Thanks to our new friends, Shuttle has given us the chance to present to you a look at the XP17 17″ TFT display. Shuttle is well known for their superb products namely the barebones XPC systems.
“Shuttle Inc. stands for effective management, innovative development, and performance. Shuttle Computer Handels GmbH, based in Elmshorn (Schleswig-Holstein, Germany) is the European Headquarters of Shuttle Inc. Established in 1983 in Taiwan, Shuttle is an industry-leading producer of Small Form Factor computers, both of barebones and fully-configured systems, (XPC Barebones and XPC Systems.) Headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, with an extensive worldwide network of subsidiaries, resellers, partners and suppliers, Shuttle is recognized as a premier manufacturer. Widely acclaimed, Shuttle has received numerous awards and accolades from media and analysts, praising its products, superior quality and services. Turnover of Shuttle Inc, listed on Taiwan stock exchange since 1998, was 200 million US-Dollar in 2003.”
The package we received consisted of the display itself, a VGA cable, power lead, power adapter and a manual. We think there is also a DVI cable supplied as standard however we did not receive one in our package and thus shall be using our own throughout this review. Upon removing the display from the box we realized just how wonderful this thing looked in 3 dimensions, it’s sleek.
- Size: 17″ (inch)
- Type: active Panel TFT Display, TN technology
- Resolution: SXGA 1280 x 1024
- H/V frequency: H: 30-80KHz, V: 60-75Hz
- Brightness: 300 cd/m2
- Contrast ratio: 500:1
- Viewing angle: 140° x 140°
- Response time: 8 ms (gray to grey)
- Colour resolution: 16.2 million (true color)
- Panel surface: TempAR ( TEMPered glass panel with Anti-Reflective coating)
- Protection frame: Aluminium, integrated carrying handle
- Inputs / connectors
- Analogue: RGB Analogue, D-Sub 15 pin
- Digital: DVI (Digital Visual Interface)
- Power: 12V DC, max. 36W, Saving Mode: < 3W
- Power supply
- Type: external, fanless
- Power output: 50W max.
- Voltage input: 90~264V AC, 50/60 Hz
- Voltage output: 12V DC
- Basic: Power, menu, up, down, select, auto adjust
- On Screen Display (OSD): Auto image adjust, contrast, brightness, input select, colour adjust [9300K, 6500K (default), RGB], informa tion (mode, model number, frequency, resolution), image adjust (H. size, H. position, V. position, phase adjust, sharpness), language, OSD position.
- English, Chinese (simplified & traditional), Japanese, German, French, Italian, Spanish
- Mounting optioned
- Desk: Portrait, Landscape
- Wall: VESA (100 mm x 75 mm)
- Operating conditions, dimensions, weight
- Operating conditions: Temperature 0~50°C
- Humidity: 10~90% (non-condensing)
- Dimensions Physical: 435mm x 423mm x 40mm (W x H x D)
- Weight: Net 4.3 kg, Gross 6.4 kg
- Available colours: silver or black
- Certifications: CE, FCC, UL, 3C, PSE, TUV
As you can see above, this particular display can be stood in portrait too. This can be very useful for applications which require more vertical space or if you find yourself just primarily web browsing or typing documents.
The rear of the monitor contains the VGA and DVI connections as well as the DC in. The stand on which this monitor rests swivels to allow for those earlier mentioned display modes. This display is also wall mountable.
The rear also has many ventilation holes running across the sides. You can also see more clearly above the swivel stand mentioned earlier. There is a little snag here however. Those who prefer to have their displays looking flat on will be disappointed to know that the display can not stand completely vertical but instead on a slant.
As you can you see from the picture above, there is a glass panel attached to the front. This is tempered glass and has an anti-reflective coating. This also makes cleaning the display incredibly easy and you don’t have to worry about people touching it either like most LCD screens. The handle located on the top of the display is extremely useful when carrying. Shifting from one place to another is certainly no problem with this monitor.
Testing & Performance
We will be testing this 8ms display with Nokia Monitor Test, MonitorTest v2.2 from Passmark Software, HaloCE and some DVD playback.
Nokia Monitor Test
Nokia Monitor Test is a useful little tool when checking the reliability and quality of LCD displays. It’s free and doesn’t necessarily require installation. We ran through several of the tests most of which were absolutely fine however we found that with the solid black colour test there seems to be a white tint near the bottom of the screen. Focus was spot on and the grey scale test was very satisfying. There were no visual errors with any of the convergence tests in Nokia Monitor Test either. However the 1 pixel Fine Grill test pattern at 1280 x 1024 (the display’s native resolution) showed up almost as a solid grey shade for both horizontal and vertical grills.
This program is not free however it has many more tests than Nokia Monitor Test thus is more appropriate for more detailed results.
Note: The following screenshots are for a point of reference only and do not in any way indicate the quality of the displays tested. Each image has also been downsized and optimized for viewing on the web.
Master Screen Test
The master screen displays various test patterns all in one place at the same time. To the left and right of the large centre circle you can see some vertical lines. This is the Fine Grill test pattern and on the XP17 it didn’t fair too well with the 1 pixel spaced lines (top left square) especially when running at its native resolution (1280 x 1024). The top left box seemed more like a shade of grey than a series of lines, the lines were barely visible. The 4 small circles to the corners of the screen test for the monitor’s drawing accuracy of geometrical shapes. Each circle should appear as a perfect circle on a 4:3 aspect ratio display. These circles will become oval shaped on widescreen monitors (16:9 aspect ratio) but this is perfectly normal. The XP17 had no problems with the drawing of these circles. Next you see in the large centre circle the colours from yellow to blue. This test pattern normally shows up colour bleaching and smearing on the edges of each colour on cheaper displays. You should be looking out for any inconsistency at the borders of each colour. Thankfully the XP17 had no problems here either. Each colour was clear, bright and stood out clearly while sharp and crisp at the edges.
