Sony SDM-X95KB review: Sony SDM-X95KB

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MSRP: $482.00

The Good Streak-free DVD and game performance; reasonable price; easy to share between two computers.

The Bad Poorly designed onscreen menu; no portrait/landscape pivot function; exhibits some flaws in grayscale test screens.

The Bottom Line The Sony SDM-X95KB is a reasonably priced, good-looking 19-inch LCD that's ideal for business or home users who regularly swap a monitor between two computers.

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6.7 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 7
  • Performance 7
  • Support 8
  • Setup 5

Sony SDM-X95K

The SDM-X95KB is a member of Sony's business line, but with impressive gaming and DVD performance, it would fit equally well in a home or home-office environment. Though the Philips Brilliance 109P6 offers near-identical specs and pivoting for just a bit less than the SDM-X95KB's $571.99 price, the Sony offers slightly better performance, and business users may appreciate its inputs, which let you share the display, a keyboard, and a mouse between two computers.

The Sony SDM-X95KB's design is all about quiet dignity, from the narrow bezel to the large, round base. A tastefully understated swath of airholes provides the only evidence of the two 1-watt speakers embedded in the bottom bezel. The screen tilts back 20 degrees and forward 5 and moves so easily, you can adjust it with one finger. The neck, which has a telescoping design, also glides easily through its 4.3-inch height range. The lazy Susan incorporated into the base doesn't turn quite as smoothly, but it has an impressive 350-degree range of rotation. The only adjustment you won't find on the SDM-X95KB is a portrait/landscape pivot.

One digital DVI input and one analog VGA input reside on the back panel. Each has its own PC audio jack, so you can share the speakers in a two-computer setup. On the back, you'll also find two downstream and two upstream USB 2.0 ports. A removable plastic panel hides all the inputs. The display comes with VGA, USB, and DVI cables, and a cleverly designed clip on the back of the neck holds the cables out of sight.

Tiny, square adjustment buttons that run down the right bezel allow you to launch and navigate the onscreen menu, switch between inputs, and adjust the speaker volume. A key labeled Eco runs through three automatic brightness settings so that you can quickly adjust the screen to ambient lighting conditions. The labels on the keys are very difficult to read, and the onscreen menu navigation is difficult to master: the menu doesn't offer a Back option, and the icons aren't labeled.

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