RSS Feed

HCW Tech Blog

For the latest info on computer hardware, tech, news, video games, software tips, and Linux, check out our new improved front page: HCW Tech Blog

Reviewed by: Bryan Pizzuti [02.19.02]
Manufactured by: Microtek



I have been wanting an LCD for a while. They're smaller, lighter, and cooler than CRTs, and use less electricity (Big difference for me, since I was using a 5 year old Apple 20 inch Trinitron, which was slowly breaking my desk). Because of what I do here, namely video game and video card reviews, that pretty much limited me to choosing a 17 inch model, and since I'm cheap, that limited my options further (I'll get into an explanation of why when I explain the technology). Anyway, I had been shopping around for a while, and my purchase of this particular model is an interesting story that I'm going to share.

First of all, for legal reasons, I must say that my mentioning of any retail or online distributor in no way expresses or implies any endorsement of said retailer or distributor on the part of the author or Now that the legalese is over, on with the story.

The Story

I had been shopping around for a 17 inch LCD on the Internet for a while, and saw a model being sold on When I asked them if it was suitable for games, they said they hadn't tested it with any, and they would run a few 3DMarks on that model. About a week later, they got back to me via e-mail, and said the model looked great when running the marks. SO I went to their site, intending to purchase it, and they were out of stock. A few days later, I checked back, and they were back in stock, so I went to hit the "buy" button, and right that very second, my modem died. And I don't mean I lost my connection; I mean my modem PERMANENTLY died...some sort of firmware fault was causing it to send bad tones and not pick up the dial tone. So, in a rush to replace it (I didn't have a suitable spare) I went to Office Depot, which is just down the road. I had intended to buy the cheapest $20 or $30 dollar modem I could get my hands on, since my cable company is scheduled to roll out broadband this year (of course, they've been saying that exact thing for the past 3 years). But when I arrived at Office Depot, I found out that they stopped carrying all modem brands other than U.S Robotics. Now, they're nice modems, but they're ALWAYS more expensive; their software-controller modem, which is their cheapest model, is $50. Anyway, I turned to leave and head to Best Buy, and happened to walk by the monitor section, where I saw this Microtek 17 inch flat panel LCD. I already knew it had a good viewing angle, since I was almost perpendicular to the display and could still read the screen. So, out of curiosity, I checked the price, and it was only $30 more than the monitor on! And, on further checking of the monitor, I noticed it was set 1 step BELOW its native resolution (LCDs always look best at their native resolution)! Since Office Depot has a 14 day full refund policy if it didn't fit the bill, I walked out with it (and a modem, since I REALLY didn't feel like going all the way to Best Buy). I used the heck out of it for 14 days, and pronounced it fantastic, so I decided to not only keep it, but review it, since it's a good deal for the money.

Now, if you're still awake after my little story, let's get on with this monitor's specifications, and the differences between LCD and CRT monitors.

Don't ask how Geoff The Goat got a plug in one of our reviews...


17" Viewable LCD monitor
Dimensions: 426mm by 444 mm by 215 mm deep
Boxed weight: 10 Kg
Display colors: 16.7 million (32-bit color)
Brightness: 200cd/m2 minimum
Contrast Ratio: 300:1
Horizontal frequency: 31.47 to 80 KHz
Vertical frequency: 60 to 75 Hz
Dot Pitch/Pixel Size: 0.264 mm x 0.264 mm
Video Connector: 15 pin Mini D-Sub (Standard Analog VGA connector)
No DVI connector
Other inputs: 1 Stereo speaker line-in, 1 microphone line-out.
Speakers: 2 2Watt amplified.
Controls: On-screen digital
Contrast, brightness, volume, mute, H and V position, color temperature, auto adjustment.
Standards: VESA DDC and DPMS, EPA Energy Star

Next Page: (2)