Mediocre image quality and limited adjustability are often the best you can hope for in a cheap 17-inch LCD. Not so with the AOC LM729, which delivers a good picture, plenty of flexibility, and a set of embedded speakers for less than $450. If you can live with its somewhat flimsy design and lackluster sound quality, you've found yourself a bargain. If not, take a look at the more sturdily builtor .
The LM729's high-style aspirations are hampered by its cheap plastic construction; on our test model, a plastic piece around the neck came loose, and we couldn't reattach it. The brushed-silver and black bezel runs about an inch wide; its slightly curved corners are a welcome departure from the sharp angles of other LCDs. Embedded, 2-watt speakers add another inch and a half to the bottom edge of the display. As with most built-in monitor speakers, the LM729's are inferior, offering weak, tinny sound.
The LM729 has oodles of adjustability options. The neck telescopes--albeit stiffly--about four inches. The panel swivels 35 degrees to the left and right and tilts about 20 degrees backward and five degrees forward. It pivots between Portrait and Landscape modes (AOC includes a CD with pivot software). The LM729 is also compatible with &siteid=7&edid=&lop=txt&destcat=ex&destUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Evesa%2Eorg%2Ffdmipr%2Ehtm" target="_blank">VESA wall mounts.
The display offers both Mac and PC support, but it's analog-only (AOC includes a cable). There is an audio line-in jack, and AOC provides a cable to connect the display to your sound card. Because there's no cable-feed system, however, the clutter of cords sits in plain view.