The Envision EN-5100e's rock-bottom price comes with a few trade-offs in display capability and construction. Still, it delivers surprisingly good performance and some midrange features to boot, meaning that even price-conscious consumers have another good choice for an LCD monitor. The Envision EN-5100e's rock-bottom price comes with a few trade-offs in display capability and construction. Still, it delivers surprisingly good performance and some midrange features to boot, meaning that even price-conscious consumers have another good choice for an LCD monitor.
Forsaking fancy features such as a DVI connector or a USB hub, Envision delivers a basic 15-inch LCD display with a great-looking picture for only $379, $20 less than our former price leader, KDS's $399 Rad-5. And for an econobox, the EN-5100e is pretty nice. Its sturdy vanilla cabinet is a bit bulkier than most 15-inch models because of its internal power supply. It sits on a simple stand that adjusts for viewing angle but (as with most low-cost LCDs) not height.
Five front-panel controls line the bottom of the display's frame. You'll find the usual buttons for power, auto-adjust, contrast, and brightness, plus a menu button for calling up the onscreen adjustment interface. The EN-5100e's detailed documentation explains all the buttons and onscreen controls. We found the onscreen menu easy to navigate. Although the auto-adjust feature is adequate, we achieved truer blacks and a broader spectrum of colors with a few manual tweaks.
Good, but limited, view
The EN-5100e performed well in CNET Labs' DisplayMate benchmark tests. The display, which has a native resolution of 1,024x768 pixels, showed true screen geometry and well-balanced colors. Although the display has a slow 50ms pixel-response time, which can mar video-display quality, we actually saw minimal screen-related distortions such as ghosting, streaking, and shadowing in our tests. The one thing to watch out for with the EN-5100e is its limited viewing angle of just 100 degrees horizontal and 80 degrees vertical; you won't be able to stray far from front-and-center when using this display.
Envision offers a good three-year warranty (including backlight) for the EN-5100e. Toll-free tech support is available 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. PT. You can also e-mail tech support through the company's Web site. You'll find FAQs and downloadable drivers and manuals online, as well.
Bargain hunter's boon
Envision's EN-5100e exacts a few compromises for its ultralow price, but it's still a good overall value. Users who want the space and energy savings of an LCD without breaking the budget will find a solid choice here.
15-inch LCD image quality test
Longer bars indicate better performance
|Envision's EN-5100e performed well in CNET Labs' DisplayMate benchmarks. It showed true screen geometry, well-balanced colors, and minimal screen-related distortions such as ghosting, streaking, and shadowing.|