We loved the Cornerstone p1450 so much that we gave it an Editors' Choice award. So imagine how excited we were to get the $340 Cornerstone p2450: same manufacturer, same size, much less expensive. Unfortunately, the p2450's picture quality wasn't quite as dazzling as that of its cousin. We loved the Cornerstone p1450 so much that we gave it an Editors' Choice award. So imagine how excited we were to get the $340 Cornerstone p2450: same manufacturer, same size, much less expensive. Unfortunately, the p2450's picture quality wasn't quite as dazzling as that of its cousin.
The Cornerstone p2450 is your standard putty-colored monitor on the outside, with a flat aperture-grille tube on the inside that yields a low-glare, perfectly flat screen. The included documentation is more thorough in some ways than in others. The user guide, on CD-ROM, includes setup and safety instructions, in addition to a detailed explanation of the multiple onscreen display (OSD) menus and their corresponding controls. An entire page is even devoted to contact information for customer support. However, there are no troubleshooting tips or definitions of the various controls to help novices understand what they're adjusting (for example, what exactly is "convergence"?).
The Cornerstone p2450's OSD menu is one of the more complex--and comprehensive--that we've seen. Four submenus contain everything from basic adjustments (such as contrast, pincushion, and rotation) to more complex ones (such as hooking, focus, and settings that move the OSD around the screen). Navigating the multitude of menus is easy: Press one button on the front panel of the monitor to call up the OSD, and use the dial under the panel to scroll. The dial doubles as the brightness control when the OSD is inactive. The only annoyance to navigating the p2450's OSD is that you must scroll through all the items on each menu to get to the next.
Easy on the eyes
The p2450 is capable of a high 1,600x1,200 maximum resolution with a decent 75Hz refresh rate and a fine .25mm dot pitch that most eyes will be able to tolerate. At this resolution, though, the fonts and icons on the desktop are really too small to read. Most users will find that setting the display to 1,280x1,024 with a high 85Hz refresh rate yields a lot of screen space without straining the eyes.
At such a resolution and refresh rate, the monitor did passably well in CNET Labs' DisplayMate benchmark tests. Our main quibbles with the Cornerstone p2450 were some bowing and pinching along the left side of the image, which we weren't able to correct with the pincushion and trapezoid adjustments, and a slight overall blurriness that manifested itself most noticeably on our text tests. Times New Roman text at 12-point size appeared slightly fuzzy, and at 6 points, it was all but illegible. However, the basic icons and fonts on the Windows desktop looked fine. The monitor handled varying shades of gray well, but we noticed a slightly greenish-yellow tint to whites and grays. This flaw was also visible in our high-resolution Photoshop test images. Skin tones were smooth and colors were vibrant, but everything had a slightly greenish look. Fortunately, lower-resolution Web images looked perfectly crisp and true in color. Thanks to the high refresh rate, all the tests were flicker-free. This monitor would be fine for standard home or work computer use, but artists and perfectionists need not apply.
Whale of a warranty
The Cornerstone p2450 includes a generous five-year warranty. A next-business-day replacement upgrade is available for $35, and an onsite replacement upgrade will cost you $75. Toll-free tech support is available for the life of the display. Hours are 5 a.m. to midnight PT during weekdays.
The Cornerstone p2450 delivers high resolution, lots of screen space, and a very generous warranty at a great price. But we just weren't blown away by its image quality. All in all, it's a good monitor, but it's hard to recommend in the presence of the Editors' Choice models, such as the Cornerstone p1450 or the Samsung SyncMaster 900NF.
19-inch CRT image-quality test
Longer bars indicate better performance
|The Cornerstone's text appeared a bit fuzzy and images had a slightly greenish tint. Although there was a bit of uncorrectable distortion on the left side of the screen, the image was flicker-free.|