Besides the main menu, there is an f-Engine menu invoked with the “+” and “-” buttons. This means two things: 1) the signal processing system f-Engine is supposed to improve color reproduction and image contrast and 2) you can quickly browse through several presets.
The menu has four options: two f-Engine presets (“Text” and “Movie”), one user-defined preset and f-Engine off. The user-defined preset includes three parameters: brightness, ACE (this parameter determines sharpness and contrast of the image and can take one of the three available values), and RCM (determines saturation – four values).
I wouldn’t say peremptorily that f-Engine improves the image, it just makes it different. To my taste, for example, the “Movie” mode makes the colors too bright and many scenes in movies begin to look less natural than without the enhancement technology.
The monitor’s brightness and contrast settings are set to 100% and 70% by default. By choosing 30% brightness and 50% contrast I achieved 100nit brightness for white. Brightness is controlled with the backlight lamps modulated at a 300Hz frequency.
I have no complaints about the auto-adjustment feature – the sharpness of the image is superb. The monitor also had no problems displaying smooth color gradients, and its viewing angles are especially good for a TN+Film matrix.
The color curves look good at the default settings, save for the slightly too intensive blue color. The same is true for the reduced contrast levels (the brightness setting is adjusted with the lamps rather than with the matrix and cannot affect the color reproduction of the monitor).
The monitor allows choosing between five color temperature settings, but only two settings have names in the menu (6500K and 9300K). The remaining settings are marked with an asterisk in the table above and the order of the columns is the order of those settings in the menu.
As you can see, the color temperatures of the grays are rather too high than they should be.
The response time graph is quite typical for a TN+Film matrix. Although the specified response time is small (it is measured in the rightmost point of the graph), I wouldn’t call this matrix fast since its response time is almost 30 milliseconds at the maximum.
It’s worse with the contrast ratio: the level of black is so high that the monitor can’t even offer a contrast ratio of 200:1 at any settings. This is of course a poor result.
So, the L1740B is an average model from the technical point of view. Its low contrast ratio, relatively high response time, not very accurate color reproduction and lack of a digital input reduce its appeal for those people for whom functionality is the main priority. Yes, the monitor stands out with its unusual exterior, but while the ASUS PM17TS, for example, featured an elegant and smooth outline, the Flatron L1740B plays upon highly contrasting colors (matte black, glossy white, shiny metallic). As a result, this monitor will surely catch your eyes in the shop but may prove unhandy at everyday use, being distracting with its decorative details. I think that this model will suit people who rarely use their computer and pay more attention to the appearance of the computer rather than to its technical parameters or usability.