capsule review

Sharp LL-M17W1

At a Glance
  • Sharp 17 WXGA LCD & TV TUNER MNTR WHITE/600:1/ 25MS/STEREO SPKRS

Sharp LL-M17W1
Artwork: Rick Rizner, John Goddard

The Sharp LL-M17W1 is the only 17-inch wide-screen LCD monitor we've tested to date to earn scores of Outstanding for both text and graphics. The majority of jurors named it the best of the three comparably sized models in our test group. It's also the only model that does not have an antiglare coating. That makes for exceptionally bright, colorful screens, but it does mean you may have to position the monitor to minimize reflections from external light sources. Given that, the Sharp is still a great choice for viewing photos. Colors looked remarkably rich. Our testers' only quibble with the Sharp's display of our sample images was pink-tinged flesh tones and reds that were too rich at default settings. Our DVD of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl showed notably crisper detail and fewer motion artifacts on the LL-M17W1 than on other wide-screen monitors.

Unlike the other two models tested, the LL-M17W1 is not HDTV-ready. It does include a remote control and a TV tuner, plus component, composite, S-Video, and RF-TV inputs. The LL-M17W1's warranty is shorter than that of other monitors, too: just one year (most of the TV/LCD monitors we've reviewed include three-year warranties). The large speaker bar mounted below the screen produces sound that's better than the usual from built-in monitor speakers, but still a little fuzzier than that put out by a decent set of desktop speakers.

Its outstanding text, graphics, and DVD playback make it worth the skimpy warranty--especially if you plan to do photo editing.

Laura Blackwell

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At a Glance
  • Sharp 17 WXGA LCD & TV TUNER MNTR WHITE/600:1/ 25MS/STEREO SPKRS

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