, so that the edge of the display disappeared off the side of the screen. On a more positive not image quality is generally satisfactory, it passed all of our other focus, alignment, colour purity and power stabilisation tests without a hitch, but we have to say the display lacks the depth and vibrancy of some of its rivals.

 

SUMMARY

The dodgy pixel is almost certainly an unfortunate one-off fault; moiré patterning at low-res settings shouldn't be a problem for most users and the wonky auto-size is probably down to mis-alignment. On their own they're not enough to condemn this monitor, but we have to say that together they put a bit of a question mark over Nokia's quality control procedures.   

 

How Much?                  

£1169*

 

Tube size

21-inches                     

 

Visible display area     

406 x 304 mm

 

Dot Pitch                      

0.26mm

 

Max Resolution 

1800 x 1350  pixels

 

Max refresh rate

85Hz

 

Dimensions                  

515 (w) x  490 (h) x  544(d) mm

 

Weight             

32kg

 

Nokia, telephone  (01793) 512809

 

 

CV RATINGS

Features                       ***

Performance                  ***

Ease of use                   ****

Value for money            ***

Overall Rating  75%

 

* Dabs Direct

 

 

---end---

ã R. Maybury 1999 1802

 

 


 

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