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E-Yama 17JN1-S

Iiyama, a well-known manufacturer of high-quality but rather expensive monitors, has recently tried to expand its influence down into the lowlands of the market. First, they introduced the ProLite series of LCD monitors that mostly belong to the middle-range price category, and now they unroll products under the “e-Yama” brand. The name of Iiyama Corporation can now only be found on the sticker at the monitor’s back panel. The front panel doesn’t have it – Iiyama probably doesn’t want its name to be associated with cheap produce (the average retail price of the 17JN1-S is only $430 at the time of writing this, while the junior model of the ProLite series, the E430S, costs $60 more).

The monitor is realized in a simple case, typical for many other models of this price range (you could see an exception above – the BenQ FP757 with a rather unusual design for its price). The front panel is painted dark-silver; the rear panel and the base are made of dark-gray plastic. Four control buttons, a power-on LED and a power-on button are placed in a row below the screen. As you see, there’re no memorable features in this monitor, no that seriousness of the exclusive Iiyama style like in the ProLite series and other, more expensive models.

The monitor is equipped with an analog input only, and there’s no connector: the cable is fixed and you won’t have an opportunity to change it easily. The power adapter is integrated into the case.

The control menu is rather humble, but user-friendly. You can quick-access the auto-adjustment feature, the brightness and contrast settings.

There are four color temperature settings for you to choose from: “5400K” (when selected, this setting produces 5210K white and 7080K gray colors), “6500K” (5840K and 9160K), “9300K” (8140K white and 17,150K gray), and “User” (by default, it produces 5400K white and 8600K gray colors). Note the wide swing of the white and gray temperatures, especially for the “9300K” setting – they differ in more than two times!

By default, the monitor’s brightness setting is set to 80%, contrast to 100%. To reach 100nit screen brightness, I selected 75% brightness and 60% contrast. The brightness of this monitor is regulated by modulation of the backlight lamps at a frequency of about 120Hz.

I can’t say anything more about the image quality than about the monitor’s own appearance: it’s normal and that’s all. I couldn’t find any visual artifacts – auto-adjustment worked fine, the color gradients had a neat look, and there was no noise in the picture. However, the overall color reproduction quality quite fits into the definition of a standard office monitor, and nothing more.

The hardware check of the color reproduction quality revealed one deficiency: the monitor doesn’t distinguish between some white tones (“doesn’t distinguish” means it produces all color tones of a certain range as one and the same color – in this case, as white).

This problem is usually solved by reducing the contrast (as you know, high contrast kills light tones, but low contrast does the same with dark tones). This recipe didn’t help here, though. The problem persisted even at the settings that produce 100nit screen brightness.

The response time didn’t please me, either. Despite the 25msec promised by the specification, it nearly hit 40msec. Well, the enormously high pixel fall time mostly accounts for that, so it’s not quite as bad as it seems and the ghosting effect is not too evident: the pixel rise time is 27msec, which is an acceptable value. Of course, the pixel rise time grows up on black-to-gray transitions, but it doesn’t exceed much the responsiveness of other monitors with true 25msec matrixes, like the above-described Acer AL1715.

The contrast ratio remained at an average level, about 250:1. This is twice below the specification, but many monitors are inconsistent with their own specs. Then, although the declared maximum brightness is 300nit (well, I don’t quite understand what a typical inexpensive office monitor needs so much brightness for…), the real brightness is just above 200nit.

In fact, the e-Yama 17JN1-S joined the ranks of clone-like inexpensive monitors, mostly intended for office use. There’s not much sense in taking such a device home, as a rule. It is not enough good for watching photographs, not enough fast for playing games, not enough contrastive for movies… At the same time, as an inexpensive office monitor for text-processing, the e-Yama 17JN1-S can find its niche in the market, although it has no memorable features that would single it out of the crowd of other monitors of this category.

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