The basic Xerox XR3-17Gs delivers average performance and is attractive, but its modest ergonomic adjustability and lack of options detract from its overall appeal. For the same $280 price, we prefer the Dell UltraSharp 1707FP, which offers markedly better performance and an abundance of ergonomic adjustment, or the HP vs17, which is basic but offers built-in speakers and a headphone jack.
With a monochrome silver case and a fairly thin 0.75-inch bezel, the Xerox XR3-17G is plain but elegant. A small circular base saves desk space but sacrifices stability; it wobbles when the panel is tilted. Adjustment options on the Xerox XR3-17Gs aren't plentiful: the panel tilts forward 20 degrees and back 5, but it doesn't swivel or pivot. The height is not adjustable, and the panel is suspended a rather short 3 inches above the desktop; we prefer at least 4 inches of height to best fit the average user.
The Xerox XR3-17Gs accepts only an analog signal, and the cable is permanently attached to the back of the display, which makes setup a bit easier. Unfortunately, Xerox completely ignores cable management; we like to see at least a loop to thread the cords through or better yet a complete cable management system as seen on the ViewSonic VX2025m.
The control panel buttons are arranged in a sleek row on the monitors' bottom bezel. Each of the four keys are well labeled to make onscreen menu (OSM) navigation a breeze. We like the OSM--it's colorful and well laid out, so even though there's no dedicated exit key for navigating the menu, it's easy to figure out how to drill down, move around, and get out of the adjustment screens. However, we were a little surprised that the up- and down-arrow keys on the Xerox's bezel don't double as brightness and contrast quick keys. It's a pretty standard feature on LCDs, and considering how little this display has in the way of extras, it seems like a glaring omission.
We tested the Xerox XR3-17Gs at its native resolution of 1,280x1,024 and found its performance to be average. We saw little digital noise in CNET Lab's DisplayMate-based tests, and text in the test screens looked very crisp with good contrast between the letters and the background. The XR3-17Gs's display panel has a shiny coating on it, which helped with sharpness and text performance. However, this coating also showed reflections, especially under direct light. Grayscale test screens revealed purple tints in midrange grays, though the display was good at fading evenly from dark to light with only minor fluctuations in intensity from one level of gray to the next. Colors were tolerably good, though they appeared washed out.