Without doubt, fast response time monitors are becoming ever more common. In fact, the 8ms H431S is the third 17in LCD monitor I’ve reviewed in as many weeks and as far as first impressions go, I’m suitably pleased. Why am I pleased? Well, with me it’s not all about response time, but rather the combination of picture quality, features and value for money that are more important. In these respects, Iiyama has got it spot on.
Let’s talk about price and features. For just £208, the H431S offers everything the adjustment fanatic could wish for. For instance, the stand’s neck effortlessly raises the screen through 11cm thanks to its integrated spring-assisted mechanism and the panel swivels from side-to-side in a 70 degree arc. You can even pivot the display through 90 degrees for a portrait orientation that makes writing and editing text very comfortable, Of course, you’ll have to rotate your Windows desktop too, but this is easily done by either selecting the appropriate option in your graphics card driver, or by running the Pivot Pro software that’s supplied with each monitor. To possess all of these adjustments at this price point is pretty rare, a fact that is reflected in our scoring system.
As for the overall design, the H431S received a mixed reception from the others in the office. There were a few comments about its styling being a little dated, which to some extent I would agree with. The chassis does look very similar to older Iiyama LCDs, but to me design is a subjective thing, and I quite like the H431S’s boxier looks. Having said that, the versatile stand is a newly revamped addition to the H-Series range, and if you’re a fan of Star Wars I’m sure the stand’s base will remind you of a certain emblem of alliance.
Despite the keen price, Iiyama has ensured that the feature-set remains high. A narrow bezel frames the picture unobtrusively, with the lower part housing the OSD controls, a set of built-in speakers, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. In order to feed the speakers with sound, an audio input jack is vertically mounted around the back, next to the socket for the integrated power supply. Now, as is common with many LCD speakers, the audio generated by these little units is very weak and tinny, with a distinct lack of bass. Don’t expect to truly appreciate your tunes with these, but for highly compressed audio and video streams, along with those simple OS dings and beeps, they should be ok.
Also around the back, is a decent set of connectors. You have both a D-SUB port and a DVI-D one, the latter of which can only accept a digital signal (unlike a DVI-I port which can accept a digital and an analogue signal). Either way, you have dual connectivity and not a single captive cable in sight. Furthermore, Iiyama throws in all the necessary cables for each port, and the stand even has a small and simple cowling for routing the wires.