Eizo FlexScan S1921SH review

Price when reviewed

Almost every Eizo monitor we’ve reviewed has delivered excellent quality, but has been accompanied by a hefty price. However, with several manufacturers also submitting TFTs costing well over £200, that isn’t the case this month. Yes, £246 is a lot to spend on a 19in monitor, but in the case of the FlexScan S1921SH you really do get what you pay for.

Eizo FlexScan S1921SH review

Take a look at the graphs on p122 and one thing becomes clear from the start: this isn’t an entertainment TFT. The only reason it doesn’t score six for quality is the fact that it struggled through some of the real-world tests. But this is slightly unfair, since the S1921SH isn’t meant for watching video and playing games.

However, for photo editing and detailed colour work, it’s fabulous. The secret lies in the 10-bit gamma correction (the majority of TFTs sport 8-bit), which effectively upscales the output of your graphics card to use more tones for each primary colour. It’s therefore able to more smoothly blend colours into each other. The result was superb accuracy in all our photo tests.

The only points dropped in the technical tests were due to some minor unevenness in the backlight and a slightly dull white level. Maximum brightness is only 250cd/m2, which provides the explanation, but the 1,000:1 contrast means the black level is remarkable and in all other technical tests quality was nearing perfection.

The S1921 comes with a choice of three stands, and the SH model’s Columnar Foot is one of the best this month. It’s height adjustable by 100mm, swivels far enough to be useful and pivots for editing portrait photos. The single upstream USB port allows the ScreenManager software to communicate with the TFT, even changing colour modes automatically for specific applications.

The integrated speakers are poor, but there’s a rare headphone output for convenience. There’s also an ambient light sensor, although as with others here we found this often dimmed the brightness too much, so we quickly disabled it. Finally, it’s a shame the warranty isn’t on-site, but it does cover the TFT for five years.

If you need accurate colours, consider the Eizo. It’s far more affordable than the professional models such as LaCie’s 319 and easily deserves its Recommended award this month.

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