Iiyama ProLite E1700S review
In last month’s 17in TFT Labs, we looked at the feature-packed Iiyama ProLite X436S-B, which offered such extras as an ambient light sensor and a motion detector, but fell down slightly on image quality. By comparison, the E1700S is just about as bare as can be, but it offers decent performance at a reasonable price.
The features that are present can be counted on one hand, with DVI-D and D-SUB inputs (both cables are also supplied) and a 3.5mm audio input. This feeds the pair of integrated 1W speakers, which are usable, but struggle to produce the necessary oomph for gaming or movies. The stand tilts forward and back, but offers no other adjustments, and the overall styling is minimalist, if pleasantly rounded. A Kensington security slot is present on the back, along with the standard VESA wall-mount fitting.
However, a monitor such as the E1700S is bought not for its versatility, but for its value and image quality, and in this respect it performs pretty well. It initially took a bit of setting up, but the OSD posed no real problems, using the list menu format common to many manufacturers. It contains all the options you’d expect, with three preset colour temperatures and the standard brightness and contrast controls.
At default settings, we found the Normal colour temperature to be a little cold and uninspiring, but a slight manual reduction of the blue level brought some much-needed warmth to the picture. It still slipped into a slight greenish hue at times, but it’s a small complaint.
The 600:1 contrast gave our test images a good dynamic range, even bringing out detail in the difficult dark areas. Scenes from The Lord of the Rings gave similar results: caves showed scarred walls through the gloomy shadows and outdoor scenes showed accurate colours. The 5ms response time is more than fast enough to ensure we saw no blurring on fast movement, and gaming was similarly lag-free.
The E1700S isn’t perfect, with skin tones in some scenes retaining that previous coldness and, overall, a slight lack of sharpness. We also saw significant banding in our colour ramp tests, although we didn’t notice this so much in real-world applications. To put it in perspective, it holds its own among the mid-range performers last month.
At £121, the Iiyama’s main problem is that cheaper monitors are available. If you just want a quality office TFT at a low price, last month’s Sony SDM-E76D costs £115 and may well be better suited to your needs. It certainly has the edge in terms of style too. If you’re feeling brave and want to save as much money as possible, you could take the plunge on a generic model. Alternatively, if entertainment is a priority, we recommend spending a little more on the £132 NEC MultiSync LCD175VXM+.
There isn’t a great deal wrong with the E1700S, but there’s a lot of competition in this price bracket with precious little difference in quality. Unfortunately for Iiyama, the E1700S simply doesn’t offer enough to stand out from the crowd.