Polyview V396 ReviewMikey 89 comments
This is my fourth LCD screen and my second 19 inch model. But this is the first screen I have owned with an 8ms response time, so I am rather excited to be finally using something that closely resembles the refresh rate of a CRT, but without the massive footprint on my desk or the headaches associated with staring at an electron gun 10 hours a day.
The Polyview V396 sports one of the nicer form factors to appear in recent times, which would look easily at home in front of a Macintosh as opposed to a Windows PC. It is good to finally see a shift away from the standard boring LCD form factor we have all come to know.
There were several other LCD screens within my budget with similar specs, but ultimately it was the distinguishing form factor of this monitor that sold me.
Buttons are easily accessible and control what is probably one of the better looking OSD's to been seen on a monitor. The all important AUTO button automatically adjusts the screen and sets 'Picture' mode, which is the nicest of the 3 settings and most suitable for daytime (well lit) use.
- Model: A190E3
- Type: S -396
- Input Interface: D-Sub and DVI
- Pixel Pitch: 0.294 mm
- Resolution: 1280 x 1024 / SXGA
- Display Color: 16.2 M
- Brightness: 320cd/m2
- Contrast Ratio: 500: 1
- Viewing Angle: Horizontal: 160, Vertical: 130
- Scan Rate: Horizontal: 30~82 KHz, Vertical: 56~76 Hz
- Display Area: 376 x301 mm
- Response Time: 8ms
- Power Source: AC Adapter 100~240VAC, 50/60Hz
- Weight: 4.7 kg (Including Stand)
- Speakers: 2.5W x 2
- Wall Mount: VESA Standard
- Dimensions: 438x445 x150 mm
- Power Consumption: 58W
- Power Saving State: 2W
- Function: Kensington Lock
- Pixel policy: 7 dead pixels before replacement
Whats in the box?
- Polyview V396 LCD monitor
- DVI monitor cable
- Standard 15pin d-sub monitor cable
- CD instruction manual (PDF format)
- Mains power cable
- Hard copy quick setup manual
- Audio cable
When propped up on my desk, the monitor appeared to be tilted about 15 degrees downward left. A check with a spirit level quickly confirmed my desk was at fault, not the monitor. And there was much rejoice...
Connecting to my PC was as easy as expected, although fitting the DVI cable required a little extra effort due to it having to be navigated over the rear stand hump. The D-Sub connection has a clear path.
Flexing the rear stand arm easily allows changing of the monitor angle. Unfortunately for me as my desk has a raised section for a monitor that sits at near eye level, I was unable to position the monitor at an angle I desired (parallel to my face). This is not the fault of the monitor however, but something to consider if you have to position the monitor high. The solution was to sit up in my chair for a change. I am always up for improving posture.
Windows instantly recognised the monitor as a plug'n'play device so no drivers were required to be installed. Although I did expect drivers on the supplied CD, alas there were none.
This is something to behold. The predecessor to this monitor was my faithful , which despite its 20ms response, had an amazingly vibrant picture which I have not seen in a LCD since, until now.
The image quality on the Polyview V396 is significantly better. Whites are amazingly bright without any colour flaring or bleeding. A full black screen does show a little backlight inconsistency but then when do we ever have that happening? Oh wait, I am currently playing 'X3 the Reunion '. Having said that, it was not even noticeable unless I looked for it.
Colours are reproduced with amazing vibrancy. It was not until I ran a few tests in Photoshop that I noticed a single stuck pixel. Firing up Dead Pixel Buddy sadly confirmed the presence of a single dead pixel. Against white, the pixel is a faint blue but against red, it sticks out quite clearly. Six more of them and I will qualify for a replacement. And here I was thinking dead pixels were a thing of the past. I will have to live with it for now. Luckily it is only noticeable when I look for it.
Video playback is much better than what I am used to in an LCD, with blurring during fast action sequences now a thing of the past.
But my main focus for this monitor was to see how it performs in modern gaming scenarios. My old 20ms Samsung made playing games borderline acceptable. I never had any complaints finishing Half-Life 2 or F.E.A.R., but there were times where I did miss the response of a CRT.
So my first test was with Celestia, although not a game, it does show off space scenes which are prone to blurring on bad LCD screens. On my old Samsung the stars would near completely disappear anytime you moved about the universe.
To my absolute delight, it looked better than I had hoped. The 8ms response time is more than ample to clearly see the Celestia universe in its glory. So much that I upped the amount of onscreen stars without any noticeable image degradation.
Without going into too much detail, I did notice a significant improvement when gaming. I tested with six fast action games, Half-Life 2, F.E.A.R, X3-The Reunion, Battlefield 2, Far Cry, and IL2 Forgotten Battles.
The monitor rendered frames without any noticeable blurring, although frame tearing was apparent on some games (not the monitors' fault), this was easily remedied by activating v-sync in the driver settings.
Although technically a 3d application, has always shown considerable blurring for me in the past, so it was great to be able to see the Earth spin clearly for a change as I zoomed from location to location.
Desktop use is great albeit hardly challenging for any monitor, but web browsing and document reading in particular did show improvement when scrolling down pages, with text still easily readable while the page moves, and no ghosting.
Apart from the dead pixel, I could not be happier with the Polyview V396, unless it was free. For a staggeringly low price of around $AU450, 8ms response time, unique form factor, brilliant image quality and multiple inputs, the Polyview V396 is well worth considering if you are in the market for a new monitor.
- Nice form factor
- 8ms response time
- Brilliant image quality
- Good gaming, movies and 2D application performance
- Nice onscreen GUI
- Easily accessible buttons
- Mains powered
- Multiple inputs (D-Sub and DVI)
- Built in speakers
- Adjustable angle
- Dead pixel on arrival (hopefully an isolated incident)
- 7 dead pixel policy is a little high
Update, 18th April 2006:It appears my v396 has developed an odd fault. I have emailed the manufacturer and the store of purchase to see where I stand. When I get a response I will post it here.
Also, I get a lot of email requests asking about the wallpaper shown in the photo of the monitor at the top of this review page. It is from a series called . Google is your friend :-)