In terms of picture quality the X486S-B1 was impressive. In Windows the high glare contrast filter was one of the most effective we’ve ever seen, creating really vivid, strong colours and giving a very noticeable smooth and shiny sheen to images. The extra level of brightness definitely helped in an office environment but the reflectivity was still there, which may bother some. This is really a monitor that will look better in the dark.
There’s a good range of image adjustment options in the OSD, and you can choose between, 9,300K, 7,500K, and 6,500K colour temperatures as well as sRGB and a custom colour setting. If you need maximum brightness the custom setting really pumps it out, as we proved in our Display Mate tests, which showed compression on the colours on the far right of the colour scales test. However, choosing any of the other settings delivered excellent results, with the 6,500K temperature offering the best balance.
Watching HD material revealed plenty of detail in dark areas giving weight to the claim of a 700:1 contrast ratio, while colours were pleasing natural. In games, such as TrackMania and Counter-Strike: Source the smoothness of the images was unequivocal thanks to the 2ms response time. This low figure is inevitably achieved by the display only offering only 6-bit colour gamut, i.e. 262,144 colours. The Iiyama is able to switch colour states quickly to achieve the very low response time, at the expense of colour range, but IIyama has partially made up for this with the very effective colour contrast coating. In terms of colour fidelity I’d say that in this was the best 6-bit panel I’ve seen.
The X486S –B1 then, is a success. While I was willing to dismiss it out of hand for not being widescreen, it excels in all areas. However, when it comes down to it, I personally would still go for a widescreen for a gaming display and feel it may struggle because of it. You may feel differently and if you are happy then you’ll be getting a good display at a decent price. You just may regret losing out when widescreen gaming on the PC is the norm.
The X486S-B1 is a bit of an odd fish. With a high contrast coating, a 2ms response time and nifty design it’s clearly aimed at gamers – but the problem is that it’s not widescreen. This will put many off and prevents it from winning an award. However, if for some reason you’re not bothered by this, you’ll be getting a display that offers excellent picture quality for the price and useful features.
Score in detail
Image Quality 9