In recent months, flat-panel technology has moved with the speed of a finely honed cougar. Not so very long ago, a 19in screen seemed something of an extravagance. Now it's about as small as any self-respecting user dares to go – and, in truth, few can resist the allure of an expansive 20, 22 or even a 24in model. But for a long time 19in was more than enough for most users. Should you give in to the pull of the larger screens, or is there still mileage in buying a 19in model?

On the face of it, price alone isn't a particularly good reason for buying a 19in flat-panel. The £147 NEC AccuSync LCD193WM is fairly inexpensive but, even so, 20 and 22in screens are available for only a few pounds more than this.

However, while you should expect a cheap 22in to suffer from poor colour and definition, the NEC AccuSync LCD193WM has no such problems. Indeed, its image is bright and colourful, and text is reasonably well defined - if not as sharp as that of, for instance, the Iiyama ProLite E1902S.

Part of this is down to the NEC AccuSync LCD193WM's generous 1,000:1 contrast ratio. The 4ms response rate isn't quite as fast as the 2ms rate of the Iiyama, but it's still very good – you'll be hard pushed to detect any difference in smoothness.

The NEC AccuSync LCD193WM's 19in screen size doesn't feel as restrictive as it might, thanks to the generous widescreen support – that resolution of 1,440x900 allows plenty of pixels to be crammed in. Not everything about the NEC AccuSync LCD193WM is perfect, and the lack of a DVI connector (the screen offers analogue RGB only) might be seen as a retrograde step in this digital era.


Overall, the NEC AccuSync LCD193WM is an excellent screen for the money. The quality is decent, and compared to the kind of 20/22in screen you might get at this price, the NEC clearly offers the goods.