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CRT - Iiyama Vision Master Pro 454

Iiyama’s Vision Master Pro 454 uses the new 19” high brightness DiamondTron U2 CRT. The key difference between this and the previous DiamondTron M2 is a grille pitch of 0.24mm over the previous 0.25mm, which should bode well for image fineness and sharpness.

Like the previous tube, the U2 Diamontron also features the same three OPQ (Optimised Picture Quality) settings that have been designed to enhance the viewing of still pictures and moving images such as DVD movies. This is achieved by boosting the brightness and contrast to mimic the higher beam energies you would normally find in a standard TV set, In practice, our tests did show a marked improvement in DVD detail and colour production, but make sure the default text mode is used when working with standard office applications to avoid elevated blooming and ghosting.

Resolutions up to an impressive 2,046 x 1,536 at 80Hz are supported although best results are obtained using the recommended resolution of 1,280 x 1,024. Unfortunately, Iiyama does not supply a driver with the monitor in order to enable all of these resolutions and you are expected to download it from the website.

Features-wise there’s a built in USB hub with four ports on the right side of the base. This will undoubtedly appeal to users who need to connect and then disconnect peripheral USB devices on a regular basis. The hub is also self-powered rather than bus-powered, which means that it will happily accommodate high power devices that draw more than 100mA from the USB power line. As well as two non-captive D-SUB inputs mounted at the rear of the stand and a handy headphone jack located on the side, the Pro 454 also sports a small pair of amplified stereo speakers that are perfectly adequate for everyday office use if desk space is limited.

The bezel surrounding the screen is pleasantly rounded, which sets it apart from some of Iiyama’s previous designs. However, we found that the unit moves very lightly on its base, particularly in the vertical direction, which could be an issue for users who occasionally rest heavy objects such as books on top of their monitor.

Navigating the Iiyama’s complicated OSD is a fairly arduous task and is possibly the worst example in the group. One particularly annoyingly trait is the inability to manually exit the OSD once you’ve finished using it. Nevertheless, the OSD is comprehensive carrying controls for horizontal and vertical convergence, gamma correction, and an sRGB mode for unifying colour appearance between equipment.

The Pro 454 performed most of our tests very well, particularly with its vibrant colour performance. Horizontal colour registration was spot on and colour purity was uniform for each RGB channel. We also found the monitor’s overall picture resolution and geometry both difficult to fault. However, vertical colour registration was slightly out at the top and bottom of the screen, which was difficult to correct. Power regulation was on a par with the NEC/Mitsubishi and second only to the Philips. We did find some slight evidence of background interference that persisted even after moving the monitor to a different location and changing the D SUB cable.

Verdict
Assuming the over sensitive stand is a one-off, the Vision Master Pro 454 is a fine monitor with some useful additional features. However, the awkward and outdated OSD is a hindrance and the Pro 454 isn’t the cheapest. As a result, it misses out on first place.

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