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Monitors

Asus LS201: Punchable 'scratch-proof' monitor

The LS201 monitor has a crystal-sapphire protective panel that Asus claims is scratch-proof and 'punch-proof'. So we punched it

Many of us at Crave are prone to breaking things. Mobile phones, MP3 players and entire laptops get smashed up almost habitually, so we're all for gadgets that are built to last.

One such product is the Asus LS201 -- a TFT monitor with a protective panel made of crystal-sapphire. Our Asus rep says not only is it scratch-proof, but it's also 'punch-proof'. We were dared to hit it as hard as we could and told it wouldn't break.

Never ones to shirk from a challenge, we formed an orderly queue and gleefully punched the hell out of our first LS201 sample. Unfortunately one of our punchers was wearing a ring, and the offending jewellery left a 2cm scratch on the supposedly scratch-proof monitor.

Asus sent us a replacement and politely asked us to remove any jewellery before we let rip. We duly obliged, but instead of emerging unscathed, the LS201 developed a small, unidentifiable blemish below the protective panel. It wasn't a scratch or a dent -- it looked more like a small piece of fluff.

Our verdict: the LS201 will not shatter into a million pieces when punched (don't try this at home). It's therefore ideal if you're the type of person who likes to attack inanimate objects, or just drop blameless pieces of technology. But it's most definitely not scratch-proof -- we don't care what the stickers say.

Specs-wise, the LS201 has a 20-inch panel with a native resolution of 1,400x1,050-pixels. It's packing DVI and D-Sub ports, but lacks HDCP, so you can't play back copyrighted HD movies. Sounds fairly average then, but we'll smack it about a bit more before publishing a full review. No word on a price yet, but we'll let you know. -Rory Reid