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DoubleSight DS-1500 review:DoubleSight DS-1500

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The Good Two LCD panels make for an exceptionally wide viewing area.

The Bad Limited adjustability; requires a graphics card with two analog connections; few extra features; mediocre image quality.

The Bottom Line With twice the screen real estate, the DS-1500 will charm multitaskers, but demanding users are better off with two higher-quality LCDs.

7.0 Overall

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Review summary

DoubleSight's DS-1500 dual-panel LCD might well have been named the Double Take. Made of two conjoined 15-inch LCD panels, the DS-1500 features a very wide viewing area with a 2,048x768 maximum resolution, perfect for spreadsheet jockeys, stock traders, writers, Internet shoppers, or anyone else who works with multiple applications or windows simultaneously. While you could get better image quality and more features (for about the same price) running two IBM ThinkVision L150p's side by side, we think the DoubleSight DS-1500 shows the substantial potential of the multiple-panel display--that two heads are indeed better than one--and we expect to see more of them in the future.

The DoubleSight DS-1500Â's total viewable area runs 24 inches wide and 9 inches high. The screens are surrounded on three sides by a 1-inch, brushed-silver-color, plastic bezel; the bezel on the bottom edge is slightly wider. Most notably, the panels are separated by a 1-inch-thick, black-plastic strip that seems like a visual impediment at first, like a pillar in Fenway Park. However, our eyes adjusted to it quickly, and it didnÂ't significantly disturb our experience. You can use the DS-1500 as one wide display spread across two screens or as two separate displays. Once an application window is open, you can simply drag it from one screen to the other.

The DS-1500 sits on a reasonably sturdy, clawlike aluminum foot. Despite its ungainly width-to-height ratio, the monitor has a fair range of movement. It can be tilted forward slightly and backward 20 degrees; it swivels 45 degrees to the right and left and can be wall mounted, which might come in handy because at just 16 inches tall, this display is definitely height challenged. Even average-height people may need to put a riser under it.

The DoubleSight DS-1500 is an unusual monitor, and it has some unusual system requirements to match--namely, your computerÂ's graphics card must have two analog outputs. If you have one analog and one digital port, youÂ'll need to buy a DVI-VGA connector (for about $12). ItÂ's more likely, however, that your computerÂ's card has just one analog port, so you'll need a new card to use the DS-1500 (DoubleSightÂ's Web site lists &siteid=7&edid=&lop=txt&destcat=ex&destUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Edoublesight%2Ecom%2Ffaq%2Findex%2Ephp%3F" target="_blank">compatible cards).

The DS-1500 turned in middling scores in CNET LabÂ's performance tests. Text looked clear and legible, but blacks were not particularly deep. Colors looked average. While perfectly acceptable for day-to-day business use, off-tints in colored gradients and an overall lack of vibrancy limit the DS-1500Â's use for precise tasks. As a result, we canÂ't recommend the DoubleSight DS-1500 for graphic designers, gamers, video junkies, or photo editors.

DoubleSight covers the DS-1500 with a standard one-year warranty; the company will extend the warranty for six months for free if you complete the product registration, and a three-year, extended warranty is also available. Toll-free technical support is provided for the length of the warranty; it's available Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. PT.

CNET Labs DisplayMate tests  (Longer bars indicate better performance)
LG Electronics L1520B
77 
IBM ThinkVision L150P
72 
Philips 150P4
72 
DoubleSight DS-1500
69 
NEC LCD1560NX
69 

Brightness in nits  (Longer bars indicate better performance)
Measured with the Sencore CP500  
IBM ThinkVision L150P
273 
NEC LCD1560NX
231 
Philips 150P4
223 
LG Electronics L1520B
218 
DoubleSight DS-1500
182 

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