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Zalman ZM-M2020W Trimon 3D Monitor - Zalman ZM-M2020W
The excessive reflectivity of the ZM-M2020W practically rules it out for general PC use, because it's simply too distracting. I tried writing this review using the Zalman, but I just couldn't concentrate on what I was doing since my eyes kept wondering to the entire office behind me, which was clearly discernable no matter how many windows or applications I had open.
The issue with the glossy coating is a shame, because when you take that out of the equation the ZM-M2020W produces some pretty impressive images. Firing up DisplayMate proved that colour accuracy is spot on in most instances, while the Zalman showed no signs of compression at the high or low intensity ends of the spectrum. Take ambient light out of the equation and this is a very impressive general purpose display, but most people don't tend to work at their PC in the dark.
Of course I accept that this screen isn't aimed at the average PC user, and it's the 3D aspect that's the real USP, and here it's hard to fault what Zalman has done. As I said at the beginning of this review, I was quite sceptical about the whole concept of a 3D monitor, but the first time I fired up a game and donned the bundled stereoscopic glasses I was, quite frankly, blown away!
One important thing to note about the 3D side of things, is that it only works with nVidia hardware. You're basically going to need a GeForce 6 series or above to get the effect, which should account for a significant amount of gamers out there. Whether the lure of 3D gaming is enough to make you switch from ATI to nVidia is questionable, but it's good to see nVidia investing in more than just shifting polygons.
Boston - the company who supplied the ZM-M2020W for review - also supplied me with a PC to drive it, and on this PC was a selection of games to test the screen with. I kicked things off with Tomb Raider Anniversary, because, let's face it, if ever there was a game that cried out for realistic 3D it's Tomb Raider! To say that Lara makes an impression on this screen is an understatement of epic proportions, and her curves have simply never looked so real. But it wasn't just Lara that impressed, the level of depth in the image is quite staggering, giving you a real sense of distance between objects in the foreground and those in the background.
If you're worried about having to wear big, heavy glasses to get the 3D effect, don't be. The bundled glasses look just like a normal (although somewhat low rent) pair of sunglasses, in the RayBan Wayfarer mould. For all of you out there who wear glasses, you'll be happy to know that clip on lenses are also bundled, allowing you to keep your prescription specs on.