KDS Radius Rad-7xp review: KDS Radius Rad-7xp

MSRP: $649.00

The Good Inexpensive; good support; simple onscreen menus and controls.

The Bad Limited adjustability; average image quality.

The Bottom Line The KDS Radius Rad-7xp offers little beyond its rock-bottom price, but for bargain hunters, that may be enough.

6.2 Overall
  • Design 6
  • Features 6
  • Performance 6
  • Support 8

Even as LCD prices continue to drop, you won't find many 17-inch flat screens for less than $400. That's why KDS's Radius Rad-7xp, at around $375, may interest home users looking for a bargain on a decent-size LCD--despite its minimal features and mediocre image quality.

The Rad-7xp has an attractive, uncomplicated design. Except for a slim band of blue that runs along the sides of the display, it's silver from top to bottom. A wide, semicircular base provides a sturdy foundation. Adjustability is minimal: the panel tilts only a few degrees forward and backward, and there's no swiveling or height adjustment. You can, however, attach the Rad-7xp to a bracket for mounting on a wall or a movable arm. An inch and a half of bezel all the way around makes the display extremely wide--more than 16 inches across.

The Rad-7xp's connections are not especially versatile. Like most low-cost LCDs, the display has only an analog input (cable included), which is permanently attached to the back of the panel. The external power cord sprouts from the PC end of the analog cable, rather than the back of the display; it's an unusual feature that eliminates the usual clutter of cords that dangle from the back of most displays. The Rad-7xp is PC and Mac compatible, but Mac users will need an adapter, which is not included.

Four clearly labeled, onscreen menu buttons are tucked away under the bottom-right edge of the bezel. The Rad-7xp's menus are easy to navigate--there's no digging through layers to reach individual commands.

The Rad-7xp has middling image quality. In CNET Labs' tests, the panel produced lighter colors and earth tones intensely, and it accurately distinguished between the subtle shades of the grayscale. KDS gives the panel's brightness as 250cd/m2; our tests showed it to be a bit lower. In fact, we found that the display was somewhat dim overall and that black text had insufficient contrast. We also noticed some blurring and distortions in adjacent blocks of color.

KDS supports the Rad-7xp with a three-year warranty on parts and labor and the backlight. The company also offers free shipping for repairs, and lifetime toll-free telephone tech support that's available weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. PT. A comprehensive, 24-page booklet covers the setup process, the image controls, and wall mounting. It's a generous support package, except for the pixel-replacement policy: KDS says that you need 10 or more bad pixels to qualify for a replacement unit.

CNET Labs DisplayMate tests  (Longer bars indicate better performance)
Dell 1703FP
Cornea CT1704
IBM ThinkVision L170P
Philips 170W4P
KDS Radius Rad-7xp
HP L1702

Brightness in nits  (Longer bars indicate better performance)
Philips 170W4P
HP L1702
Dell 1703FP
IBM ThinkVision L170P
KDS Radius Rad-7xp
Cornea CT1704
Note: Measured with the Sencore CP500

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