The Soyo 24″ Widescreen LCD monitor is the cheapest 24″ LCD in the market. Standard retail value is $399 but OfficeMax’s discounted price is $299 and then you have the optional $29 insurance plan. I already had one crap out on me in 3 days of owning it but got a free exchange at OfficeMax. So how is this monitor compared to the competition?
Soyo 24″ TFT Widescreen LCD
Resolution: 1920 x 1200
Contrast Ratio: 1000:1
Viewing Angle: 170 horizontal, 160 vertical
Light Source: 40K hrs
Response Time: 6ms
Pixel Pitch: 0.285 mm
Brightness: 500cd/m2 (or nits)
Screen Aspect: 16:10
Connectors: 15-pin mini D-sub (Analog VGA), DVI-I (Digital)
Speakers: 2W x 2
The specs look impressive. A seemingly high contrast ratio, 6ms response, and 500 nits brightness. Everything else is sorta at par with the Samsungs and Acers that are priced more by around 150 bucks. Is it any good in person? Oh yea oh yea. There was NOT a SINGLE dead pixel on the screen. Colors were bright and vivid (you need to calibrate the settings to Contrast 40, Brightness 49, R 36 G 38 B 33) and the gigantic display just overwhelms you at first. But then you get used to it. So what’s wrong with it? Why am I returning this monitor? Is “trouble” it’s middle name?
1. Original Soyo 24″ LCD suddenly developed a horizontal 1 pixel tall deadpixel line extending from one end to the other in 3 days. I googled it up and sure enough, 2 other people had the same issues.
2. If you let the “Power Save” mode take over, the screen turns off and goes into standby. Cool. No not really. Put your ears close to the rear vents and you can hear a low-pitched whirring sound of motors or something running inside the monitor. Alright. Maybe you really have to push the power button to turn it all off. Hit the power button and you can still hear that sound from the monitor. WTF? The sound stops only if you unplug the power cable to the LCD.
3. The rear vents get hot in like 30 secs of use and you can smell burnt plastic.
4. The screen gets really hot after a few mins of use. Reach your hand about 2 inches close to the screen and you can feel the heat. Not cool!
5. The DVI-I port in the rear is bullshit. It only accepts digital signals which means it’s basically a DVI-D port with the extra 4 holes to accommodate a DVI-I cable. If it works or not is up to you but it sure as heck didn’t do anything with my DVD player.
6. The VGA port in the rear can’t accept analog signals as mentioned in #5.
7. No built-in tuner but that would bump up the price.
8. Speakers are non-existent.
9. Forgot to mention this but it didn’t work with any of the laptops using Intel’s integrated graphics cards. There seems to be an issue with the resolution and needing to pan the screen at 1600×1200 through my ATI card but the issue could lie with my card as it is over 3 years old.
10. A few commentators have mentioned a problem with the screen shutting down at 1920×1200 resolution. This symptom arises only when using a DVI-D cable on that resolution for roughly 10 minutes. If you read my #5, there might be a correlation between the FAKE DVI-I port. It’s NOT a DVI-I. Looks like one but sure ain’t one. Just a standard DVI-D instead.
To sum it up, the Soyo 24″ LCD is like a Dodge or some other domestic muscle car manufacturer. It’s got all the right stuff in it or appears to look that way. Looks menacing in black and most of my friends even thought it was an HDTV. Performance is awesome also. Colors are deep and bright. Reliability? Shit is what I can say from my experience. You don’t know how long it’s gonna last before you take it in for repairs. There’s a BUT though. It’s still one of the best performing 24″ LCD monitors in the market. It’s the best for value and ranked #1 in terms of market share.
In the end, immagonnatake thiz Chevy back to the shop and get back my monay! I do feel sorry for OfficeMax. This is a high performance product but reliability is an issue.
EDIT (September 7th): Please fill me in with your thoughts and opinions on my review. I know many of you read this article by looking at the stats on the website but tell me what you think of the monitor yourself or your experiences and questions. Don’t be shy.
EDIT (December 4th): The DVI port update to “cons” #10.
EDIT (April 1st): I noticed some haters on a particular forum. If you want to bash this “basic review”, let me know it instead of cowering somewhere else. If the reliability aint good, it’s got nothing to do with the screen quality. You can choose to RE-READ my final paragraph where I liken it to a Dodge or Chevy. Looks good on the outside, probably crappy on the inside. But you get what you paid for.