Archive for August, 2006

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Review: Gateway FPD1975W TFT LCD Monitor

August 28, 2006

In an attempt to fill the desk space that was once occupied by my good ol’ Hanns-G HC-194D display, I picked up the Gateway FPD1975W monitor from my local CompUsa. The FPD1975 is Gateway’s latest 19 inch Widescreen display that features HDCP Input. For those who are not familiar with HDCP, it is a form of DRM that is aimed at deterring the piracy of High Def media(i.e HD DVDs and Blu-Ray). Monitors that do not have HDCP capabilities will not be able to play these media. With that said, FPD1975 is currently one of the few LCD monitors that support HDCP

For more info about HDCP – WIKI
For a list of current LCD monitors that support HDCP – LINK 

Gateway FPD1975W Quick Specs:

Specifications
Aspect Ratio 16×10
Colors 16.2 million
Contrast Ratio 700:1
Dimensions without Stand 17.51 x 12.55 x 2.29 inches
Kensington Slot Yes
Limited Warranty 1 year parts and labor
Panel Type LCD Color Active Matrix TFT WXGA
Power Consumption Normal Operation: Under 38W
Standby: Under 2W
Resolutions 1440×900 (native and maximum)
Screen Treatment Anti-glare
VESA Wall Mounting Yes – 100x100mm
Viewing Angles 150/135
Weight without Stand 8.6 lbs

Unboxing:

Nothing too special about the box…. Lets see what’s inside…..

 

And here we have the contents of the box.  As you can see, we have the monitor, the base, instruction manual, EZtune CD, power cord and a VGA cable. Apparently, Gateway did not feel it was necessary to include a DVI cable.

First Impressions:

After attaching the plastic base to the monitor and connecting all the cables, the Gate FPD1975W was ready to go. My first impression of the monitor is quite good. Unlike my Viewsonic VA1912wb monitior, the FPD1975 did not have a thick plastic bezel around the lcd panel. What sets this monitor apart from others is the location of the setting/menu buttons. Aside from the power button, all the other menu buttons are on the left side of the display. Although it makes it more difficult to adjust the monitor, it does give the display a “cleaner” look.

After connecting the monitor to my desktop, I booted into windows. My Nvidia video card correctly identifies the monitor as a Gateway monitor rather than a generic plug and play monitor. Since the colors weren’t too far off I didn’t bother tuning the monitor. The pre-packaged EZ tune software offers pretty much same tests as the THX ones that you usually find on Star Wars DVD. However, according to the instruction manual, the EZtune software is also suppose to provide some kind of anti-theft protection (I really have no idea how)

Gaming/DVD playback

Gaming: No problems here. I did not notice any ghosting while I was playing Counter-Strike Source. Apparently the 8ms response time is sufficient for gaming needs. 

DVD Playback – No problems here as well. DVD playback was great on this monitor. Unfortunately I do not have a HD DVD Player so I can not test the playback of HD movies. However, I did play some 720P movie trailers that I downloaded from Quicktime.com. The colors were vivid and the playback was smooth. One thing I would to point out is that this monitor is capable of operating at a refresh rate of 75 Hertz which I believe is necessary for high def playback (faster refresh rate = faster redrawing of lines and less flickering)

Other thoughts

First thing I want to point out is that the blue led power light can get annoying at times (kinda like the blue light on the Logitech Z640 speakers). However, you can dim the light by changing to night mode (which can be found under Menu -> Advanced Setting -> LED Brightness). Also, despite the specifications at Gateway.com, this monitor does not rotate with the included stand. You will have to buy the adjustable stand (which also comes with USB ports as well) for $69.99. You can also buy the speakers for the monitor as well.

Conclusion:

Pros +
+ Excellent Picture and Color
+ Slim Bezel
+ HDCP Support
+ Excellent price (currently $159.99 AR at Compusa.com)

Cons –
Can not adjust height without buying the advance stand
– No DVI cable included
– No speakers included. Can be purchased as an add on (probably not a big deal for most people)
– Blue LED light can be annoying
VERDICT: Excellent next-gen LCD monitor with few minor shortcomings.Pictures

 

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