|Price:||£374.47 inc VAT|
|Review Date:||Oct 2005|
Verdict: Awesome pictures, if you can afford them
The SDM-HS95P springs from the same gene pool that bought us the SDM-HS75PB. It has the same distinctive picture-frame design, uses the same X-Black TFT screen technology, and - sadly - the same sort of frightening price tag. Luckily, it also retains the same market-leading quality, which makes it the best 19in screen on test, at least in terms of image quality.
Admittedly, there's no height adjustment, but the design allows for 20 degrees of tilt, and the screen sits at a comfortable height already. However, the OSD and its controls seem a little confused, even counter-intuitive. All of the main picture adjustments have just been lumped together in one long menu, and for some reason the OK button is to the left of the up/down selection buttons, rather than on the right. Still, this isn't a serious criticism.
The picture is extremely good. X-Black technology offers a superb 1,000:1 contrast ratio, deep rich blacks, vibrant colours and an excellent response time. The SDM-HS95P was the only monitor on test that could differentiate the lightest greys from whites, and the darkest greys from black. It also showed a superb range of smoothly graduated colours in the colour tests. Photo reproduction is excellent, and the clear, bright display copes easily with both web browsing and word processing. Separate modes for everyday use, games and movies help, and there's also a useful auto setting, which adjusts the display's settings to suit the ambient lighting.
DVD playback is another strength, although oddly enough, the movie setting proved less useful than the auto mode. While clarity didn't quite match that of the best 17in panels, colour reproduction is fantastic, with a feast of rich tones and plenty of impact. Performance was particularly impressive in the pink house shootout, where the SDM-HS95P picked out areas of colour and detail that the other displays missed. And the SDM-HS95P might have been made for Doom 3. Admittedly, rapid panning from left to right had the panel struggling for perfect clarity at times, but the contrast and colour made this easy to forgive. The SDM-HS95P offers unmatched quality, but you pay a hefty premium for it.