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KDS RAD-9 19-inch analog/digital LCD panel.

The CRT is this millennium’s buggy whip. While computer prices dropped through the floor, CRT monitor prices remained steady–at least until they had some competition. LCD flat-panel displays had it all over the old technology glass-tubed boxes: They took less desktop space, used less power, and emitted less harmful radiation. What’s more, a 19-inch LCD flat panel actually measures 19-inches diagonally, not 17.756 inches, but their only problem was that they were too expensive. Not anymore.

KDS’s new RAD-9 is a 19-inch LCD flat panel that delivers superb image quality but carries a modest price tag of $699. You heard me right, partner, less than 700 bucks for a real, live LCD flat panel monitor. KDS says the RAD-9 is designed for the business professional or computer user looking for a large format LCD monitor that saves valuable desktop space and energy, but I’m here to tell you it makes a darn good graphics monitor, too.

The 19-inch RAD-9 offers a sharp 0.294mm dot pitch and can display 16.7M maximum colors for high-quality color images. The monitor is equipped with both analog and digital inputs but no additional USB ports. The styling is slick and the soft silver gray finish compliments my Power Mac G4. Out of the box at its native 1,280-by-1,024 resolution, the RAD-9 produces acceptable color for business and general computing. After plugging into my Power Macintosh G4, I connected a Pantone ColorVision Spyder and used the Optical software that’s designed to calibrate LCD monitors, and within a few minutes the screen went from good to spectacular.

The screen tilts to 25 degrees backward to minimize possible reflection that really aren’t much problems with these LCD screens anyway. You can swivel it to 45 degrees left and right on the base to make it fit your particular configuration or ergonomic requirement. Cables are supplied with a 15-pin D-Sub or 24-pin DVI-D connectors, and works in true plug-and-play fashion with any Mac that has a standard VGA input. Also, the RAD-9 is completely Windows-compatible and works with all the recent flavors. There are no built-in speakers, as its bigger and much more expensive brother, the RAD-23 offers. To tell the truth, I didn’t miss them. Even my three-year-old Monsoon computer speaker system produces significantly better results than any monitor’s built-in system.

All of KDS monitors are backed by a three-year limited parts and labor warranty in addition to their Advanced Replacement Expressed Service program that replaces a customer’s defective product with another monitor in advance of their receiving the item that needs fixing. So not only does the company build a great product, they even trust you–a rare commodity in these times.

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