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Hitachi CML181SXW 18.1 inch TFT LCD Display
Hitachi CML181SXW 18.1 inch TFT LCD Display - PCSTATS
Abstract: At just over $900USD, for a 18.1" TFT LCD the CML181SXW has to be one of the most aggressive priced LCD's on the market today.
 79% Rating:   
Filed under: Monitors Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Hitachi Apr 12 2002   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Monitors > Hitachi CML181SXW

LCD Display Issues, Comparisons and Conclusions

Unlike previous Hitachi displays we have reviewed, this test unit exhibited a minor defect. Under low light conditions the screen had a bright area off to one side - apparently a common occurrence do to slightly misaligned components in the LCD panel. The bright area was localized and only distracting on solid black pages in a dimly lit room. Under regular office lighting the defect was not noticeable and did not affect our use of the display in any way.

LCD flat panel displays are complicated pieces of equipment to manufacture, and this minor point just underscores the importance of visually testing a panel in the store before you pay for it. This goes for any manufacturer, and for any model. Dead pixels, or dull pixels are the things we notice most on LCD's, and depending on the manufacturer, there may have to be 5 or more grouped together before the unit is considered 'defective'.

In our labs we have seen LCD displays pass through with absolutely perfect displays. We have also seen the occasional busted pixel, and bright spots like on this particular CML181SXW from Hitachi. In this case the effect will probably go unnoticed in a normally lit office and pose no problems. Bottom line, check first and ensure your money is spent well, and without hassle.

Comparing the CML181SXW directly against the Samsung 181B

At the time of this review we had another 18.1" LCD on the test bench and so we did a little head on comparison. The two displays produced almost identical picture qualities, but the CML181SXW was rated with wider viewing angles than the Samsung 181B - the difference was about 10 degrees from side to side.

Normally it is really difficult to illustrate how viewing angles on LCD monitors can be a limiting factor to how well you enjoy the display. CRT displays do not have this trait, and without something to compare against it is hard to visually capture the effect. We connected both displays to a twin head Radeon 8500 video card and displayed the same Windows 2000 desktop with MSN loaded in a browser.

In the foreground you can see the Samsung 181B and the background the CML181SXW. Note how the Hitachi display appears bluer and the white regions on the page are brighter. On the Samsung LCD monitor at this very extreme angle, the blue background of the desktop is a lighter blue, and the white region is more of a dull grey than a bright white. This is what can occur with an LCD display when you view it from the side at very close angles.

Final Evaluation Notes & Conclusions

Retailing for just a bit over $900USD, the Hitachi CML181SXW is one of the more competitively priced LCD's on the market today. It offers a pretty common enclosure with everything needed for the corporate world - DVI, Analog, sound and Kensington security lock.

The beige colour and swivel base put it squarely in with the rest of the corporate world, and its pretty economical price will make the folks in the accounting department happy enough.

While it does boast integrated speakers, their real value is probably not as big to end users who tend to shop for LCD displays on visuals primarily, and multimedia components secondarily.

The real draw we saw with bringing audio into the display is that the user can plug in a pair of headphones and adjust the volume directly. Samsung have done this with a few of their LCD monitors, and I really thing more manufacturers should follow suit. The additional components required to make this happen are small enough that the impact on the monitor is negligible.

When everything is said and done, the CML181SXW is an LCD display with very good attributes, and a very affordable price tag. Some people may be put off by it rather plane appearance, but for large institutions this can be a draw. Good display, good price.

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Contents of Article: Hitachi CML181SXW
 Pg 1.  Hitachi CML181SXW 18.1 inch TFT LCD Display
 Pg 2.  The CML181SXW Monitor Up Close
 Pg 3.  TFT Display Evaluation Notes
 Pg 4.  — LCD Display Issues, Comparisons and Conclusions

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