capsule review

Sharp LL-173C

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder LL-173C

    PCWorld Rating

    Advanced settings like black level and gamma are unusual at this price, but this LCD restricts adjustments to tilt.

Sharp LL-173C
Artwork: Rick Rizner, John Goddard

Its design is far from thrilling, but Sharp's LL-173C feels solid and well made, and it displays text neatly and graphics adequately. Its $299 price won't shock your bank account, either.

The utilitarian-looking LL-173C has a wedge-shaped stand that offers minimal ergonomic adjustability (tilt only--no height, pivot, or swivel adjustment). And it comes with analog but not digital inputs. Its screen adjustments, on the other hand, rise above what you'd find on most bargain-priced monitors. Most of the controls are standard, but the LL-173 also allows you to adjust the gamma settings (useful for games with dark environments) and the black level (a nice, and still relatively rare, touch).

The LL-173C's image quality fell in the middle of the pack among this month's newcomers. The text looked clean on our test screens and earned a rating of Very Good. Graphics impressed us less, earning a lukewarm Good. Jurors noted that strawberries seemed dull on our test screen of a fruit tart, and flesh tones appeared bluish on our group photo test screen.

If you're looking for an inexpensive LCD for writing documents or reading e-mail, the LL-173C could be a good choice. But you might want to compare it to the $279 Envision EN7410, a yet thriftier model that scored higher on our text tests.

The analog-only Sharp LL-173C delivers mediocre graphics, but its crisp text makes it a good bargain for spreadsheet- and word-processing-intensive computing.

Laura Blackwell

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Advanced settings like black level and gamma are unusual at this price, but this LCD restricts adjustments to tilt.

    Pros

    • Advanced screen settings

    Cons

    • Tilt is only physical adjustment
    • Lacks a digital video input
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