Soyo Topaz S 24" LCD Monitor

Author
Aron Schatz
Posted
February 11, 2008
Views
63380
Soyo Topaz S 24" LCD Monitor
SOYO has reinvented themselves into a maker of LCD panels and monitors. How does their latest monitor, the Topaz S, handle itself? Read on to find out.

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Page 1
Intro:

SOYO was established in 1999 at the time when computer hardware was easy to list off in your head. Their Dragon series of motherboards were excellent and many enthusiasts employed their boards for computer builds. Today, SOYO is a vastly different company. Gone are the motherboards but SOYO has reinvented itself and now produces displays. They have a partnership with Honeywell for dual branding. Today, we are looking at the Topaz S 24" LCD Widescreen Monitor.

Box:

box.jpg packing.jpg


The monitor was shipped in a proper shipping box that I'm not showing, but rest assured that it was well packed. It survived the riggers of shipping without getting damaged. What is shown is the inner box and packaging. I don't know who that women on the box is but she looks happy.

Specs:

  • Type: 24.0” color TFT active matrix SXGA LCD
  • Optimum Resolution: 1920 x 1200
  • Contrast Ratio: 1000:1
  • Viewing Angle: 170°(H), 160°(V)
  • Light Source: 40,001 hours (typ)
  • Response Time: 6ms
  • Brightness: 500 nits (typ)
  • Display Colors: 16.8 million
  • Pixel Pitch: 0.285mm
  • Frequency: Fh: 30 kHz – 80 kHz; Fv: 50 Hz – 76 Hz
  • Bandwidth: 136MHz
  • Audio Output Power: 2 x 2 watt
  • Warranty: 1 Year Limited
  • Model: DYLM24D6 (SKU MT-GW-DYLM24D6)


The specs look fine for a 24" monitor. The only thing that irks me is the one year warranty.

Parts:

parts.jpg


Aside from the monitor and stand, you get the included cabling (power, VGA, DVI, and audio) as well as a manual.

DYLM24D6:

monitor1.jpg


Let's take a closer look at the monitor itself. The DYLM24D6 is your basic 24" LCD running at 1920x1200. Soyo hit the sweet spot for computer monitors since 1920x1200 is pretty much the limit on normal single DVI connections. Anything more and you're looking at Dual DVI. The panel has a light gloss to it, but not high gloss as some monitors have. These high gloss finishes may seem like a good idea, but if your hitting the room lighting in a certain way, it reflects it. Nothing is worse than working with glare.

I remember that first monitor I used. It was an IBM 14" CRT (that still works). We used that thing for at least 12 years and it still works to this day. We just threw it away, though. Old relics like this just aren't worth the space. When you compare a 24" monitor that is wide screen to even a 19" regular monitor, you're probably thinking that it is just way to big. I thought so too, until I started using a 28" monitor. Once you go 1920x1200, you'll never go back. It is always about more resolution. I always thought that 28" for that resolution was a bit large, but 24" seems to be the sweet spot.

soyo.jpg


The SOYO logo is located on the top left of the monitor. It is fairly standard to put your product name and company all over the monitor.

topazs.jpg


The monitor name is located at the bottom right. Topaz S is the actual brand name of the monitor. There are a few monitors in the Topaz series, make sure you look at the "S" model. You can also see part of the speaker assembly that's built into the monitor. I usually stray away from built in audio, but most widescreens come with it.

back.jpg


The back of the monitor includes mounts for the stand (shown mounted) and the standard four screw VESA mount (10cmx10cm). The monitor stand itself is a bit clunky, but most widescreen monitor stands don't swivel or anything too crazy because the monitor begins to be really heavy. The actual base is fairly large to hold the monitor firmly.

