The MultiSync LCD1970VX's narrow 0.5-inch-thick bezel has a curved edge that melts into the background, leaving the 19-inch panel as the center of attention. No adjustment buttons mar the frame; they're placed below the bottom bezel. The buttons let you control the onscreen menu (OSM), select between the digital and analog inputs (both cables are included), turn the power on and off, and reset the image to factory settings. A four-way button makes navigating the OSM a little easier than with most LCDs; NEC also offers a free download of NaViSet, a mouse-and-menu-based application for adjusting the image controls. Rather than providing a dedicated preset button, the LCD1970VX buries four numbered preset modes for brightness, contrast, and color temperature in the OSM under the brightness and contrast functions. Unfortunately, the confusing numerical labels don't explain the sort of viewing each mode is best suited for.
The MultiSync LCD1970VX's pedestal is solid and well designed. The lazy Susan embedded in the bottom of the simple, classic circular base glides easily through nearly 360 degrees of rotation. The neck effortlessly telescopes up and down about four inches, and the joint between the neck and the panel offers about 35 degrees of extremely smooth forward and backward tilt. A plastic cover for the back of the neck hides the cable-feed system.
The MultiSync LCD1970VX has average image quality for an LCD. Text looked sharp and full of contrast and was a pleasure to read even at smaller font sizes. Grayscale performance wasn't quite as impressive; the MultiSync LCD1970VX displayed fewer levels of very dark gray (near black) than most LCDs in its price range, and we saw the usual greenish and reddish tints in the midlevel grays. Color performance was good for viewing photos and other Web-based color images, but in CNET Labs' DisplayMate-based color tests, reds tended to veer toward orange. Our gaming- and DVD-performance tests found average levels of background noise, mild ghosting, and some loss of detail in darker areas of the picture.
The MultiSync LCD1970VX comes with an industry-standard three-year warranty that covers parts, labor, and the backlight. You can extend this warranty one year for $70 and two years for $100. NEC's Web site offers a plethora of support options in addition to 24/7 toll-free phone support. Online, you can access driver downloads, manuals, live tech-support chat, a tech-support e-mail address, FAQs, and recycling information.