Iiyama ProLite E431S
I tested the previous model from Iiyama (the E430S) some time ago (see our roundup called Closer Look at 17” LCD Monitors Features: Pixel Response Time) to find that it was not a brilliant, but quite satisfactory model. The specifications of the new model suggest that it uses a fast 16msec matrix, so first we should pay attention to its color reproduction and viewing angles as these two parameters are often far from perfect in fast matrixes.
The appearance of the ProLite E431S doesn’t greatly differ from the older model. We have the same compact case and small base that allows controlling the screen tilt. Unfortunately, a manufacturing flaw was soon revealed: the upper part of the case bends out in a curve (for about a millimeter) and it seems like the onscreen image is curved in as with a carelessly set-up CRT monitor.
The monitor is equipped with both: analog and digital inputs (although I didn’t find a DVI cable in the package), audio input, headphones output and integrated speakers. The power adapter is external. The Power button is highlighted with a blue LED; the LED is not too bright and is not disturbing even if you work in full darkness.
The menu is nice, but of average user-friendliness, as it is divided into three parts for you to switch between. Anyway, the most popular settings (brightness, contrast and volume) are accessed with quick buttons. It is also one button that switches between the inputs; if you hold it down for a while, auto-adjustment is enabled.
Small viewing angles often come in with fast matrixes, and this monitor was no exception. On the other hand, they were better than in first LCD models on 16msec matrixes, at least the horizontal angles don’t cause any serious discomfort at work. The vertical angle is worse: you simply cannot make the screen shine evenly. If you look at the screen from below, the top of the screen seems dark; when viewed from above, it becomes too light. In other words, you’ll get either dark top (compared to the central part of the screen) or a whitish bottom. You shouldn’t move your head too to the side: white becomes yellowish, and black – silverish. So this monitor is best viewed directly, with your line of sight perpendicular to the screen.
The color reproduction capabilities of the monitor are surprisingly good. Of course, the matrix is 18-bit, but the dithering implementation is so good that you don’t notice it. This monitor suits for working with photographs.
The menu offers three gamma and five color temperature settings. The first three color temperature settings correspond to 8000K/10890K (for white/gray), 6710K/7700K and 6240K/6790K. The fourth setting – sRGB – corresponds to 6250K for white and 6770K for gray. It differs from the third setting by considerably lower brightness plus the gamma settings and the Economy Mode become blocked. The fifth setting is user-defined; by default it is 6100K for white and 7770K for gray and the brightness control is at its maximum (as the RGB sliders are at their maximum).