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LaCie 324i review: LaCie 324i

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Games: Because of our intimate familiarity with World of Warcraft (WoW), it remains the best tool for judging color quality and vibrancy in games. The 324i delivered a picture with a high level of color saturation in the default User preset. This gave the colors a vibrancy typical of larger IPS monitors like the Dell UltraSharp U2711 and NEC MultiSync PA271W. We also used DisplayMate's Motion tests and found that the 324i, with its 6-millisecond G2G refresh rate, produced as much movement streaking as the LP2480zx, which also has a 6ms G2G refresh rate. Both monitors displayed more streaking than the Samsung PX2370 in the same test.

Photos: The 324i delivered high-resolution photos with deep and accurate colors that were not quite as good as what the HP LP2480zx delivered. We had to jack up the blue and tone down the green before they no longer distracted us.

Viewing angle: The optimal viewing angle for a monitor is usually directly in front, about a quarter of the screen's distance down from the top. At this angle, you're viewing the colors as the manufacturer intended them. Most monitors are not made to be viewed at any other angle. Depending on its panel type, picture quality at nonoptimal angles varies. Most monitors use TN panels, which get overly bright or overly dark in parts of the screen when they are not viewed from optimal angles. On the other hand, IPS panels usually show only minimal color shifts with angle changes. The LaCie 324i has a 10-bit LG P-IPS (Performance-In Plane Switching) panel, and when viewing it from the sides, we perceived the screen as darkening about 15 inches off from center--more than twice as wide a viewing angle as a typical TN panel has.

Recommended settings and use: During general use or when playing games, we found the User preset, with the following attributes, to be the 324i's optimal setting:

 Brightness   Contrast   Black Level   Gamma   Red   Green   Blue 
28 50 50 2.2 50 50 50

When watching movies or viewing photos, we still preferred the aforementioned settings, augmented with the following attributes:

 Red   Green   Blue 
50 40 60

As with most IPS-based monitors, LaCie gears the 324i mostly toward professional use where accurate color reproduction is required; however, the monitor is also great for watching movies, playing games, viewing photos, and general use. One of its trump cards is its 10-bit panel, which allows for much more accurate color by increasing the amount of gradients of the colors the display is capable of producing.

Power consumption: The LaCie 324i achieved poor power consumption, with a Default/On power draw of 68.6 watts, compared with the HP DreamColor LP2480zx's 62.6 watts in the same test. In our Sleep/Standby test, the 324i costs 2.67 watts and the LP2480zx pulled a lower 1.97 watts. Based on our formula, the LaCie 324i would cost $22.32 per year to run, compared with the HP DreamColor LP2480zx's $20.05 per year. Although their respective default power draws didn't have a huge delta between them, it's the consumption during sleep/standby (the state the monitor is in most of the time) that really hurt the 324i. During that time, the 324i drew 26 percent more power than the LP2480zx did in the same state. Still, not much of a difference in price.

Brightness in cd/m2
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Contrast ratio
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

DisplayMate tests
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Juice box
LaCie 324i Average watts per hour
On (default luminance) 68.6
On (max luminance) 111.1
On (min luminance) 47.8
Sleep 2.67
Calibrated (200 cd/m2) 68.4
Annual power consumption cost $22.32
Score Poor

Find out more about how we test LCD monitors.

Service and support
LaCie backs the 324i with a three-year parts-and-labor warranty that covers the backlight, which is the same great deal other vendors, such as HP and Dell, provide. It also offers 24-hour Web-based support and phone support limited to 10 hours a day, five days a week. LaCie provides free shipping and will admirably send you a replacement unit before actually receiving your defective unit. To top that off, it also pays for the shipping of both the unit shipped in and the one shipped out.

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