Just underneath those colours where you can see shades from black to white is where you check for the monitor’s grey scale reproduction. Each shade should be clearly distinguishable from solid black all the way to solid white. This is usually passed by most monitors and needless to say was passed by the XP17.
Solid Colours Test
This next test is very useful when checking for dead pixels and screen tints. Basically the whole screen is set to a solid colour and you are required to look out for any strange tints. The colour should be solid and consistent from top to bottom and left to right. When looking at solid black with the XP17 we noticed a white tint showing near the bottom of the screen just as with Nokia Monitor Test however it was very mild. There were no dead pixels to be seen which was good and apart from that white tint the rest of the screen remained uniform. The same can be said for the solid red, blue, green and white test screens.
Scaled Colours Test
This test is very important because if results below satisfactory are achieved then you’ll notice the poor performance whenever you play games, view images and watch videos. A gradient of two colours (black and the selected colour) are displayed on the screen where checks are to be made for any visible colour stepping. For a better understanding please refer to the below image:
A bad result would produce something similar to the above example. The separate shades you see are each step in the transition. The XP17 just passes this test with black to red and with black to green the steps are slightly more noticeable but nothing serious. Black to blue is absolutely fine whereas black to white shows visible banding again but once again isn’t serious enough for an issue.
Moire Pattern Test
Moire patterns are what you see when you scan images from a magazine for example. They happen because of grids or dots that are very minutely spaced from each other and don’t just occur on monitors but also a similar effect is picked up by your own eyes as well as other areas of science. These patterns are usually distinct, forming circles or arcs across the entire image. A small amount of Moire pattern on even a decent display is typical and nothing to worry about. We’re happy to tell you however that with the XP17 this is extremely minimal.
The convergence tests patterns test the displays for accuracy. With MonitorTest there are two patterns displayed. Convergence dots and convergence lines. You are required to look out for any colour fringes on the test patterns. The dots pattern contain several dots across the screen in pure white and are very small however they should appear that way without any other colours showing up on the outer area of each dot. As for the lines test, distortion of any type is an indication of a poor display and you’re also required again to lookout for colour fringes. The XP17 passed this test perfectly.
Though we have conducted more tests from hereon we shall mention only the most relevant ones for you gamers but we will state any failures of tests not mentioned.
Pixel Persistence Test
An important test which gamers would really want to know the results of. Pixel persistence is a good test on the display since it relates to the activating and deactivating or simply on/off of each pixel. The faster this occurs the less chance there is for visual tearing when playing games also you may have noticed on some occasions where you have shifted your view around in a game and noticed trails of objects as you pan around. This is known as ghosting and is all down to the pixels of your display. With the XP17’s 8ms response time we were fairly pleased with the results. Even at 800 pixels per second this display seemed to cope quite well.
The fonts test was easily passed with the XP17. All the way from 13 to 6 pt the fonts were crisp even at the edges. This is great for people who play RTS games at high resolutions and wish to clearly read each and every text message that appears on their screens with ease, naturally other types of games too.
Gaming with this display is a wonderful experience. HaloCE was launched and we each had a crack at CTF on Blood Gulch (our personal fav). Immediately we noticed how fluid the movements seemed onscreen compared to other displays. There was barely any ghosting and the display of colours and contrasts were spot on. There is some noticeable image tearing though but we’d like to see someone point us out an 8ms or even 4ms display that doesn’t suffer from this problem. The fact is liquid crystal displays marketed with incredibly low response times will always fall into sceptics. What we did notice though is that kicking this display down a notch especially to 1024 x 768 the image quality turns from incredibly brilliant to above average and this goes for general use when not gaming too.
Finally, watching movies on this thing is also quite simply fantastic. Blacks are blacks and greys are greys. Actually the black levels are so decent with this display that when watching your widescreen format DVDs you’ll notice the black space above and below the images blend extremely well with the blacks during movie playback. This is good because we usually find it distracting to see those grey bars. Another thing to note is the incredible viewing angle on this display. Even with the glass panel the anti-reflective coating sure pays off. You’ll simply be surprised to see how clear you can see the screen even at tight angles.
The XP17 is definitely a worthy contender. It may not be the fastest gun in the West but its distinct features and incredible visual appeal makes this a definite attention seeker. Performance wise it’s very good for gaming and don’t forget you can even stand this display up in portrait mode. The carry handle located on the top is elegantly incorporated into the overall design of the display which is great. We like the logical navigation of the menu screen of this display too. It’s incredibly easy to get around and it took us only 3 seconds to work out which buttons do what and how to go from one place to another in the options. Speaking of options it has many and for VGA connections you can completely fine tune your display. Of course we recommend you connect up the XP17 with a DVI cable instead. We would of like to see more input options on this display though just so it could live up to its awesome appearance. Overall this is a very decent display which gamers should consider when purchasing a monitor.
- Looks are extremely cool
- Feels very robust
- Tempered glass panel & anti-reflective coating works like a charm
- High performance during games
- One of the fastest displays you can get
- Good colours and crisp display
- Easy to configure
- Can be stood in portrait mode
- Slightly on the heavy mainly due to the glass
- Cannot stand completely vertical
- Could do with more inputs
- 8ms but still suffers from the typical symptoms all LCD panels do