Long associated with copy machines and laser printers, Xerox recently entered the crowded monitor market with several new lines of LCDs for the home and office. The 15-inch XL-350B, from Xerox's "cost-effective" 3 series, offers an elegant design and built-in speakers but lesser image quality than the 17-inch and other comparably priced 15-inch LCDs such as IBM's .
Speaking of IBM, the XL-350B, with a classic, understated look, resembles the ThinkVision L150p. It comes with either a black or silver bezel that's one slim inch along the top and sides and nearly two inches along the bottom, to accommodate the built-in speakers. Where most LCDs have flimsy plastic bodies, the XL-350B's curved neck and ring-shaped base are made of solid metal. Like most 15-inch LCDs, the XL-350B is not a highly adjustable display--you can tilt the panel about 35 degrees backward and attach it to a &siteid=7&edid=&lop=txt&destcat=ex_1&destUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwebopedia%2Ecom%2FTERM%2FV%2FVESA%2Ehtml">VESA arm or wall mount, but it won't swivel, pivot, or raise and lower; taller users may need to sit the monitor on a riser. There's no cable feed system, but the neck sits so low that you won't see much of the dangling cords.
The XL-350B has one analog and one digital input, though only an analog cable comes included. There's also an audio input, which is split into right and left channels so that you can adjust the balance, but the XL-350B's speakers aren't worth much. They sound fine for incidental Web and operating system sounds, but they're simply not good enough for serious music appreciation.
The sleek, chrome buttons on the XL-350B's front panel are touch sensitive, responding to a gentle tap. The colorful, graphically driven onscreen menus are easy to navigate, too.
The XL-350B, with a maximum resolution of 1,024x768, did not fare particularly well in CNET Labs' tests. Overall, the picture appeared somewhat washed out, but text and images looked reasonably crisp. When set at the default Cool color temperature, images had a noticeably bluish cast; changing the temperature to Normal seemed to help. Still, the display suffered from significant hue shifting, which is when a color's tint changes when its intensity increases or decreases. We also noticed that the display was brighter along the bottom than the top.
Xerox backs the XL-350B with an industry-standard three-year warranty; however, the backlight is covered for two years only--a bit chintzy in our opinion. Lifetime toll-free phone support is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT. Xerox's Web site offers driver downloads, FAQs, and an online support-request feature.
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