Product review: IBM's new T54 15-inch flat-screen monitor

Friday, June 30th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

When considering the purchase of a monitor, you have to ask yourself: "Flat-screen or cathode ray tube?" After a two-week trial of IBM's new T54 15-inch flat-screen monitor, I'd have to answer "CRT." Unless space is your prime consideration, there's no point in spending $979 on an ultracompact, ultralight monitor when a hefty 17-inch CRT model for $300 or less works just as well.

Not that the T54 doesn't give good performance. If you've got more money than space, this sleek, black number will give your workstation that cutting-edge look.

The screen is 15 full inches and bright with extremely saturated colors. Graphics are presented crisply, and there's little of the shadowing that was so annoying in earlier liquid crystal displays.

Text is a different matter. Boldface text was a bit chunky, especially when using America Online. And unless you're a longtime laptop user, the image "bleaching" that occurs when you view the screen from a side angle is annoying.

As for ergonomics, most of the controls are black-on-black and hard to make out, though they're easy to use once you identify what you want. IBM touts the T54's energy savings, but until the energy crisis returns, I think I'll save the money and stick with my trusty old CRT.

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