NEC MultiSync LCD1770GX
At a Glance
Glossy-screen monitor achieved high graphics scores, but its design looks utilitarian.
The $400 NEC MultiSync LCD1770GX achieved good scores on our text and graphics tests--in fact, it reached the highest graphics scores a 17-incher has attained recently. It also bested all other monitors on our three real-life graphics test screens: a Web page with a mix of text and images, a photo of a vividly colored fruit tart, and a group photo of several subjects with different skin tones. Our jurors praised the detail and the rich, saturated colors that the monitor displayed.
One juror commented that the LCD1770GX's colors, though delicious, might appear too rich to be accurate. That may not be a problem for a home user--heavens forbid that your screen look too good, right?--but a graphics pro who needs to get every color exactly right may prefer a professional monitor.
Tweaking the screen settings with the buttons visible just under the front bezel is a little easier than on most monitors, thanks to the NaviKey, a cross between a notebook's eraserhead and a miniature joystick. Since the NaviKey's controls are pretty intuitive--pushing the button up scrolls you up a menu, down scrolls you down, and so forth--it lets you keep your eyes on the on-screen manager's menus instead of on the buttons.
Though NEC markets this monitor as a consumer model, the LCD1770GX's boxy monochromatic cabinet and unadorned stand look like office equipment. The less obvious points of its design could make it welcome anywhere. Four USB 2.0 ports open up options for plugging in portable drives and other peripherals. And the thin bezel makes the LCD1770GX an appealing choice for a dual-monitor setup (it's a pity the screen doesn't pivot, though). Its height adjustment keeps you from having to crane your neck, and a lazy-Susan swivel simplifies sharing the sumptuous screen with neighbors.
With vivid, great-looking graphics and a four-port USB 2.0 hub, NEC's MultiSync LCD1770GX is well suited to general use.