Scan3XS VP12 review

£1299
Price when reviewed

While there are many 20in and 22in widescreen TFTs this month, the Scan’s 20in Dell 2005FPW is the best of the bunch. It’s fully adjustable, pivots to portrait mode and has S-Video and composite for connecting other video sources. The Dell’s image quality is on a par with the best models here too.

Scan3XS VP12 review

It’s a particularly good start for the Scan 3XS VP12, and you can use all 20in to make the most of the included Hauppauge Nova-T digital TV card and Vista’s built-in Media Center. A set of excellent Logitech 5.1 speakers and Microsoft’s decent Wireless Laser Desktop 6000 keyboard and mouse completes a very good entertainment package, ideal for a bedroom or study where it can replace a TV.

The 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo E6600 is a fine performer, scoring 1.46 overall, and it’s helped by 2GB of RAM on Intel’s P965 chipset. Storage certainly won’t be a problem thanks to the 400GB hard disk and DVD writer, and there’s an eSATA port on the back for an extra disk.

But compromises have been made elsewhere to meet the price point, most notably in terms of graphics. The GeForce 7950 GT is a great-value card, but it can’t hope to compete with the GeForce 8800s elsewhere for power: it scored 43fps and 35fps in Far Cry and Call of Duty 2, leaving little headroom for this year’s forthcoming titles.

And while the warranty is on-site, it only covers the VP12 for a single year, the final year of warranty being return-to-base, labour-only cover. Aside from this and the graphics card, the Scan is a well-constructed machine with a useful TV tuner and a very flexible display. If these features are more important than gaming power, it’s well worth considering.

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