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Sony 18" TFT Review

By Hanspeter Amend

I bought the Sony (SDM-M81) 18'' TFT monitor in fall 2001 because in T-Zone Shinjuku and Yodobashi Camera Shinjuku I had seen its brilliant colors and excellent resolution. The price at that time was very competitive and I compared the offers - including tax and delivery - at the following places:

Sunshine tel.        03-5812-3808
JB-C                   On-line
Success               03-3526-5940

The monitor was delivered to my home and after I connected it to a laptop the screen was black. I called the friendly English Sony monitor service and was told before they could do anything, they'd have someone come to verify if it was black. A few days later three service men came and found that the screen indeed was black. Therefore it was decided to initiate the procedure for exchange. The service men informed me that someone for exchanging the monitor would be ordered to come and left. The exchange person came 3 days later and exchanged the monitor. The replaced monitor was black again. After the service man had called for 40 mins. to this office the situation was still unchanged. Then I suggested that we might have to first turn on the monitor and then boot the computer. That worked. We could see an image. But it was blurred. Therefore we tried the other monitor, the one I had originally purchased. That was even worse. The serviceman said, he was not in charge for monitor settings and would see that a specialist for settings would come.

He left me with the better monitor. 3 days later the monitor settings specialist came and when he saw the monitor, he said the problem was not settings but the monitor itself. He would therefore initiate another monitor exchange. I suggested to test the next monitor at their site before bringing it. That was agreed. I asked the service man if he would do the test personally. He said either he or his boss. A few days later the third monitor came.

I tested it with the correct settings - this time on a desktop and not on a notebook - and it worked fine.

The monitor DOESN'T HAVE A SINGLE BROKEN TRANSISTOR. The resolution is the best I have ever seen in 18" monitors and surpasses that of many smaller TFT monitors. Because everything displayed on the monitor is a bit relatively smaller compared to a 15" relatively much more is displayed. So for instance the start up menu displays relatively more items, a significant advantage.

The monitor is very bright, most of the time I set the brightness to its minimal value. When viewing images I set the brightness to 50% of its maximum value. The color rendition is excellent.

Overall I'd say an excellent product with generous and friendly - but somewhat demanding - service.

© Algorithmica Japonica Copyright Notice: Copyright of material rests with the individual author. Articles may be reprinted by other user groups if the author and original publication are credited. Any other reproduction or use of material herein is prohibited without prior written permission from TPC. The mention of names of products without indication of Trademark or Registered Trademark status in no way implies that these products are not so protected by law.

Algorithmica Japonica

April , 2002

The Newsletter of the Tokyo PC Users Group

Submissions : Editor

Tokyo PC Users Group, Post Office Box 103, Shibuya-Ku, Tokyo 150-8691, JAPAN