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Sharp LL-T2020-H

At £968.20, the LL-T2020-H is the most expensive display in the group test, and as you might expect for the money you pretty much get all the features and performance you’re ever likely to need in a TFT monitor – apart from a set of speakers that is, which isn’t such a great loss considering the quality of the audio from those that do sport them.

Taking a closer a look at the design, Sharp has encased the panel in a whitish-grey, or “frosty grey” as the company likes to call it. It’s certainly not beige, but if that’s not to your taste it’s also available in black, although the TCO rating drops back down from the ’99 to the '95 standard in that guise. This is a bit strange since with the introduction of TCO'03 black bezel monitors can be given TCO'99 accreditation. So we're not sure why Sharp's black bezel screen can only manage TCO'95. The bezel is also delightfully narrow measuring just 17mm wide – perfect if you want to line up several of these monitors in a multiple display setup.

Like the Samsung, and ViewSonic units, the neck of the Sharp's stand raises under a sprung mechanism (through 60mm), pivots round 90 degrees for a portrait orientation ideal for text work, and swings from side to side (45 degrees each way) – all with very little effort. The neck also incorporates a removable cover behind which you tuck away all the cabling for a neat and tidy appearance. That said, in our opinion the build quality of the stand is not as high as expected. In fact, the casing felt a little flimsy whereas the removable cover’s snap-together hooks looked a tad brittle and could be prone to snapping if you’re a bit heavy handed.

In terms of connectivity, the LL-T2020-H is one of only two displays that offers a USB hub, the other being the unit from ViewSonic. The Sharp has one upstream but only two downstream ports compared to the four on the ViewSonic. Also, unlike the ViewSonic monitor, it only conforms to the USB 1.1 standard instead of the faster USB 2.0. Basically this means that any USB2.0 device you decide to hook up will immediately drop down to the older and slower standard. As for the rest of the connectors these consist of two DVI-I ports which of course can accept an analogue signal as well as a digital one if your graphics card only sports a D-SUB port. Whether you have a D-SUB or DVI-enabled graphics card shouldn’t matter when it comes to cables as Sharp kindly includes each type, along with a USB lead for the hub and a cleaning cloth for the screen.

Moving onto the OSD, this was found to be relatively intuitive to operate thanks to the controls that are spread over five buttons, with the sixth for solely switching the power on and off. As a quick breakdown, the buttons cover input selection, menu enter/exit, sub-menu selection and a pair of setting adjustment buttons that double up as shortcuts for varying the brightness. A quick delve into the available settings also reveals a very a comprehensive array of controls and colour adjustments. To highlight several that really stand out, there’s complete adjustment for colours RGBCMY as well as hue and saturation. 10-bit gamma adjustment is also present as are the typical modes for sRGB, colour temperature, analogue clock/phase, and screen position.

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