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AG Neovo F-417 review: AG Neovo F-417

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The Good Responsive tech support; good documentation.

The Bad Poor image quality; too-stiff construction; ineffective brightness control; unintuitive onscreen menus.

The Bottom Line AG Neovo’s F-417 is fairly inexpensive for a 17-inch LCD, but it lacks the features and image quality that even basic users need.

4.6 Overall

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AG Neovo’s F-417: value or varmint?

Good value has become synonymous with inexpensive, but it originally meant getting something of high quality at a low price. The 17-inch F-417 LCD is part of AG Neovo's relatively inexpensive Value Line, but the quality just isn't there. Users looking for a better deal should check out the comparably priced Planar PE170.

The F-417's appearance is spartan. It has a gray-and-black bezel, the bottom of which sits a meager 2 inches off of the desktop. Too low for you? Too bad: you can't raise, lower, pivot, or swivel the display. The panel does tilt 15 degrees forward and approximately 30 degrees backward, however. Should you desire additional flexibility, the F-417 connects to a VESA-standard arm and a wall-mounted bracket, both &siteid=7&edid=&lop=txt&destcat=ex_1&destUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eneovo%2Dusa%2Ecom%2Fproducts%2Faccessories%2Ehtm">sold separately. Although AG Neovo says that the F-417 has fairly wide viewing angles--160 degrees horizontal and 130 degrees vertical--we found that the contrast and brightness levels changed dramatically at even 30 degrees from the side.

The F-417 has no digital input or audio connections; there's just one analog input (cable included) and a power port on the back panel. Six buttons on the lower-right bezel control the power and the onscreen menus. The F-417 offers a decent range of image-adjustment options, but we found that altering the brightness level had only a slight effect on the image. Still, the rest of the image-adjustment controls work as stated, although closing the menu is challenging: no one button automatically closes it, and only one of the 16 function screens offers an exit option.

We could look beyond these flaws if the F-417 delivered good image quality, but no such luck. In CNET's tests, we found sudden shifts in color intensity instead of a smooth, linear progression. We also detected distortions in adjacent blocks of color. Our grayscale test screens displayed prominent ripples and hot spots; darker grays had a green hue and lighter grays looked bluish. The F-417 couldn't even manage basic tasks: text displayed on colored backgrounds and smaller fonts were barely legible because of a lack of sharpness.

AG Neovo's service warranty is average: three years on parts, labor, and the backlight. For one year after purchase, the company will replace a monitor that has seven or more dead pixels. Toll-free tech support is available 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, and representatives are friendly and knowledgeable.

CNET Labs DisplayMate tests  (Longer bars indicate better performance)
Planar PE170
Sony SDM-HX73
ViewSonic VA720
AG Neovo F-417

Brightness in nits  
Sony SDM-HX73
Planar PE170
ViewSonic VA720
AG Neovo F-417
Note: Measured with the Sencore CP500

Find out more about how we test LCDs.

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