- Page 1 Sony SDM-E96D 19in Monitor
- Page 2 Sony SDM-E96D 19in Monitor
The screen uses Twisted Nematic (TN) technology, which is the most affordable. A key issue with TN technology are the viewing angles. Stand above the Sony and all the whites shift into a purple mess and things aren’t much better when moving from side to side. You have to be right in front of the screen to see the screen properly. This makes it harder to share information, though in a busy office with sensitive data on screen this could be a benefit.
The response time is given as a healthy 8ms, which is what you’d expect from a 6-bit panel. Among the OSD controls you can run the backlight right down to zero, choose between colour temperatures or just use sRGB. Brightness and contrast are fixed in this mode.
Brightness is indeed one of the shortcomings of this monitor. The immediate impression of the screen after plugging it in and marvelling at the expanse of Post-It note and pen shelf areas are that the image is dull and uninspiring. Icons in Windows are not particularly sharp and the edges of letters while typing in Word seemed to have a ghostly border.
Firing up our Display Mate tests, and the results weren’t pretty. The 64-step greyscale test revealed patches of green tinges across the screen, while the 256 Intensity Level Ramp displayed severe banding in the green band. The full red screen also appeared quite pale. This then isn’t an ideal monitor for photo editing.
Movie watching revealed the same issues. The images were undoubtedly smooth thanks to the 8ms response time but colours look remarkably subdued, with the greens from the forest in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon looking lifeless and dull. Gaming proved to be equally underwhelming.
The Sony’s forte then should be general office use, such as word processing and web browsing. However, here the lack of sharpness means that it doesn’t do well here either. The screen looked as if it had a problem with the alignment, with severe colour fringing that text on a white background really highlights.
The screen is useable but considering its problems its £173 asking price doesn’t really seem like the bargain it did initially.
The only types I can see going for this is someone who wants to fill their office with Sony branded screens but doesn’t want to spend a lot of money, someone that’s taken with the design, or anyone who really, really needs somewhere to put their Post-Its.
The Sony SDM-E96D sleek design gives it a very different look, but a close examination of the screen reveals its bargain basement origins. If you’re not bothered about image quality and just need a Sony logo on your desk then it’s a goer, but otherwise it’s a case of style over substance.
Score in detail
Image Quality 4