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Exactly as advertised

CTX’s LCD monitor is what it says it is–and more.

Riddle me this: When does a 17-inch monitor actually measure 17 inches? When it has an LCD screen, that’s when. Cathode-ray tube monitors are never their advertised size. In fact, most 17-inch glass monitors measure 16 inches diagonally. No big deal, you may say. But the advertised size of LCD monitors has changed all that. The screen of the CTX 710MDV www.ctxintl.com measures exactly 17 inches, which provides extra real estate for spreadsheets, desktop publishing, and digital images.

At first glance, the CTX 710MDV appears large, but it’s only an inch wider than my old CRT monitor and weighs less than 20 pounds. You only need to clear a space about 18 inches high and 20 inches wide on your desk, and you can move the monitor to within eight inches of a wall. That leaves more space in your work area for books, pictures, documents, and that stack of to-do lists. It also provides computer users with the increased viewing distance that many desire but can seldom achieve in cramped workspaces. Since there’s no cathode-ray tube beaming out at you, glare and eyestrain are almost eliminated and the CTX FlatView Monitor is TCO 99 compliant www.tco.se/index.htm. The built-in speakers eliminate the need for even more desktop space and they sound better than the inexpensive accessory speakers often bundled with systems or on sale at your local computer superstore.

Have you ever brought home a printer or monitor only to find that the necessary cables aren’t in the box? No problem here. Even the USB cable for the built-in 4-port USB hub is included as are sound, S-Video, and digital cables. Connection and setup went without any problems, and although my video card on my Windows computer is a not-so-new ATI Rage III, it performed flawlessly.

The CTX 710MDV has both analog and digital inputs offering a wide range of refresh rates and resolutions from 640-by-480 to 1,280-by-1,024 at 16.7 million colors. Most users will settle on resolutions of 1280×1024 or 1,024-by-768 and while attempts at 800-by-600 or 640-by-480 may result in less than satisfactory viewing, I found them all to be acceptable. Some tweaking with the on-screen display (OSD) controls may help, but I found that the auto-adjust feature in the OSD consistently produced the best results. The OSD is accessed and navigated with convenient front panel mounted buttons. Some of the adjustments are self-explanatory, and reading the user’s guide provides information on the best possible on-screen viewing.

A monitor this size offers plenty of room for digital imaging. Most image editing programs have tool and color palates scattered around the screen and the CTX monitor provides room for them as well as the image being manipulated. Color photographs displayed at high zoom settings without any of the artifacts or posterized colors that I’ve experienced with some other LCD monitors.

With a price tag of $1599, the CTX 710MDV is obviously aimed at professional users, but it remains one of the most practical and easiest viewing monitors that I’ve ever tested.

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