Planar PE170 review: Planar PE170

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MSRP: $449.00

The Good Excellent image quality; wide viewing angles; very reasonable price.

The Bad Drab design; limited adjustability; few extra features.

The Bottom Line The Planar PE170's stunning image quality and low price more than make up for its humdrum design and limited adjustability.

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7.5 Overall

The 17-inch Planar PE170 lacks many of the bells and whistles often found on top-of-the-line LCDs. Nevertheless, its stunning image quality and equally attractive price make it a tempting choice.

The Planar PE170's pedestrian design lacks nothing important, but next to the elegant IBM ThinkVision L170p or the Samsung SyncMaster 172MP, it looks a bit plain. Made of solid, black plastic, it stands sturdily on a circular base. The bezel seems unnecessarily wide--about an inch on the sides, an inch and a half on top, and almost three inches on the bottom. The panel tilts an impressive 40 degrees backward, and the viewing angles (150 degrees horizontal, 125 degrees vertical) make the panel easy to see from almost any position.

The PE170 isn't particularly adjustable. It doesn't swivel, nor can it pivot between Portrait and Landscape modes (but few 17-inch LCDs do). We wish it had a telescoping neck like that of Dell's 1703FP; the panel sits so low that many users will need a monitor riser. The PE170 can be mounted to a &siteid=7&edid=&lop=txt&destcat=ex&destUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Evesa%2Eorg%2Ffdmipr%2Ehtm" target="_blank">VESA-compliant wall mount.

The PE170 has no digital input, but it's easy to connect the included analog signal cable and power cord to the back. There's no need for a cable-feed system because the short neck keeps cables close to the desktop and out of sight.

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