I was surprised at myself as I realised that I had actually looked back over my shoulder as I walked away from the trolley. Said trolley was in the local re-cyling depot and I had just placed my old HP Pavilion monitor on it as instructed by the nice council man. My old friend had served me well for 5 years and had popped its clogs the day before. Now I was about to turn my back on it and hurry home to my new flat screen 15" iiyama LCD monitor.
Although I had not heard of iiyama, this had all that I needed for £229 ,reduced from £249 in PC World (dooyoo price check shows £214). In fact a neighbouring 17" model was cheaper and I asked why. It seemed that iiyama is a better make than the other and a little research on my return home seemed to bear this out. Still owned by its founder, this Japanese company has produced a great many "firsts" since 1973 and promises quality at competitive prices as well as superior service. This last they proved when I found that my Prolite E380S appeared not to have any sound. In less than 24 hours a van arrived at my door with a replacement.
Having had my new toy for a week now, I have stopped wringing my hands in open-mouthed delight every time the pretty blue power light ignites and can give a more objective view of the Prolite E380S. First and foremost, if you are a demanding computer buff looking for a 22" screen with the response to wince and rearrange its pixels every time you frown, this would probably not be adequate. Nor if you are an avid game or music player. However, for those who like me have more pedestrian needs and budget I am pleased with the model although noticing one or two not particularly serious short comings.
Being LCD means that the iiyama emits hardly any radiation and a lot less heat than the previous CTR models. The brightness is 380cd/m2 which is very bright indeed and the maximum resolution is 1024x768. There is an economy function and 2 105wrms speakers on which I will comment later.
The screen is less than 1" deep with narrow black rims, the whole thing only 2" in depth. I cannot believe that I have been using a monitor whose back stuck out over the rear of my very large desk. There is now just so much more room with which to work. Connection to my computer was stress free, needing a 3 pin plug and AC adaptor to the wall socket, a cable from the monitor to the port and a single audio wire; all provided in a neatly wrapped and easily accessible package. The wires were adequate without being over generous in length although I did find connection to the slim stand rather fiddly. It needed thought rather than force and the driver who brought my replacement also had trouble.
The moment the screen lit I was thrilled with the clarity of text and vibrancy of colours. My present wallpaper is of "fog dragons" and my old monitor had not let me see the jewelled sides of these ethereal creatures. It was sheer magic and I shall enjoy reinstating some of my old favourites. My screensaver is "pipes" and the colours had me watching them with awe. It was at this time that I noticed the first disappointment. The booting up of my computer is announced by a triumphant jungle sound, rather like that of I'm a Celebrity Get Me out of Here. ( I know! Naff but I like it. ) I had no sound and adjustment didn't seem to improve matters. A call to PC World helpline had me going through the motions with my PC and then a call to iiyama resulted in a replacement the following morning. Yes. You heard me the first time......... the very next morning. I now have a faint sound which certainly would not be good enough for games or music. In fairness the tiny built in speakers at each side of the bottom of the screen probably are token.
Beside the power light are a row of control buttons for menu, brightness, sound etc and, since these are on the lower edge and black, I have to tip the monitor to read them unless a light is behind. I also don't find them particularly easy to use. Here I must comment on one of the joys of the flat anti glare screen. Whatever and wherever the source or power of surrounding light, the vision is not impaired. My desk is in front of a south facing patio door and I can now look out on the garden without having to adjust the vertical blinds whenever the sun shows from behind a cloud.
The Prolite can be easily tilted up to 30 degrees, although a maximum of 10 degrees is recommended for optimal viewing. The stand is substantial enough, but the monitor wobbles slightly when vibration, such as my printer, is felt.
Y'know I normally have to shorten my reviews by at least 500 words before posting. I started this one full of the delight of my new acquisition and then found I ran out of things to say. The truth is that I have wonderful clarity and brilliantly slim design, but I miss the splendid sound from my clumsy old HP Pavilion with its speakers stuck on the side like ears. I have said that I would "recommend to a friend" because I don't have a reason not to. I have given 3 stars because it would be churlish to give less when it gives me pretty much all that I need. I do think it is value for money just for its prettiness and bright, dazzling display. I have a feeling though that the iiyama Prolite E380S probably has little more or little less than other similar monitors in the price range.
I have to give 5 stars and a big fanfare to the service I received from the manufacturer though. For this reason alone I would look for iiyama next time I shop for computer hardware.