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Iiyama ProLite E2607WS 26in monitor - Iiyama ProLite E2607WS
Getting onto design, this newer, bigger Prolite is a step up from the Iiyama ProLite B2403WS 24in LCD Andy reviewed last year. The bezel is now a par-for-the-course glossy black, with a narrow inlay strip of brushed metal finishing off the attractive look at the bottom. The monitor's base protrudes a bit more from the front than I would have liked, but matches the chassis well with a two-tone glossy surround and matte centre.
The bezel is also relatively thin, and is kept clean of stickers or excess branding. The LED is an unusual pale purple-blue, which looks classy against the brushed metal, and the button icons are unobtrusive and stylish enough not to detract if noticed. Apart from the somewhat clunky-shaped base, the E2607WS can match the look of any other display in this price class.
Not only does this 26in monitor look far more attractive than its 24in cousin, but it's only around £20 more expensive! So what gives? Unfortunately, the cost cutting has gone into a stand with minimal adjustability, and this time round Iiyama offers only a little tilt compared to the B2403WS's additional height, rotation and pivot. And though it's rare enough to find good adjustability on most monitors above 24in, it's worth noting that the Hanns-G managed to include swivel and height for less money.
At least build quality is pretty faultless, with strong solid plastics throughout, and no sign of flex or creak. The entire back of the monitor is a print-resistant matte black, and the screen produces very little heat.
Button implementation is also very good, with the labels on the front making them really easy to identify. There are four main buttons - menu/back/1, down, up and enter/select/2 - allowing for simple one-handed operation, and their logical layout even makes them usable in the dark. Cleverly, 'down' acts as a shortcut to Contrast, Brightness, ACR and ECO. ACR refers to Adjustable Contrast Ratio (this disables brightness), while ECO reduces the backlight output permanently to use less electricity (and disables both brightness and contrast adjustments).
'Up' switches between Standard, Office, Movie, Game and Picture presets. Menu/back unsurprisingly calls up the menu, while enter/select switches inputs. Unfortunately, this is not something you'll want to do often or in a hurry, since switching is agonizingly slow - a failing many monitors share. The OSD is rather ugly, but at least colourful, clear and easy to understand. Though manual colour adjustment is available, options like sharpness are disabled when running at native resolution over a digital input.
While so far Iiyama has left little room for complaint - barring the lack of adjustability of the stand - it's now crunch-time as we look at the most important factor of any monitor: image quality. On paper, the ProLite E2607WS is very decent, with a claimed native contrast ratio of 1000:1 and a 2ms GTG response time. And fortunately, subjective impressions after playing with contrast and brightness aren't actually too bad - always taking into account that we're dealing with a TN here.