NEC's big monitor shows a pretty picture at any angle

NEC's big monitor shows a pretty picture at any angle

Nec's Multisync LCD 1810

By John Breeden II
GCN Staff

The XtraView LCD monitor series from NEC Technologies Inc. boasts jumbo size and a 160-degree viewing angle. I tested the MultiSync LCD 1810, which has an 18.1-inch diagonal measurement.

''Nothing inspires more envy in a co-worker than a huge LCD. But when you look closely at almost any LCD, including the 1810, you notice drawbacks that make it less desirable than a CRT of equal diagonal size.

''NEC did an admirable job of eliminating the biggest LCD drawback'poor viewing angle. When you move your head more than a few degrees to the left or right of center on most LCDs, the image looks washed-out or unreadable.

''Light passes through the liquid crystals' normal twisted-helix shape. Electrical attraction causes the tiny crystals to untwist, blocking light to their pixel and creating a dark spot. The glass-enclosed crystals stretch between electrodes in front of them and behind them. From dead center, you look directly down the crystals' long axis. From any other angle, light leaks around the sides of the crystals.

''NEC, however, has placed the electrodes inside the glass substrate containing the crystals so that they stretch out horizontally, giving a better viewing angle almost to the edges of the screen.


''Any new technology has problems, and the 1810 is no exception. I'm not sure why it was so prone to ghosting. Perhaps the crystals lingered in an excited state because of too-close proximity to the electrodes. At any rate, after viewing one newspaper's Web site for three or four minutes, I went to a different site. I could still read the headlines and see pictures on the ghost image for about a minute afterward.

''The monitor also tended to default to dark contrast and brightness levels. I adjusted it several times but could not find a setting that worked well for all applications.

''On the plus side, the monitor takes up minimal space for its viewing size. With its attached stand, the 1810 measures about 19 inches across and 15 inches from top to bottom. At 22 pounds, it is no lightweight, but think how much a CRT of the same size would weigh. Resolution puts this display at the top of the heap among giant LCDs.

''It can easily go as high as 1,280 by 1,024 pixels without losing image quality. The screen pivots for viewing in portrait or landscape mode.

''If you can afford to pay $3,242 for a large display on a General Services Administration Information Technology Schedule contract, but you cannot afford a CRT's weight, power consumption or space requirements, the MultiSync 1810 is a good choice.

Box Score B-

MultiSync LCD 1810

NEC Technologies Inc., Itasca, Ill.;

tel. 800-836-0655

Price: $3,242 GSA

Pros and cons:

+Excellent viewing angle

+Tilts vertically or horizontally

'Ghosting problems

'Color accuracy could be better


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