NEC AccuSync LCD1703M
The AccuSync LCD1703M is assembled in a compact and fairly elegant case. The front panel is made of silvery plastic, while the rear panel is black. The base allows changing the screen tilt, but in a very narrow range. The rubber legs of the base don’t stand firm on the desk – the monitor easily turns about at a slightest push.
The monitor is equipped with an analog video input; it also features an audio input and a headphones output. The power adapter is integrated into the case. The integrated speakers are no hi-fi, of course. They use tiny diffusers that just can’t provide a high volume or clarity of the sound. They are only any good for ICQ, system messages etc.
The menu with its two rows of large icons is simple and not very handy – it resembles menus of inexpensive monitors from other manufacturers. The sound volume setting and the auto adjustment feature can be accessed with quick buttons. The control buttons are all quite handy, save for the “<” button, which is sunken too deep into the case. The power-on key is highlighted with a mild green light-emitting diode that is no distraction if you’re working in a dark room.
NEC’s using such a menu made me suspect that the LCD1703M was an OEM product. Fortunately, I had an opportunity to have a look inside the monitor – I found that the matrix was the M170EN05 model from the Taiwan-based AU Optronics, a long-time partner of NEC. The electronics bears the Goodwell mark from the Hong-Kong-based Electronic Manufacturing Service, another long-time partner of NEC’s. Thus, I have no reasons to think that the LCD1703M is an OEM product. Yes, it is assembled at the Goodwell facilities, but by a direct order from NEC.
The brightness and contrast settings of the monitor are set to 80% and 50% by default. To achieve a screen brightness of 100 nits I dropped the brightness control to 65%, leaving the contrast intact. The monitor doesn’t offer any presets (like the above-described LightView technology) or quick access to brightness and contrast settings.
The menu offers three color temperature values: “Warm” (when selected, it yields 5960K white and 6560K gray), “Cool” (7430K white and 8920K gray) and “User” (6300K white and 8480K gray). By the way, in the last mode all three RGB sliders are at their maximums, resulting in a too bright screen. I also found a disturbing error in the monitor’s firmware – when switching to another color temperature setting, you automatically reset the brightness and contrast settings to their defaults. The gap between the temperatures of white and gray is acceptable for an inexpensive device marketed as an entry-level office model.