capsule review

Eizo Nanao FlexScan L557

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder 17in LCD 26MM 1280x1024 L557 FlexScan 500:1 (EIZO Nanao-L557)

Eizo Nanao FlexScan L557
Artwork: Rick Rizner, John Goddard

Our jury awarded the FlexScan L557 high marks for its overall image quality. In our group photo screen, for example, accurate reproduction of skin tones and fine detail earned the L557 the highest score in its class. Its text score, though not quite as high as its graphics ranking, also earned a word score of Very good.

(A technical note, for those so inclined: Eizo touts its use of a 10-bit [1024-step] internal lookup table to smooth out the shadings and color gradients specified by the 8-bit [256-step] signals coming from the operating system of the PC or Macintosh machine. The goal, according to Eizo, is to produce the smoothest transitions from the very lightest shades to the very darkest--a progression known as the gamma curve.)

The L557's biggest drawback is its lack of physical adjustability. Adjustments are limited to tilting and about an inch of height positioning, while most other models on the 17-inch chart also swivel, and several pivot to portrait orientation. Like most Eizo models, the L557 has a pair of perfunctory stereo speakers that are adequate for little more than playing basic system sounds.

The L557 has a large number of front-panel buttons, and they are smaller and harder to read than those on most LCDs; their size and arrangement make navigating the on-screen menu system tedious. On the other hand, the L557's abundant on-screen menu options include some useful advanced adjustments--such as gain, gamma, hue, and saturation-- not commonly found on 17-inch models. We especially liked the one-button access to preset color modes optimized for graphics work, text-based applications, and entertainment. An sRGB option for calibrating on-screen color with other peripherals (such as sRGB-compliant printers) is also included.

Eizo offers a five-year warranty on the L557 (three years on the backlight).

Though not as flexible as some competing 17-inch LCDs, the FlexScan L557's image quality and advanced controls make it a good investment for graphics fanatics.

Richard Jantz

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder 17in LCD 26MM 1280x1024 L557 FlexScan 500:1 (EIZO Nanao-L557)

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