Ever put two different LCDs next to each other? Usually the colors or brightness are different. Most LCDs will very have limited color adjustment, and trying to achieve color accuracy can be impossible. For this problem, LaCie produces color correct monitors with a calibrator to get just the look needed.
What Makes It So Special?
The LaCie 724 is a 24″ LCD with a wider range of displayable colors than a standard LCD. The color range is achieved by using an S-PVA LCD with an RGB-LED backlight. S-PVA LCDs are more expensive and have a slower refresh rate than standard LCDs but have the bonus of a higher contrast ratio. A higher contrast ratio means darker and lighter colors can be displayed at one time. For instance, if there is a shadow in an image, but the rest of the image is bright, a low-contrast LCD would show a brighter shadow than a high-contrast LCD. To help increase the image quality, the RGB LED comes into play. Most LCDs with LED backlights are just a white color source. RGB LEDs help increase the contrast ratio, since the color of the background can be changed in gradients of red/green/blue, instead of just turning the white LED on and off. The end result is a high-contrast LCD with a variable backlight that can display a wider color range than standard LCDs.
The LCD has two DVI inputs. One DVI is DVI-I (analog/digital) and the other is DVI-D (digital). This lets the monitor utilize higher-quality graphics cards with only DVI output while still supporting older graphics cards with VGA output. The LCD stand is very adjustable. The bottom of the base can spin, making it easy to turn the LCD around to show the screen to others. The LCD can be tilted forward, backward, left and right on the stand, while the stand can raise and lower the LCD. The side of the LCD has a 4-port USB hub with USB input in the back of the screen. The overall design is very sturdy, but it is much thicker than a standard LCD. Considering that the LCD’s primary function is image quality, the thicker frame is easy to overlook.
At first glance, the differences between the LaCie 724 and a regular LCD are apparent: the colors are very vibrant and there are many configuration options available. There are five color presets available on the LCD: emulation, Adobe sRGB, sRGB, calibration and custom. Calibration and emulation modes are for use with the Colorimeter to automatically adjust the display settings. Emulation mode, by default, displays more vibrant colors, while calibration mode displays very even colors. The AdobeRGB preset is made specifically for the Adobe RGB colorspace and allows quick adjustment with the click of a button. The sRGB preset is the generic mode and makes the picture look more like other LCDs. The custom mode needs to be used to allow access to the manual fine-tuning display features. These features include brightness, contrast, color tone (warm to cool), color control (RGB balance) and gamma. These presets make it quick and easy to change the image quality to see how it would look on other displays.
The LaCie 724 LCD has a lot of color customization built into the monitor. For that extra bit of customization, the Blue Eye Pro Colorimeter is used. The Blue Eye Pro configuration utility is easy to use. The program just requires selecting the gamma, white point, luminance and blackpoint before auto calibration can begin. Once the calibration is finished, the settings can be saved to a file for easy use in the future. The need to try to manually configure colors is eliminated, and many headaches are avoided.
Should I Buy This?
Not everyone needs a color-accurate LCD. The technology is still new and expensive. If you just want to have a pretty picture, you may want to wait until the prices come down. For those who require a color-accurate display (publishers or video editors), take a look at some of LaCie’s LCDs. The price may seem high compared to cheaper LCDs, but you get what you pay for. If the cost doesn’t fit your budget, LaCie also offers reconditioned LCDs on its website for almost half the price.
The Bottom Line
The LaCie 724 LCD has a wider range of colors to display than standard LCDs. The displayed image can be adjusted to look like another LCD monitor or to reproduce accurate color for print or video production. The image can be quickly adjusted with the five available presets or it can be fine-tuned with the colorimeter. The price is high compared to other LCDs, but other LCDs lack good color control. This product is designed to help professionals make better-looking products without having to compare the quality to printed paper or a TV. It’s an important feature, considering you need color-accurate imaging for broadcast, print publications and other delivery methods. Without it, you’re working in the dark.
Diagonal: 24 in. / 61 cm.
Display Area: 20.4×12.75 in.
Max Resolution: 1920×1200 @ 60Hz
Video Inputs: DVI-I 29-pin; DVI-D
Color Gamut: 1-CIE 1976: 123% Adobe RGB, 125% NTSC
Color Gamut: 2-CIE 1931: 116% Adobe RGB, 111% NTSC
Gamma Correction : 14-bit lookup table (14-bit processing)
Luminance: 250 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio: 1000:1
Response Time: 6ms, 16ms (black-white-black)
Viewing Angles: H: 178ª / V: 178º
Weight : 15.4 lbs. / 7 kg
- Nice adjustable stand
- Very adjustable color
LaCie’s 724 LCD is a high-quality product with a wide color range to allow accurate color reproduction.
Lance Olinger is Videomaker‘s IT Assistant.
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