Sony SDM-HS73P review: Sony SDM-HS73P

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

The Good Decent image quality; above-average gaming and DVD performance.

The Bad Black screen is distractingly reflective; limited adjustability; no digital connection; expensive; poor documentation.

The Bottom Line Sony's SDM-HS73P delivers adequate image quality, but other less-expensive 17-inch LCDs offer a superior picture and more features.

Visit for details.

7.0 Overall

Sony's SDM-HS73P comes in gunmetal gray with a silver or black bezel and has sharp edges that give it a somehwat boxy appearance. Unlike some other 17-inch monitors we've reviewed, it's not particularly adjustable; while you can tilt the panel 15 degrees forward and 30 degrees backward, you can't raise it to add height, nor does it swivel. Sony doesn't sell a &siteid=7&edid=&lop=txt&destcat=ex_1&destUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwebopedia%2Ecom%2FTERM%2FV%2FVESA%2Ehtml">VESA-standard arm or a wall-mount bracket, but the company does recommend &siteid=7&edid=&lop=txt&destcat=ex_1&destUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eergotron%2Ecom">Ergotron's line of attachments.

The SDM-HS73P offers relatively few connectivity options. There's no digital input and only one analog port (Sony includes a cable); if you're looking for more ways to plug in, take a look at Dell's UltraSharp 1703FP, which offers both digital and analog inputs, as well as four USB ports. Tucked slightly below the bottom right of the SDM-HS73P's bezel, six buttons command the monitor's power and the image-adjustment controls. While the adjustment controls and the menus are fairly easy to navigate, the included instructions mention neither the menu nor its technical terms, such as pitch and phase. Sony's knowledge base Web site wasn't much help, either: it refused to accept the monitor's model number.

If you're working in a particularly bright environment, you'll need a monitor capable of producing a bright image. The SDM-HS73P, powered by Sony's Xbrite technology, is nothing if not bright. In fact, unless you're working at the beach, this level of brightness is overkill and, unfortunately, comes at the expense of darker colors: we couldn't set the SDM-HS73P to deliver a good, pure black. Another significant problem is that the screen becomes extremely reflective (a major distraction) when displaying dark images--it basically turns into a mirror. We also detected problems with uniformity: the bottom half of the screen looked brighter than the top in our tests. Still, colors were vibrant, text looked OK and reasonably sharp--good enough for basic productivity work--and the SDM-HS73P's fast 16-millisecond response time delivered an above-average experience with DVDs and games.

Sony backs the SDM-HS73P with a three-year warranty on parts, labor, and the backlight. The company also provides very good, 24/7 toll-free phone support for the life of the warranty, along with paid support thereafter.

CNET Labs DisplayMate tests  (Longer bars indicate better performance)

Brightness in cd/m2  
Note: Measured with the Sencore CP500 / Minolta CA-210

Find out more about how we test LCDs.