iiyama Prolite E2403WS 24" TFT Page: 1
Introduction & Specifications
Liquid Crystal Display (or LCD for short) was first introduced into the laptop market back in the early 1990's. Plagued with problems such as poor colour reproduction, poor contrast and slow response times (resulting in ghosting of fast moving images), many people saw no need to replace the well established Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) technology with such an inferior product. However, with a footprint a fraction of the size of an average CRT and much lower power requirements, it wasn't long before people started realising how good the LCD could be if it was brought to the desktop user market.
Now 18 years down the line, LCD is the defacto standard with both home and office users alike. Able to produce a picture as good as - if not better than a quality CRT, LCD has sent the bulky old beige box packing. In addition to this, significant improvements have been made to screen response times, with almost all modern displays being able to handle fast moving images with ease and relatively no ghosting.
One company that has undoubtedly seen many of these changes take place - and for the most part been someway involved in them, is iiyama. Founded in 1973, iiyama initially started out as a manufacturer of black & white televisions before moving into the PC monitor market around 5 years later. While it's quite possible that not many have come across iiyama in the past, my first encounter was back in the late 90's when I went to visit a friend, only to find that his wealthy parents had purchased him a 24" iiyama CRT (lucky bas**rd!!). Here is a short snippet about iiyama taken from their website
iiyama is one of the world's leading manufacturers of colour monitors. Efficiency, performance, reliability and user comfort are all key to the development of iiyama products.
Our success has been achieved by the consistent evolution of high quality product and by bringing them to market at an accessible price.
From day one, the emphasis was not along standard lines of mass production, but rather to apply the human element at all stages of the manufacturing process. This philosophy is still central to everything that iiyama creates and our research and development is based on the concept of creating people friendly product. Utilising the most up to date technology has also become an essential element of our manufacturing process and consolidated purchasing and global resourcing has ensured that we retain our competitiveness without compromising quality or features. New products will not be introduced to market unless we are certain that they offer a real benefit to the user and match our infamous price / performance ratio.
Today we're going to be looking at a relatively new model in iiyama's line-up, the Prolite E2403WS. Marketed as an LCD suitable for home, gaming and business use, the 24" display boasts a manufacturer rated 2000:1 contrast ratio and 2ms response time. iiyama are also quick to point out that E2403WS uses a TN (Twisted Nematic) panel type, which although offers excellent GTG (Grey to Grey) response times such as those seen in the specs chart, often suffers from poor viewing angles.
As we'll undoubtedly discuss over the next few pages, the screen also comes with a 3yr on-site warranty along with HD support via HDMI and additional features such as integrated speakers.
Anyway, as the saying goes, the proof of the screen is in the viewing, so let's quickly move on to some more interesting sections of the review.
iiyama Prolite E2403WS 24" TFT Page: 2
Packaging & Appearance
It's a well known fact that couriers like to play football with whatever they happen to have in the back of their delivery vans. For this reason, heavy yet fragile items such as TFT's need to be adequately protected against knocks, bumps and the occasional flattening by a 2 tonne Transit van. As we can see from the images below, the iiyama E2403WS is protected by a double-walled cardboard box, complete with a moulded polystyrine inner shell that provides the TFT with a reasonable degree of protection on all sides.
Contained within the box are all the basic cables to get you up and running along with an instruction manual and of course, the base. No driver disks are included, but unless you're unlucky enough to be running anything prior to Windows XP, your OS shouldn't have any problems using the screen to its full advantage. Pictured above-right are the three cables included in the box. From left to right these are: Speaker cable (3.5mm jack), D-Sub to D-Sub cable (regular VGA) and DVI to HDMI (for HD quality).
Constructed entirely from black plastic with a 20mm bezel around the top and sides of the screen, it has to be said that the iiyama E2403WS looks rather bland and doesn't really do much to seperate itself from most of the no-name brands on the market at the moment. Even just a hint of aluminium, some silver details or a proper badge could have spiced things up a bit, but in comparison to the likes of Dell, ASUS and Samsung the iiyama pretty much sent us to sleep.
Connectivity options are fairly standard for a TFT in the £250 price range, with VGA ,HDMI and Stereo jack being provided at the rear of the screen. As mentioned earlier in the review, the E2403WS has two speakers mounted just below the console at the front of the screen. Rated at 2w each, don't expect these to do much more than play basic Windows sounds.
Now that we've got to know the screen, let's see what she's like fired up!
iiyama Prolite E2403WS 24" TFT Page: 3
While the evaluation of a monitor is largely subject to personal opinion, ensuring that the testing is carried out in a controlled environment is essential to a fair review and any potential future comparisons. Therefore, the iiyama Prolite E2403WS was placed at eye-level with a 90° orientation from the base. All contrast, brightness and colour settings on the display were restored to their default values, and during testing the screen was operated at its native resolution of 1900x1200 / 60hz with 32-bit colour depth.
