It seems that new monitor ranges are like London buses – you wait ages for one and three turn up at once. In a single day we have had new launches from Mitsubishi, NEC and ADI – including both CRT and LCD models and ranging from 15- to 22-inch in size.
The largest of the announcements comes from Mitsubishi, who on top of releasing two LCDs and two CRTs introduced a new colour algorithm to improve onscreen colour quality and clarity in LCD monitors – apparently now making them serious contenders to CRTs for digital creatives for the first time. The new technology also includes the first support for Microsoft and HP’s emerging sRGB standard. sRGB allows precise colour matching across all forms of peripherals – so a picture on an sRGB CRT screen will use exactly the same colours as on an sRGB LCD screen, and as on an sRGB printer. However, sRGB only works with Windows 2000-based machines, which with Microsoft behind it is hardly surprising.
Another important feature of the new algorithm is that it allows single colour adjustment when manual colour correction is applied, without affecting the other colours. A video mode is also included, improving smoothness for video playback from any source.
The two new LCD monitors are the 15-inch LCD580 and the 18-inch LCD831. The LCD580 offers up to 1024-x-768 at up to 75Hz, with a dot pitch of 0.297mm. The LCD831 offers up to 1280-x-1024 at up to 85Hz, with a dot pitch of 0.28mm. Both are TCO99 compliant. The LCD580 costs £699 plus VAT and will be available in April, with the £1,799 plus VAT LCD831 following on a month later.
Also added are the 17-inch Diamond Pro 720 and the 19-inch Diamond Pro 920 Diamondtron Natural Flat CRT monitors. The 720 offers a 16-inch viewable area, a 0.25mm dot pitch and a refresh rate of 75Hz at the maximum resolution of 1,600-x-1,200. The 920 offers a 18" viewable area, a 0.25mm dot pitch and a refresh rate of 85Hz at the maximum resolution of 1,600-x-1,200. The 720 will appear in April, with the 920 being released in May. Prices have not been announced yet.
NEC has added four models to its natural flat CRT monitors: the FE750 (17-inch), FE700M (17-inch with two 1W speakers), FE950 (19-inch) and FE1250 (22-inch). The FE750, costing £186 plus VAT, offers a 16-inch viewable area, a 0.25mm dot pitch and a maximum resolution of 1,600-x-1,200 at 73MHz. The FE700, costing £259 plus VAT, offers a 16-inch viewable area, a 0.25mm dot pitch and a maximum resolution of 1,024-x-768 at 85MHz. The FE750, costing £332 plus VAT, offers an 18-inch viewable area, a 0.25mm dot pitch and a maximum resolution of 1,792-x-1,344 at 68MHz. The FE750, costing £665 plus VAT, offers a 22-inch viewable area, a 0.25-0.27mm dot pitch and a maximum resolution of 1,920-x-1,440 at 73MHz.
All monitors are available now and are TCO99 compliant.
For those on more modest budgets, ADI has added the MicroScan E75 (17-inch) and E66 (19-inch). The E75 is available now and costs £159 plus VAT, with the E66 not hitting the streets until May at a price £249 plus VAT. The E75 offers a 16-inch viewable area, a 0.26mm dot pitch and a maximum resolution of 1,600-x-1,200 at 65MHz. The E66 offers a 18-inch viewable area, a 0.26mm dot pitch and a maximum resolution of 1,600-x-1,200 at 85MHz.
Both monitors have a detachable speaker option, and the E66 has a USB hub option, with 4 downstream ports and one upstream.