Well known for high-end LCDs made for graphics professionals, such as the 319 models, LaCie enters the mainstream corporate category with the 120. Though it doesn't break boundaries in the design area, it knocks out the competition with its excellent performance. For workers who dabble in design in addition to typical work apps, the LaCie 120 is a viable option, but it's too expensive for cube drones--at $719, it's the most expensive business-class 20-inch LCD we've seen. For similar performance and adjustability at a much lower price point, we recommend the or the .
Basic black is the norm for business displays, and the LaCie 120 doesn't break the mold. The large oblong base is unremarkable, but it keeps the monitor stably anchored to the desk. Unlike many bare-bones business displays, such as the , the LaCie 120 offers plenty of ergonomic adjustability. The monitor has 4.5 inches of height adjustment, 45 degrees of swivel in each direction, and the panel tilts 5 degrees forward and 20 degrees back. Adjustments are generally easy to make, though the included LaFrame accessory may hinder them. The LaFrame, a 33-by-22-inch screen, can be attached to the back of your monitor to reduce distractions and block out ambient light. While we like the concept, we're unconvinced that the giant black screen delivers the optimum viewing solution.
Along the back of the monitor are DVI-D and D-Sub ports, and LaCie includes cables for each. Unfortunately, LaCie completely ignores cable management; we like to see at least a loop to thread the cords through or, better yet, a complete cable management system such as the one on the .
We couldn't ask for a more user-friendly onscreen menu. It's basic but simple to navigate. The five control panel buttons are discreetly placed on the right bezel, and the white labels are easy to read. We appreciate the dedicated input select button, which lets you easily toggle between two computers. And though it's not marked as such, the Auto button doubles as an exit key when navigating the menu. The up and down arrows also pull double duty by launching brightness and contrast menus, respectively.
Tested at its 1,600x1,200 native resolution, the LaCie 120 gave an excellent performance on CNET Labs DisplayMate-based tests. Text looked sharp and clear in both serif and sans serif fonts. Grayscale test screens showed a near-perfect fade, though we did notice subtle bluish-purple tints throughout. Colors were bright, vivid, and accurate, with only minimal compression in the reds and blues.
DVD playback on the LaCie 120 was fairly impressive, especially considering its rather slow 16-millisecond response time. We noticed a fair amount of noise, typical of LCD screens, though colors looked vivid and accurate. The slow response time was more of a factor in the gaming tests where we noticed blurring with fast-moving scenes.
LaCie offers an industry-standard three-year warranty on parts, labor, and the backlight. Phone support is available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT, but you'll have to pay for the call. LaCie's Web site offers basic features such as FAQs and drivers, as well as e-mail and fax support.