Zalman Trimon ZM-M240W review
If 3D is to really take off in the home, someone has to get both the technology and the pricing right. Nvidia’s active-shutter 3D Vision glasses cost £120 a pair – you’d best not sit on them – and that’s before you add the cost of a modern 120Hz TFT on top. At the other end of the scale sit Zalman’s Trimon polarised monitors, whose long-term strength is that replacing the glasses will only cost you a tenner.
Better still, the ZM-M240W is the first 24in TFT we’ve seen that’s capable of handling 3D. It’s a fairly plain-looking 1,920 x 1,080 display with DVI and D-SUB inputs, along with an audio connector for the weak integrated speakers. The glasses themselves feel as cheap as you’d expect, and to say you’ll look a bit of a nerd wearing them doesn’t really do them justice – they’re more Woody than Lily Allen.
Compatibility is always going to be a big factor with 3D, and with the Zalman a lot depends on your graphics card. Nvidia owners can use that firm’s stereoscopic 3D driver: the list of supported games is huge, and the driver advises on the graphical settings to change for the best results on a game-by-game basis. A simple depth slider makes adjusting the 3D level easy, and for recent titles the effect is often superb – crawling through the jungles of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 shows off the 3D effect in all its glory. Older titles are a little hit-and-miss, with Crysis in particular showing a few too many graphical glitches to be truly immersive, but few games proved unplayable.
Those without an Nvidia card aren’t so lucky. ATI owners will need to purchase a £21 exc VAT stereoscopic driver from 3D monitor firm iZ3D, and although a huge list of games is supported, we had real problems getting the effect to look right in most we tried. Even with the setup wizard and preloaded game profiles, using the numeric keypad to adjust both the separation and convergence levels to suit each game proved tiresome, and not always successful. Compared to the automated immediacy of the Nvidia driver it’s like handing you a spanner and smearing you in grease – there’s just too much manual jiggery-pokery involved.
|Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Pixel response time||5ms|
|Dynamic contrast ratio||10,000:1|
|Speaker power ouput||4W|
|3.5mm audio input jacks||1|
|Other cables supplied||VGA, 3.5mm audio|
|Internal power supply||yes|
|Swivel angle||0 degrees|
|Pivot (portrait) mode?||no|
|Dimensions||572 x 190 x 415mm (WDH)|