CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Christmas Gift Guide

KDS Rad-5 review:

KDS Rad-5

  • 1
MSRP: $499.00
Compare These

The Good Low price; great performance; fast pixel-response time; full-featured onscreen menu system.

The Bad Confusing, hard-to-press control buttons.

The Bottom Line You can't beat the price on this bargain 15-inch flat-panel display.

CNET Editors' Rating

8.0 Overall

Currently available at Office Depot and Wal-Mart for $399, KDS's 15-inch Rad-5 display delivers surprising performance and a few midrange features to boot. What's the problem then? Considering its bargain-basement price, we couldn't find one--you even get a matching mouse at no extra charge. Currently available at Office Depot and Wal-Mart for $399, KDS's 15-inch Rad-5 display delivers surprising performance and a few midrange features to boot. What's the problem then? Considering its bargain-basement price, we couldn't find one--you even get a matching mouse at no extra charge.

First rate, cut rate
After seeing the Rad-5's astoundingly low $399 price tag, you'll probably wonder just how many corners KDS had to cut. Rest assured: This basic flat-panel display is a solid value. The stand has a nice, solid feel when you tilt the monitor up and down. The monitor's clean design and silver and blue finish is quite attractive, and the included silver-toned mouse adds even more value to the package. The screen and base combined add up to a depth of just 6.22 inches, making this one of the thinnest flat panels available.

The Rad-5's test performance will catch you by surprise. In CNET Labs' DisplayMate benchmark tests, its sharpness and color rendition were fully competitive with those of current models that cost up to $400 more. It scored especially high in our pixel resolution/tracking test, beating out the other three monitors by a wide margin. It also ranked impressively on distortion and grayscale tests. Text (both black-on-white and white-on-black) was readable down to 6.8-point type, and the Rad-5 offers the fastest pixel-response rate (25ms) we've seen in flat panel in its class, resulting in clearer rendering of moving graphics.

You'll also be pleased with the Rad-5's full-featured, onscreen display menu, although it may take a while to get used to the control buttons, which are awkwardly placed (just behind the bottom of the screen) and hard to press. Most users don't change their displays settings very often, however. And with this LCD, they may not have to; the auto-adjust button did an excellent job of optimizing the various settings on its own. But if you like to fiddle with your display, the buttons could annoy you.

The Rad-5 included several other noteworthy features that belied its low price, including a VESA-compatible mounting socket (for wall or supporting-arm installations) and an adjustable power-save delay (for keeping the monitor powered on, even after your computer enters sleep mode). The three-year warranty even covers the backlight.

If you need an example of how much LCD technology has improved over the years, look no further than KDS's Rad-5--you just can't beat it for the price.

15-inch LCD image quality test
Longer bars indicate better performance
KDS Rad-5
73 
Samsung SyncMaster 570v
68 
Philips 150X
63 
Sharp LL-T1501A
59 
 

The Rad-5's test performance will catch you by surprise. Its sharpness and color rendition are fully competitive with current models that cost up to $400 more.
  • Samsung CF791

    The 34-inch Samsung CF791 is a great size for gaming, pairs well with midrange Radeon...

  • Dell UltraSharp 27 U2717D

    The 27-inch UltraSharp U2717D monitor performs well, but don't overpay for it.

  • Acer Predator XB2 XB272

    The Predator XB272 is an above-average G-sync display that can keep up with your GeForce...

  • Dell 24 S2417DG

    Dell's S2417DG budget gaming monitor delivers on high refresh rates and Nvidia features.

This week on CNET News

Discuss KDS Rad-5