Sony has had a long and illustrious past when it comes to monitors and by the looks of things itâ€™s still willing to take bold steps forward as demonstrated by the companyâ€™s renamed headline grabbing X-Black screens that feature in many of its laptops.
So as you can imagine we were half expecting the SDM-S204H to come newly fitted with one of said panels. Well, this wasnâ€™t to be and instead a pretty standard 20.1in active matrix TFT-LCD was found sitting at the centre of a matt grey chassis.
After that anti-climax, one of the most striking features of this monitor is its very thin bezel â€“ one of the thinnest on test at only 13mm down the sides. The circular base with built in 350 degree swivelling turntable and long cylindrical neck also sets the SDM-S203H apart from the other monitors here. However, donâ€™t expect too much in the way of functionality as this screen cannot be raised or pivoted.
Around the back, a cover on the neck can be removed to reveal a small void complete with a couple of integrated cable clips for securing the cables in place. For the same purpose, a third cable clip is also positioned near to the two D-SUB ports and DVI-D connector. Sony has also made a further effort to hide all these away by fitting a removable panel to the rear of the chassis, giving rise to a very clean and minimalist appearance.
As mentioned above, there are a total of three inputs to choose from so those worried about graphics card compatibility neednâ€™t worry, especially when Sony has provided both a DVI and D-SUB cables. Furthermore, thereâ€™s also the possibility of marrying this display with up to three PCs simultaneously, although only one signal at a time can be selected using the input button discretely mounted with the other controls on the right side.
Talking of controls there are seven buttons in total, four of which are used to navigate and operate the OSD. The other three cover power on/off, an ECO mode with four settings (User-defined, Low, Middle, and High), all of which reduce the power consumption by lowering the backlight bightness, and of course the button for the aforementioned input select.
Whereas the OSD is clear, moving around the menus wasnâ€™t. Once again, in order to exit you must either scroll up through the functions to a return icon, or you just wait till it times out. All in all though, thereâ€™s the usual set of adjustments including three gamma levels and a smoothing setting when using an analogue signal.