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As I moved the display round to look at the rear I noticed how thin the actual display is – about half the thickness of a Dell 2507 24in display. This is a large part due to the limited connectivity options, which means less electronics at the back. There’s simply a DVI connection, a VGA and an audio input for the built in speakers. These are actually hidden from view and point downwards, which is more discreet as speakers often look poor. How this affects sound quality, I’ll get onto later. The kettle lead power connector, plugs straight into the rear of the display so there’s no large power brick to accommodate.
The specifications are reasonable. The number of display colours listed is 16.7million, which indicates that this is a full 8-bit panel. Even so the refresh rate is given at a very reasonable 5ms, though I presume that this is a grey-to-grey figure, though it’s not stated in the manual.
The viewing angle is listed at 170 degrees on the horizontal plane but that’s stretching things a little and there’s a very noticeable colour shift in the vertical plane when you stand up.
There are five OSD buttons with direct access to brightness and contrast. One of the buttons is labelled Turbo and switches between modes with the options being, Picture Mode, Text mode and Economy. The OSD was a classic example of one that is confusing and hard to use, but the options are so limited that you won’t need to acess it much. You’ll find the best settings and just leave it at that.
Picture mode is the brightest, but still wasn’t that bright overall. This mode also pushed up the contrast too high, which actually caused all the lines in Excel and Outlook to disappear completely. Lowering the contrast and boosting the brightness control gave the best balance. Even so, one thing that was consistent was the lack of vivid colours, which appeared relatively dull and ‘under’ saturated. Running a twin monitor setup with the Mirai and a Dell 2407 and moving images and web pages across both screens showed a marked difference. The Dell is not one of the best displays I’ve used for colour accuracy but it was noticeably better than the Mirai. Skin tones has very little life to them and were pale and lacking in detail. This isn’t a display for photo editing, by any stretch of the imagination.
Playing games and watching video on the Mirai, these failings were less of an issue. If anything, what stood out was the smoothness of the images – a benefit of the low refresh rate. However, in video, the darker areas of the picture did suffer from a lack of detail. The black spaces seemed more like holes in the screen than part of the action.