Hyundai ImageQuest L70s
You may know Hyundai as the manufacturer of inexpensive automobiles, but did you know that the company also makes budget-price displays and notebooks? Its 17-inch LCD offering, the Hyundai ImageQuest L70s, is indeed very reasonably priced. Unfortunately, its disappointing image quality and lackluster design make it a dubious bargain.
To be fair, the ImageQuest L70s's design aspires to the standard high-tech look you'll see in LCDs from manufacturers such as HP and ViewSonic. It has the requisite two-tone plastic casing (purplish-gray and silver), a slim bezel that measures 0.75 inch on the top and bottom and 0.5 inch on the sides, plus speakers embedded in the casing below the bottom bezel and a cluster of shiny, metallic-looking plastic adjustment buttons, which give a bit of flash without being obtrusive. Overall, the display's appearance is unremarkable--we wouldn't single it out as particularly attractive or ugly. But for our money, we prefer an LCD with some style, such as the Apple Cinema Display.or the Helen of Troy of LCDs, the
Functionally, the ImageQuest L70s's design is serviceable, but no more. It has a rectangular neck and a base that's reasonably stable, too. The analog signal port (there's no DVI option) for connecting the display to your PC is easy to access, as are the headphone jack and the speaker jack for connecting to your PC. There's no cable-feed system to hide ungainly wires, but given that you can't raise the display panel at all--it sits at a low 2.5 inches from the desktop--you won't be troubled by unsightly cable dangle. As with most bargain LCDs, the only adjustment you can make to the ImageQuest L70s is to tilt the panel 25 degrees forward and back. You can also attach it to a VESA swing arm or a wall mount, but there's no side-to-side swivel and no Portrait/Landscape pivot.
The Hyundai ImageQuest L70s's onscreen menu (OSM) is unusually compact but neatly organized. Descriptions of all the icons appear in the corner of the menu as you select them. The adjustment options include all the regulars, such as brightness, contrast, horizontal and vertical position, and color temperature control. The one feature in the L70s's OSM that we've never encountered before is a option that automatically optimizes the color temperature. This anomalous feature, while intriguing, adds nothing to the display's otherwise lackluster performance.
Image quality is the most important feature in an LCD, and unfortunately, the Hyundai ImageQuest L70s's image quality is nothing to speak of. We tested the ImageQuest L70s at its native resolution of 1,280x1,024 with the recommended 60Hz refresh rate. Using CNET's DisplayMate-based grayscale and white-level test screens, we attempted to optimize the L70s's brightness and contrast so that it would display the most discrete levels of gray without compromising the extreme ends of the scale, that is, black and white. This proved to be very difficult. When we pursued pure whites and blacks, we lost dark grays, and vice versa. We also saw a lot of tinting in the grayscales (there should be no color): the dark grays take on a bluish cast as they move to black, and light grays have a yellowish tint. Colors in Web graphics looked dark and muddy, and subtler shades in the middle range disappeared. During DVD playback, colors were too dark, and the images showed a lot of digital noise. The screen wasn't uniformly lit, either: the top half displayed noticeably darker than the bottom half, and light from the backlight leaked in at the sides. The speakers, which are only 2 watts each, sounded extremely faint and tinny.