by Jim Bray
Ive just spent
a couple of weeks in front of a monitor that put such a silly grin on
my face my wife wondered what Id been up to.
It was Sonys
latest 19 inch monitor, the Multiscan GDM-400PS, and this heavyweight
(in more ways than one!) is delightful. Its big, has a wonderfully
crisp image, and offers typical Sony picture quality - which in my experience
means its second to none.
It has a couple of
drawbacks, though, two of which result directly from its size. Its
a heavy beast (tipping the scales at about 25 kg) and its pricey
($1400 Cdn- about the price of an entire Pentium system these days!).
the matter of those annoying little "hairlines" that run horizontally
across the screen, a Sony-ism thats quite disconcerting. The 19
inch monitor has two of these "dampening wires," which are supposed
to minimize vibration and cut down on "flickering."
I wish they werent
there - but Id rather live with them than not have a Sony. And to
be fair, they're smaller than the ones I noticed on a 20 inch Sony about
a year ago
tubes are unique: their surfaces are shaped as if cut from a cylinder
(the screens surface has a slight curve horizontally, but is flat
vertically) instead of a sphere (curving on both axes) like other tubes.
I dont know if or how this affects the performance, but if nothing
else it seems to make viewing less susceptible to reflections and variations
in room lighting. And, like the competition, Sony's monitors are getting
flatter with each model year.
The GDM-400PS has
a .25 - .27mm aperture grille pitch and 19 inches of maximum viewing image
- which is plenty! Its maximum resolution is 1600 x 1200 and its size
means you probably wont have any trouble putting it at eye level.
The thing was at my eye level just sitting on my desktop (not that Im
Kareem Abdul Jabbar!), though I would have liked to have it a couple of
inches higher for maximum comfort - but I was afraid it would crush my
So why on earth would
anyone want a monitor this big, heavy, and expensive? Besides the obvious
"because its there," there are sound business - and pleasure
- reasons for this perceived excess. For example, its wonderful
being able to display two pages of a tabloid-sized QuarkXpress
document - and having enough room left over on the screen to park the
multitude of floating toolbars that on a lesser monitor cover up your
work area. And you can have two windows open that are actually large enough
to work in comfortably, which was great when I had to do some file reconstruction
that involved copying and pasting from one spreadsheet program into another.
Then there are games!
The full screen graphics of todays computer games are breathtaking
on this monitor, especially with flying or driving simulations. And, of
course, first person games like Jedi Knight and Quake really knocked my
If you have the money,
and a strong enough back to get it home, this Sonys a winner.
Tell us at TechnoFile what YOU think