Big-screen LCD fits right in

The LCD4000's wide screen has crisp images without the problems that often plague plasma monitors.

Henrik G. de Gyor

Plasma has been king of large-screen displays for some time, but LCDs are upsizing enough to compete.

The NEC/Mitsubishi LCD4000, a 40-inch-diagonal LCD with as much screen real estate as most plasma monitors, suffers from few of plasma's disadvantages.

We test a lot of plasma monitors in the GCN Lab. Some are very good, but others exhibit a whole laundry list of flaws. Because of their phosphorus content, many plasma displays show slight to severe burn-in of images as well as ghosting after the input has gone away.

You don't see that on an LCD, even one as large as the LCD4000.

The LCD4000 works equally well for video display or as a gigantic desktop monitor. Plasma can generally do one or the other well and is usually optimized for video. Text tends to look blocky or out of sync.

Yes, the LCD4000 might be a bit large for the average desk, but you can look at it for hours without eyestrain.

Some plasma screens require special, 16:9 video cards. The LCD4000 works just fine with a standard analog cable and card. Like most LCDs, it is totally plug and play. It measures about 6 inches thick at its widest point.

Vivid images literally pop off the screen from S-Video, RGB, component, analog and digital inputs. You can even hook up multiple sources and flip through them with the remote control.

The LCD4000 does have some of the typical flaws associated with LCDs, though NEC/Mitsubishi has minimized them. The viewing angle isn't a true 180 degrees, but it comes close at about 170 degrees. People at the far edges of the monitor might have trouble reading text.

Also, direct sunlight tends to wash out images, something to which plasma is pretty much immune. So, use the LCD4000 indoors and away from windows. In a windowless test lab with overhead lighting, we had no complaints.

For most offices as well as conference rooms and trade shows, it should be a good fit. The government price is comparable to plasma's: $5,119.

I put the LCD4000 on my personal wish list. One look, and I'll bet you add it to yours.

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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