The most important feature of any monitor is the picture tube naturally. The
Sony E400 has 19-inch display (18-inches viewable) equipped with the Sony FD
Trinitron CRT. This means that you get a virtually flat screen with a tight
aperture grille pitch of .24mm at the center, and .25mm towards the corners.
This is really important, since my former monitor of choice was an ADI 5GT
(.25AG Sony Trinitron.) The picture quality and flatness of the ADI 5GT is
amazing, but the Sony E400 is actually even better (disregarding the size
mismatch.) The FD Trinitron CRT eliminates the glare and reflections that are
often visible on most monitors.
While some would not consider a
slight hop from a 17-inch monitor to a 19-inch a considerable one, I still
find the Sony E400 to be a `sizable' (pun intended) upgrade over my
former mainstay, the ADI 5GT. Opening up our company wholesale cost sheet in Excel
2000 shows the true beauty of a large display, as the cells, rows, and
columns are a lot more comfortable and readable. DVD's look significantly better with the
2-inch viewable upgrade, and the FD Trinitron tube does look a little bit better for DVD
movies (once again less glare, etc.) Gaming is also better with a larger screen, I
([BRU]ChanHoNam) find that it's a lot easier to frag (Quake III) when
your opponents appear on your screen as larger targets : )
I was running 1024*768 with the ADI 5GT, but with the Sony E400 at the
same resolution, the player models are larger and are thus easier to hit. The
increased monitor size also allows for more application windows to be open
simultaneously in Windows 98/2000. Having more windows open at a comfortable
size is a GOOD thing.
What else is so great about the Sony E400? The
Menu Mouse functions quite well as a very simple and intuitive onscreen display control device. With the FD Trinitron CRT, the E400 provides superior brightness, contrast, and sharpness
over the vast majority of shadow mask CRT's.
In each and every possible `benchmark' (visuals; brightness,
contrast, sharpness) the Viewsonic looked the worst. For colors, I found that
the ADI 5GT was a bit more pleasant than the rest (after mucking around with
color temperature settings.) However the difference was marginal, and was
probably due to the fact that I had grown accustomed to using it over many
months. The Sony E400 has the best sharpness, and contrast of the three
monitors. Since the ADI 5GT and Sony E400 are using Trinitron CRT's, they will
always be close in terms of brightness, contrast, sharpness, and color
saturation. However the Sony E400 will always win out because of the flatness of
the display, and the tighter aperture grille pitch.