BenQ's FP783 looks quite unlike most LCDs we've come across, many of which have a conventional white, black, gray, or silver color scheme and a mundane, cookie-cutter design. The FP783, on the other hand, comes in an edgy combination of beige and off-white, with highlights that BenQ says are blue, but which look to us to be dark purple (as opposed to &siteid=7&edid=&lop=txt&destcat=ex&destUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Edeeppurple%2Ecom%2F">Deep Purple). The four-legged stand, reminiscent of &siteid=7&edid=&lop=txt&destcat=ex&destUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecingular%2Ecom%2F">Cingular's logo, is another inspired touch that serves to make the FP783 one of the sturdiest and most wobble-free LCDs we've ever seen. The design is certainly striking, but unlike other, more , the FP783 isn't particularly adjustable. You can't swivel it, pivot the panel to Portrait mode, raise a neck for additional height, or remove the panel for wall or arm mounting. You can, however, tilt the panel about 35 degrees forward and a whopping 90 degrees backward, ostensibly making it easier to carry and store.
As you'd expect with such an expensive 17-inch LCD (approximately $800 as of May 2004), the FP783 offers good connectivity options. It provides both an analog and a digital input, and BenQ supplies cords for both. A detachable panel on the back of the monitor does a terrific job keeping cables organized and hidden. Stashed behind the display's left edge are two downstream USB inputs, into which you can plug a keyboard, a digital camera, or another peripheral without reaching around to the back of your PC. On top of the panel is a third USB port for BenQ's $40 detachable Webcam (sold separately). BenQ also offers an optional $40 set of 2-watt speakers with SRS surround sound, which we did not test. The FP783's standard image-adjustment controls, subtly tucked into the bezel's wavy right edge, are fairly easy to use, and we like that they include a dedicated auto-adjustment button.
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One of the FP783's three USB ports sits atop the panel, well situated for a Webcam.
Tested on the digital connection at its native resolution of 1,280x1,024, the FP783 was a mediocre performer in CNET Labs' DisplayMate tests. Text looked readable and reasonably sharp, and colors looked vibrant and true enough for typical productivity use. But while BenQ claims a contrast ratio of 500:1 for the FP783, we found the contrast to suffer from somewhat washed-out blacks. We also found the display's viewing angles fairly limited, and we saw distortions when tilting the screen even slightly. Unlike that of BenQ's , the FP783's 12ms pixel-response rate seemed to benefit its DVD-motion performance. Streaking and ghosting were minimal, and colors looked good, although we detected a bit of digital noise. Still, Samsung's , one of the few other LCDs on the market with a 12ms response time, delivered above-average DVD playback, better overall image quality, and a comparably slick design for considerably less money.
BenQ covers the FP783 with a standard three-year warranty for parts, labor, and backlight. Should you need to return the display to BenQ during the warranty's first year, the company will replace it with a refurbished unit within 48 hours and pay shipping costs both ways; BenQ will pay for shipping one way during the second and third years.
|Measured with the Minolta CA-210|
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