capsule review

CTX International S500B

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder S500B 15

CTX International S500B
Artwork: Rick Rizner, John Goddard

The S500B displayed fine images of our test photos, with strong colors that were mostly accurate (the one knock was skin tones in a photo of a group of people that looked a little too bright and washed out). Our tests on screens of text, on the other hand, were less than stellar: We found small font sizes difficult to read, even when we moved closer to the monitor. Although the text was readable at larger font sizes, several similarly priced monitors (such as the Iiyama ProLite E380S) are better suited for tasks that rely on readability (such as word processing or working with spreadsheets).

The on-screen menu is awkward to use, requiring an excessive amount of button pressing to navigate it. For example, to use the auto-adjust feature, you have to wade through two menu screens, which could be annoying if you regularly change screen modes. Many other monitors (such as the Dell UltraSharp 1504FP) put the auto-adjust feature onto a button on the bezel.

The bezel of this monitor is significantly wider than other models', which some users may find distracting, particularly in setups with multiple monitors. Moreover, the black buttons and indented labels blend into the bezel, making the labels difficult to read. And tilt is the only screen adjustment available.

CTX offers only a one-year warranty for the backlight on this model, significantly less than the two or three years other manufacturers provide. The company also covers only two years on the other parts, while all the other vendors on the chart offer at least three years' coverage for both parts and labor.

One nice touch, though: The monitor folds back 90 degrees against the stand, making picking up and storing the unit easier. CTX also offers a similar model (the S500) with a white case.

The S500B produces above-average image quality, but the distractingly wide bezel and awkward menu make it a less attractive proposition.

Richard Baguley

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder S500B 15

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