Furthermore, the screen was placed at a one metre distance from our ATI HD4850 based test system to reduce the chances of any electrical interference and left on for a full 5 minutes in order to warm up before any assessment was made. Finally, only the cables provided with the E2403WS were used to provide us with the best idea of how the screen will perform after being purchased by a consumer.
With Windows Vista being all about pretty colours and cool transparency effects, this seemed to be the perfect basis for our general Windows desktop tests. Please note that all images below were taken on a Sony DSC-F717 digital camera, with neutral white balance, manual focus and no flash.
The pebbles wallpaper seen above has a wide range of natural colours, and the iiyama E2403WS managed to reproduce each one perfectly. Colours were vibrant and and edges crisp, with the black background surrounding the pebbles actually looking black rather than a dark grey.
Interestingly, the Windows Start Menu did exhibit a small amount of colour banding as the gradient changes from black to light grey. While this was also present on our own Dell 2208WFP 22" screen, it was far less visible and could possibly just be down to the default brightness setting of both screens.
As mentioned previously, the E2403WS makes use of a TN panel. While the response time of these panels is generally extremely good, they often suffer from an inverted effect when viewed from extreme angles. However, as we can see from the images above (Left: Top-Down view, Right: Left-Right view), the iiyama does not suffer from these issues at all. Please also note that the yellow tinge exhibited in the right-hand image was caused by the artifical office lighting and not a defect of the screen.
Testing the iiyama gave us the perfect opportunity to get a few hours of gaming in during work-time! Chosen titles were Crysis and Unreal Tournament 3, both of which challenged the iiyama in a variety of areas, from response time to visual quality.
Starting off with the fast paced gaming and intense graphics of UT3, the iiyama did not disappoint. With excellent reproduction of the deep and eerie colours on some of the maps and no noticable ghosting even with multiple characters, explosions and flack all on the screen at the same time, the iiyama E2403WS proved itself to be a very capable screen for the adrenaline-fuelled FPS gamer.
Crysis was also equally as impressive, but this time for its sharpness and realism. With the detail levels set to Very High, 4x AA enabled and a resolution of 1900x1200, our graphics card may have only been able to give us a slide show, but it looked like a slideshow of holiday snaps rather than a washed out, pixelated game.
Once again please note that while the pictures taken above show diagonal lines running down the screen, these were not apparent to the naked eye.
Our final test was using the industry standard video testing suite: DisplayMate
. While this application was originally designed for CRT's back in the days of Windows 3.1, many of its testing procedures still apply to modern TFT's. Results from the test indicated that the default factory set brightness for the screen was up a tad too high, with some of the darkest black squares appearing as very dark grey. We also noticed a small amount of backlight bleed at the lower-right side of the screen, which was slightly disappointing. Other than this, the screen performed admirably with crisp colours, sharp images and a full colour range.
iiyama Prolite E2403WS 24" TFT Page: 4
With a price tag of around £250, it's fair to say that the iiyama Prolite E2403WS is positioned at the entry-level market. However, entry-level price certainly doesn't always equate to entry-level performance, and as we've seen from the results over on the previous page, the iiyama performed admirably. Our initial concerns regarding viewing angles with the TN panel used by iiyama were unfounded, and even when viewing the panel from an almost 180° angle the screen was still highly visible and did not suffer from any inversion of colours.
In both desktop applications and games, the screen was both vivid and sharp, with no visible ghosting in action movies or fast-paced games. For these reasons alone, the E2403WS should definitely make it onto the shortlist of any gamer. Testing the screen with DisplayMate did however reveal a slight issue with backlight bleed at the bottom-right corner of the screen, and while this was slightly visible with the desktop background set to black, it was completely unnoticeable during most other activities.
While it seems almost unfair to pick on the iiyama's looks considering its price, it's hard to finish this review without saying how down right dull it looks. Most manufacturers tend to make an effort to improve the appearance of their budget brands, even if it be with small details such as a different colour stand or fancy logo badge, but the iiyama's black plastic construction and printed-on model number make it instantly recognisable as a budget screen.
- No visible ghosting in games or movies
- No problems with viewing angles
- Crisp images and great colour depth.
- 3yr on-site warranty.
- Bland looks do nothing to disguise its budget price.
- No DVI port.
- Small amount of backlight bleed
Thanks to Afterhours
for providing the iiyama Prolite E2403WS for review. Discuss this review in our forums