Product: Cornea Systems MP704 Type: 17" viewable diagonal TFT Price: USD$480 (pricewatch) Availability: Now Reviewed by: kaoman ReviewDate: October 2002 Editedby: SPeeD
The MP704's maximum resolution is 1280x1024@75hz. I noticed however that text did not look very good at 75hz as opposed to 60hz. After a few hours of searching for drivers and going through every OSD setting there was, I was forced to resort to sticking with 60hz. Speaking of drivers, the CD which came with the monitor only holds Win98 and under drivers. For 2k and up, Cornea's instructions are to use default plug and play monitor OR force Windows to use the 98 driver, either way makes no difference.
This is what the On Screen Display (OSD) looks like.
The MP704's auto adjust function changes the monitors horizontal and vertical position, clock, and phase to the optimal settings for the resolution being used. Overall, the OSD is very simple and easy to use; although it may be a bit limiting for CRT users. There is no option to change the tilt of the display, and other like settings (refer to the geometry test below). This for example, is how you would adjust the brightness:
The Test To test the Cornea MP704 I ran through the Nokia Monitor Test, played a couple FPS games including Counter-Strike and UT2K3, and watched a few of the fast-paced action scenes in The Matrix, Enemy at the Gates, and The Rock. If you have never used or heard of the Nokia Monitor Test, you can get it here. Basically, it has a number of image quality tests to see how good your monitor is.
I first ran the NMT at the MP704's max resolution, 1280x1024. Even though the monitor is capable of a 75hz refresh rate at this resolution, text quality is better at 60hz. Since my intent was to keep the monitor at 60hz for my everyday use, I kept the tests to 60hz as well.
The tests looked FLAWLESS; but I will explain them using screenshots running at 800x600 for the sake of image size.
At this main menu, you are given the following tests to critique your monitor: geometry, convergence, resolution, moiré, focus, readability, color, and screen regulation. There is also a test to help adjust brightness and contrast.
The geometry test outputs a bunch of lines and circles.
On a normal CRT, you would adjust the size and position of display, pincushion (or barrel), tilt (or rotation), trapezoid, and orthogonality (or parallelogram) using this test. However with this LCD, you cannot adjust any of these settings besides position. Why? Because there is no need to. LCDs output to its pixels; if every pixel is lined up correctly, there is no need to have to tilt or trapezoid the display. A major plus.
The next test is the convergence test. Basically, its a multicolored grid testing the monitor's ability to print straight lines (that are different colors.) It almost resembles printer alignment tests. The MP704 had no problems here.
The next two tests, resolution and moiré, are essentially the same. They both print a bunch of either vertical or horizontal, thin lines, spaced thinly across the entire screen. I can tell you now, that any (decent) LCD will outperform a CRT at these two tests. There is absolutely NO moiré effect on a LCD and the resolution is perfect (assuming there are no dead pixels). I will never, EVER go back to a CRT for this reason.
The focus test and readability test are somewhat similar as well. They test the clarity of the monitor. Again, the MP704 performs outstandingly due to the fact that it is an LCD and every single pixel is illuminated correctly. It is important to note however, that some LCDs do have the bad quality of "overglowing" or bleeding, where the light from one pixel spreads over to the next. If for example one pixel is white, and the one next to it is supposed to black, the intensity of the white pixel may cause the black pixel to appear white anyway. The MP704 does not have this problem.
The last two tests are color and screen regulation. Color simply outputs different solid colors to the screen; very useful for identifying dead or frozen pixels on a LCD (which I did not have any of). The screen regulation test prints a black on white image which inverts every few seconds. On some monitors the image expands in bright areas and contracts in dimmer areas. This happens because the monitor has a poor high-voltage regulation. This effect is more or less visible in all monitors, but normally more so in very cheap monitor models, as it is expensive to design and manufacture a very good high-voltage regulation system. If your monitor has a very bad screen regulation, the picture "zooms" when you adjust the brightness control. Although it is safe to say that the MP704 is a budget LCD and probably uses cheaper parts, I did not notice any problems.
The two first person shooters I played were Counter-Strike and Unreal Tournament 2003. Contrary to common belief that LCDs are not suitable for fast paced gaming, the MP704 performs wondrously. There is absolutely no "blurring" at all; the graphics looking even smoother with vsync turned on. Divx movies played flawlessly as well, with no sign of clipping.
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