An all-white LCD that matches your Mac and is actually affordabl
Truly stylish LCD monitors are a rarity in today's market, and a stylish and budget-friendly monitor is even rarer. The 19-inch BenQ FP93V, however, is just that, combining stylish design with good performance and, most importantly, a reasonable $349 price. The BenQ FP93V fits the Apple aesthetic with a shiny white cabinet, a base designed to hold a Mac Mini, and a versatile cable-management system that keeps hanging cords from ruining the clean look of a Mac setup. A similar white monitor, the , offers more adjustability and better performance but costs $200 more. Aesthetics aside, the 19-inch provides slightly better performance and greater adjustability than either of the white monitors, but for design and performance at a low cost, the BenQ FP93V wins our vote.
We like the BenQ FP93V's attractive design. The exterior is curvy and glossy white, and BenQ includes almost-matching light-gray cables for the DVI-D and D-Sub connectors. BenQ also provides two ways to control cable clutter: a plastic bracket on the back of the neck holds the cables out of sight, and if you put a Mac Mini on the FP93V's 8-by-8-inch base, you can remove the bracket and thread the computer and monitor cables through the hole. BenQ all but ignores ergonomic adjustments, offering only 20 degrees of backward and 5 degrees of forward tilt; by contrast, the Dell UltraSharp 1907FP offers swiveling, pivoting, and 4 inches of height adjustment in addition to panel tilt. Though the BenQ FP93V moves fairly easily on a smooth desk surface, it has no swivel mechanism or height adjustment. We do like that the panel is suspended 4 inches above the desk, which is a good height for most users.
In keeping with the BenQ FP93V's sleek, uncluttered design, the onscreen menu (OSM) adjustment buttons are hidden along the left edge of the display panel. Other stylish displays, such as the Apple Cinema Display and the Samsung SyncMaster 970P, eliminate on-monitor control-panel buttons altogether, instead relying on inconvenient software-based adjustments. The BenQ FP93V's discrete, well-labeled control-panel buttons include dedicated brightness, contrast, enter, and exit keys, making it easy to navigate through the OSM.
At its native resolution of 1,280x1,024, the BenQ FP93V performed well on CNET Labs' DisplayMate-based tests. Its text looked sharp, with good contrast between dark and light elements on the test screen. Grayscale screens took on a slightly bluish hue that we couldn't correct in the color-temperature controls, but the display showed a wide, evenly stepped range of dark and light gray levels and exhibited fewer shifts in color and intensity than the average LCD. Colors looked vibrant, though reds had a slightly orange tone and yellows were almost garishly bright. The BenQ FP93V's fairly fast 8-millisecond pixel-response time delivers better-than-average DVD playback performance with smooth movement and minimal digital noise. Game playback was also quite smooth, with a high level of detail, even in dark areas.
The FP93V comes with an industry-standard three-year warranty on parts, labor, and backlight. Toll-free phone tech support is available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. PT and is free for the life of the warranty. BenQ's Web site offers a few extra support options, such as driver downloads, manuals, a FAQ, and a knowledge base.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)