There's lots of workspace on Cornerstone's monitor

My 17-inch Sony Trinitron monitor's slot-mask aperture made clear, crisp, vivid images.
It became my favorite GCN Lab monitor. Then, a few weeks ago, a Cornerstone Color 45/101sf
19-inch monitor arrived, and suddenly my Trinitron seemed drab by comparison.


The first thing to notice about the Cornerstone is its size, and not just that of the
screen. The total dimensions are slightly bigger than the Trinitron's-something of a
breakthrough.


As users multitask in multiple open windows, screen real estate becomes a premium.
Seventeen-inch monitors aren't big enough, but 21- and 20-inch monitors are expensive.


That's where the 19-inch monitor comes in. It has enough screen area to satisfy almost
any power user, but at an affordable price.


I found several things to like about the 45/101sf other than its size. The contrast
coating has increased by 8 percent over older models, and there's a new electron gun for
added clarity and color depth.


Cornerstone started out manufacturing document imaging monitors, and that background
shows in the crispness of black text on a white background. Other large monitors sometimes
look dim and out of focus at the edges.


Most users are happy with 800- by 600- or 1,024- by 768-pixel resolution, but power
users feel hemmed in when they work with multiple windows. Engineers, desktop publishers
and geographic information system users really need large monitors to see things
effectively. Other users will benefit, too.


With its 1,600- by 1,200-pixel resolution and vertical refresh frequency of 81 hertz,
the Cornerstone can legibly display a document file and a spreadsheet file at the same
time. With this monitor you really can work with everything right in front of you.


Cornerstone furnished independent research results for its high-resolution displays
that claimed reading speed rose by one-third as compared with standard VGA displays. The
research also found that eye fatigue, headaches and other physical symptoms dropped by
two-thirds.


The test monitor came with an ImageAccel 3 card and custom drivers that deliver a
maximum 1,600- by 1,280-pixel resolution at 92 hertz. The PCI version of the card with 2M
RAM sells for $313, the 4M card for $355.


I also tested the monitor with a Number Nine Imagine 128 Series II 4M card and an 8M
video RAM version. The two 4M cards earned similar scores on our GCNdex32TM video
benchmark at high resolutions.


But the ImageAccel 3 card posted the top scores at test resolutions, averaging 18.1
compared with the Number Nine card's 16.3 score. I tested both cards in a 200-MHz Dell
Computer Corp. OptiPlex GXpro Pentium Pro system running Microsoft Windows NT 4.0.


When I hooked up the monitor to the 8M VRAM version of the Imagine 128 Series II card,
I managed to push it to 1,900-by-1,080 resolution at 72 hertz and got excellent results.


With the ImageAccel 3 card, I did not have to manipulate the on-screen image. Using the
other video controller, I kept adjusting the pincushion, trapezoid, and vertical and
horizontal sizing controls to change resolutions.


This was easy to do, thanks to good monitor controls. However, the ImageAccel gave a
perfectly adjusted image every time. That's one of the advantages of custom drivers.


The Color 45/101sf is the finest example the lab has tested among 17-inch or larger
monitors. If you spend more than six hours a day at your computer multitasking at multiple
windows or doing other text-intensive work, a display like this ought to make things look
better and help you work better.


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