You should also notice the venting holes on the top. This is a requirement since the light source for the panels pump out a great deal of heat. And yes, the monitor is made in China as most things sold in America are.

controls.jpg


The controls are located on the right side of the monitor. This is fairly standard for the monitors I've been using. They are easy to get to, but not easy to push by accident. All the quick functions can be done on the monitor including brightness, contrast, and volume control.

monitor2.jpg


The monitor isn't too big to be a nice fit on your desk. It is also a welcome fit with components that are black (which all of mine are). This is my testing computer setup and you should notice the amount of dust my room generates.
Page 2
Menu:

menu.jpg


The menu on the DYLM24D6 contains all the information and setup that you will need. Many monitors that run on DVI don't even include a contrast ratio adjustment! The DYLM24D6 provides all the nitty gritty control options you may need.

quickcontrols.jpg


The quick options that pop-up when you press certain keys are distinct and too the point. Nothing out of the ordinary here.

color.jpg


The menu option that I really want to show is the color temperature and scale screen. This monitor has amazing color right out of the box, but if you need to tweak it, you have the options available to you. I like when monitors have color adjustments. It is helpful when doing any graphics or print work to ensure proper color. I didn't have to make any adjustments to the color, but if you do you can.

highlight.jpg


One of the buttons on the monitor enables a highlighting feature. This feature allows you to highlight an area of the screen. I can think of a few different purposes. If you have a data entry person, you can highlight the portion of the screen to enter the data on. You can also use it to highlight areas for a presentation. The monitor basically increases the contrast and brightness a bit to highlight the area as you can see.

Testing:

ubuntulogin.jpg


Showing screenshots of the computer if fairly pointless and I love when I read reviews that do that. Taking pictures of the monitor really doesn't do it justice, but I'm including a shot of the Ubuntu log-in to show you.

The panel produced excellent color definition right out of the box. There is absolutely no banding or waviness in the picture. I inspected the monitor for an hour looking for dead pixels using various tests and such. I'm very happy to report that I didn't find any. I used some free tools to see if the monitor needed any calibration. To my surprise, it was fine the way it was.

The panel offers a quick 6ms response time. To test this, I watched a few DVDs and played some UT2K4 on my Ubuntu box. I notice no ghosting or any weird artifacts while playing. This is a really nice panel. Perhaps SOYO will be giving Samsung some competition soon?

The monitor doesn't include a USB hub. This is something I miss on my monitor. Even my 28" doesn't have USB built-in. This isn't a deal breaking feature, but it is nice to have so you don't need another USB hub on the desk.

The speakers are fine for light use. If you really want to do any music listening, get some real speakers.

The monitor leaks a minor bit of light at the top. It is not bad at all considering you need to be a very certain angle to see the light bleeding through the vent holes. It is very difficult to make a monitor that doesn't leak light with having proper ventilation. This ventilation is very important. The ambient temperature in my room is 69 degrees Fahrenheit. The monitor panel front is pushing out 94 degrees near the top and the top ventilation was pushing out 105 degrees. This isn't bad considering my 28" puts out over 115 degrees all over the place.

There are only inputs for DVI, VGA, and audio. If you want to hook this up to any console, you'll need a converter. This is a PC monitor, after all.

One more thing. You will change your computing habits after using a high resolution monitor. I don't maximize windows anymore. In fact, I'm looking for a way to do the Mac style "Maximize" in Linux. The Mac always had it right. You only make the window big enough to not have to scroll.

Conclusion:

The SOYO Topaz S retails for about $400. At this price, it is a fair price for the package considering that other 24" monitors cost much more. The SOYO Topaz S offers a large screen size with a no frills package. It is perfect for your first entry into the widescreen market. The panel produces excellent color and definition out of the box. Monitors are very important, I urge you to see it in person before making a decision.

I'd like to thank Jason at SOYO for making this review possible.
members/attachments/upload/2008/02/10/2341m.jpg box.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/02/10/2342m.jpg packing.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/02/10/2343m.jpg monitor1.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/02/10/2344.jpg soyo.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/02/10/2345.jpg topazs.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/02/10/2346m.jpg back.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/02/10/2347m.jpg ubuntulogin.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/02/10/2348.jpg menu.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/02/10/2349.jpg quickcontrols.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/02/10/2350.jpg color.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/02/10/2351m.jpg highlight.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/02/11/2352m.jpg monitor2.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/02/11/2353m.jpg controls.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/02/11/2354m.jpg parts.jpg

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