Inexpensive Advan monitor doesn't stand up to close scrutiny

Out of the box, the AGM15T looked impressive. It has a large screen for an LCD and was
fairly easily connected to my test computer. An optional Universal Serial Bus hub could
make the monitor compatible with ultra-modern as well as older office environments.


Unfortunately, neither Microsoft Windows 95 nor Windows 98 could properly detect the
AGM15T as new hardware. Both operating systems instead used a plug-and-play monitor driver
that gave the Advan poor resolution and few colors.


I popped in the enclosed driver disk, but instead of finding a simple program, I had to
configure the drivers by hand anyway.


The instructions said to locate a Mitsubishi LCD driver on the floppy disk. There were
two of them with similar names. After I had set the display to the 1,024- by 768-pixel
default resolution, the instructions also recommended changing the refresh rate via a
button called Adapter under the system settings. The button does not exist in Win95. It is
present in Win98 but was no help in improving the display.


Once I had changed all the system settings and the refresh rate on my Win98 test
machine, the AGM15T still looked unsatisfactory at its highest resolution. E-mail and
other text in Windows programs was barely legible.


Letters ran together. The second letter picked up double thickness and bled in words
such as “especially.”


When I shelled out to an MS-DOS program, the text looked as blocky as a Flintstones
cartoon.


Pictures and photographs displayed normally but with shiny movement in the background
of any white space. I decided the drivers were not working properly and changed them
several times, experimenting with others not recommended in the instructions such as
generic LCD and notebook computer display. Nothing helped.


Finally, I reset Windows to the original drivers and changed the resolution to 800 by
600 pixels. The annoying motion behind photographs went away, but text still looked
bad.


To take advantage of the lower resolution, you must view the screen without emulation
in a small window. That makes it pointless to have a wide screen. The blocky text returned
when I tried to display images at full screen under emulation. Although all of the
AGM15T’s pixels lit at first, four of them burned out within two weeks.


The Advan monitor has some advantages. The viewing angle is very wide, and no angular
fading occurs along either horizontal or vertical axes. Best of all, the AGM15T weighs
only 11.7 pounds. 

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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