Articles: Monitors

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2D Mode

The iZ3D can work in 2D mode, being similar to a regular TN-based 22-incher then. It has a resolution of 1680x1050 and a refresh rate of 60Hz. The second matrix does not affect the image unless you take a look at the screen at a sharp angle from a side or from below: the screen then appears to have a specific shimmering texture under the glossy coating. This angle should be as sharp as 50-60 degrees to the normal, so it is virtually impossible to see this effect at normal work. The iZ3D is better than the Zalman in this respect because the latter’s screen appears to be ruled with thin horizontal lines.

For working in 2D mode you can just connect the monitor to your graphics card with one cable, using the Back connector. The monitor’s Power indicator will be blinking then, which is rather irritating. For the indicator to shine constantly, you must not only connect a second cable, but also extend Windows’ Desktop to the second monitor. This is not very handy. Although the second monitor is indeed present (it is the additional LCD matrix of the iZ3D), you can only see the picture it produces when you put on the polarizing eyeglasses. When working with the monitor in 2D mode, I would regularly lose the mouse pointer and I had to return it to the main display by moving the mouse left and up or put on the eyeglasses.

If Windows thinks that the graphics card’s main output is the one the additional matrix is connected to (via the Front connector), you will see an empty Desktop without any icons, Start button and mouse pointer. In this case you should exchange the cables or put on the eyeglasses (you’ll see the picture on the additional matrix then, even though somewhat vague), open the display properties window and mark the other display as the primary one.

The monitor is not calibrated well originally. Even without any tools I could see that its gamma was too low. The picture was faded, whitish, with too bright shadows.

And my measurements agree: the gamma curves all go higher than the ideal curve for gamma 2.2. As I noted above, the single setting in this monitor’s menu is Brightness. This is due to the necessity of accurate adjustment of the stereo mode driver for the monitor’s gamma curves. Any adjustment of the shape of the curves would require a modification of the driver’s operating algorithm. This is also the reason why all the color reproduction settings in the graphics card driver must be set at their defaults. The brightness is regulated by means of backlight modulation at a frequency of 271Hz and does not affect color reproduction. The iZ3D displays both darks and lights without problems through the entire range of the brightness setting. Color gradients are displayed without defects, too.

The color gamut is standard as today’s monitors go. It is somewhat larger than sRGB in greens and nearly coincides with it in reds and blues.

The iZ3D doesn’t offer any color temperature settings, so the table has only one column. The setup is sloppy: white is far warmer than gray, the difference between them amounting to 2500K.

The corresponding dots on the CIE diagram show that white has a greenish hue, but it is barely noticeable. The eye perceives parasitic hues in grays better, but there is almost no hue in gray here.

The maximum brightness in 2D mode is about 240 nits, which is more than enough for office applications and movies, but you should keep it in mind that the level of brightness is twice lower in 3D mode. Therefore it is preferable to play at this monitor in a dark room.

The minimum level of white is 107 nits whereas it is recommended to have a brightness of 70-100 nits, depending on ambient lighting, to work with text. To achieve this value you have to set the monitor’s brightness at 0 and then additionally lower it in the graphics card’s settings. You’ll have to reset the graphics card’s settings to their defaults before enabling stereo mode, though. Otherwise, there would be more artifacts in the 3D picture.

The monitor boasts superb uniformity of brightness. The average and maximum deflection of white brightness are 4.4% and 12.7%, respectively. For black brightness, the average and minimum are 3.0% and 8.9%, respectively. As the pictures based on the measurement results show you, the sides of the screen are somewhat darker than the rest of it on white. Black is totally uniform.

The monitor doesn’t have response time compensation and is not fast as the consequence. Its response time average is 14.4 milliseconds (GtG) with a maximum of 30 milliseconds. These are typical numbers of RTC-less monitors that have a specified response of 5 milliseconds. The iZ3D doesn’t differ from them in this respect.

So, even though the iZ3D is not set up perfectly, it does not have any fundamental problems due to its stereo ability. To remind you, the screen of Zalman’s Trimon seems to have thin but conspicuous horizontal lines or gaps in between the pixels.

Anyway, I wish iZ3D developers improved the initial setup of the monitor and equipped it with a full-featured onscreen menu. It would also be good to have a button for switching quickly between different levels of brightness (like MagicBright in Samsung’s monitors) because the effective brightness of the monitor is reduced twofold when you switch into 3D mode.

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