The MultiSync FP912SB is a fine-looking display: big and black, with a fairly narrow bezel that runs 1.5 inches along the sides, 2 inches on the top, and just less than 3 inches along the bottom. It's a tad heavier than some of the other CRTs we tested, but when you're dealing with devices that weigh as much as a small child, what difference does a few more pounds make? Most CRTs have three or four buttons, but the MultiSync FP912SB has seven: one to call up and exit menus, two for moving left and right within menus, plus and minus buttons to make adjustments, a select button that enters submenus and calls up the SuperBright function, and a dedicated reset button. Whew. While the seven buttons make it relatively easy to navigate the OSM, the process could likely be streamlined; see ViewSonic's G90fb for our ideal onscreen menu (OSM) system.
Like the SyncMaster 957MB, the MultiSync FP912SB has three image setting presets specifically for viewing text, images, and video. Launched by a dedicated button on the front panel, this feature, called SuperBright, is a boon for those who won't bother with a monitor's image-adjustment settings--that is to say, most users. In our tests, the SuperBright settings improved the appearance of text, images, and video.
NEC's printed user manual contains a comprehensive explanation of how to set up the monitor, along with details of the OSM's features and navigation, troubleshooting tips, and service and support contacts. There's no CD, though, so you'll have to visit NEC's Web site for drivers or electronic documentation. While you're there, you can also download the handy NaViSet software, which lets you control and adjust the MultiSync FP912SB via your mouse and keyboard. The NaViSet interface looks like a typical Windows menu and is much easier to navigate than the button-based OSM.
The MultiSync FP912SB was a decent performer in CNET Labs tests, with a particular strength in reproducing colors, which looked bold and bright in both Web and high-resolution images. The monitor's screen geometry was also solid. However, the MultiSync FP912SB's focus was lacking, especially with serif fonts at point sizes lower than 10.5. Still, the display gave an adequate performance, even at 1,600x1,200--a resolution that makes many CRTs unmanageably blurry.
NEC backs the MultiSync FP912SB with a standard three-year warranty that can be extended to four or five years for $35 per extra year. Toll-free tech support is available 24/7 for the length of the warranty. The company's Web site contains drivers, manuals, FAQs, troubleshooting tips, e-mail tech support, and a technical library with white papers and technology guides.
CNET Labs DisplayMate tests (Longer bars indicate better performance)
Find out more about how we test CRTs.