BenQ FP791 LCD monitor
JUNE 24, 2003
TIRED of that CRT beast stretching from the front to the back of your desk? Fancy moving away from beige, bulky and boring towards slim, sleek and seductive?
BenQ’s FP791 LCD monitor could be the CRT replacement you’ve been waiting for. Everybody wants more room on their desk, and most of us have noticed the LCD screens in notebook computers manage perfectly without weighing a ton, or stretching half way to the corner shop.
Enter the flatscreen desktop computer monitor.
Out of the box, the Benq FP791 is a fine-looking piece of display technology. Its charcoal/deep purple screen frame is mounted on a kind of silvery mesh affair – a structure that also houses an excellent complementary sound system.
Here at IT Alive we’ve never had much faith in surround sound that don’t come with at least five speakers, but the SRSR system here has to be heard to be appreciated. Sounds really do seem to come from different sources.
On the border at the bottom, overlapping both, is the control panel. These silver buttons are my first brickbat for the unit. While a great deal of functionality can be tweaked from here, the structure seems unnecessarily confusing.
The icons are quite hard to see, and the functions the buttons control are far from intuitive. Picture optimisation mode, for example, is about using these controls for the geometry and the pixel clock, and to correct phasing. Hot Key mode uses the same buttons to enter and leave specific menus, and to control options within, such as luminance, audio and the OSD lock. Never clearly explained, the OSD lock (we assume for onscreen display) can be used to debar some options. It can be overturned by pressing the Enter key for three seconds. So, as Bette Midler says, “why bother”.
These, some complexity over the loading of drivers in different operating systems, and a bit of trouble with the auto-correction system and the ungainly placement of the connectors were my quibbles.
Even so, what you want is a desktop monitor that looks the business – and the FP791 is right up to the mark. This is a gorgeous-looking thing, absolutely flicker-free (such is the nature of LCD), with native (and maximum) resolution at 1280×1024. It’s easy on the eye with brightness, contrast and crisp detail to burn.