capsule review

CTX Technology F973

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder F973

CTX Technology F973
Photograph: Rick Rizner

A bright, glassy screen and automatic character-smoothing technology are the star attractions of the CTX Technology F973. We've seen a few other monitors with a character-smoothing feature, and usually (as here) it produces very clean, legible text. On our test screens, the F973 displayed crisp text, even at small sizes and in white-on-black reverse text. It also received the highest scores on all three of our real-world tests for text quality (multisize fonts, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Excel screens), earning the only Outstanding text rating among recently rated 19-inch LCDs.

The F973 performed nearly as well on graphics as it did on text. Accurate rendering of diverse skin ones--along with excellent detail in very dark and very light areas--contributed to the best score we've seen on our photo of people. lately. For graphics quality, the F973 earned a rating of Very Good, fiinishing second to the Philips Brilliance 1905P5EB--the only 19-incher in our current pool that's rated Outstanding for graphics.

Screen settings include handy presets for tasks such as "graphic," "text", and "cinema." Experienced users will appreciate having finer controls, such as saturation, tint, and the ability to adjust black level to deeper or lighter shades of black, but they'll miss advanced features such as gamma control.

In design, the F973 resembles CTX's 17-inch F773 and has the same kind of carrying handle. The splay-footed, four-pronged stand, another similar feature, feels solid and steady. The speakers, sitting in the bottom edge of the bezel, produce adequate sound. This monitor would benefit from offering physical adjustments other than tilt. A height adjustment, in particular, would enhance the F973's comfort and convenience; but if you don't mind using risers, the screen quality alone justifies the price. Available for $459 when we tested it, the F973 is among the least-expensive 19-inch LCDs we've looked at lately.

Superb image quality and a very low price make the CTX Technology F973 a winner for any user who has simple ergonomic needs.

Laura Blackwell

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At a Glance
  • Low-priced model delivers excellent image quality; we'd like more physical adjustment options and tech-support hours.


    • Good image quality for the price


    • Scanty tech support hours
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