LaCie 321 LCD Monitor

The 321 LCD Monitor from LaCie is a bright, beautiful 21.3-inch LCD aimed at professionals willing to pay the price for accurate color.

Although it ships with a hood to help block glare, this 1,600-by-1,200-pixel monitor sports other features that will catch the eye of color pros—like a 10-bit color lookup table for displaying smooth gradients and hardware color calibration via the optional LaCie Blue Eye Pro calibrator ($349). The monitor is built around an NEC display and, aside from the labels and the trademark blue color of the bezel, it’s hard to tell it apart from the NEC 2180UX in either appearance or specifications.

The display features a telescoping base that lets you adjust its height. The display can tilt forward and backward and can pivot from a standard landscape mode into portrait mode. But be aware that you’ll need a recent, retail graphics card from ATI (the ATI cards that come in new Macs do not support this feature) in order to use the 321 in portrait mode.

In our tests, we found the display a close match to our all-time favorite LCD, the NEC 2080UX (   , August 2003 ). We calibrated both displays using a GretagMacbeth Eye-One and found that the LaCie was a little better at displaying a neutral gray. The colors were not oversaturated and shared the NEC display’s ability to show depth in images and to ensure consistent color across the screen. Text was easy to read, even at small point sizes, and we saw no color shifts as we moved from left and right of center. At extreme angles, the colors remained consistent.

We did hook up the optional Blue Eye Pro calibrator and found that it worked well. The display didn’t look much different whether we used the GretagMacbeth or the LaCie calibration packages. In fact, the Blue Eye Pro uses a GretagMacbeth Eye-One Display 2 sensor. The difference is that the GretagMacbeth product is a software calibrator, which changes the image that your system’s graphics card sends out to the monitor. The Blue Eye Pro modifies the display hardware itself to match a desired white point and gamma. The Blue Eye Pro can also be used to perform software calibration on other displays that don’t allow hardware calibration.

Macworld’s Buying Advice

With the 321 LCD Monitor, LaCie takes one of the best LCDs available and improves on it. With its 10-bit color and optional hardware calibration, this is definitely a display that color pros will want to check out.

Jury Tests

Viewing Angle Excellent
Color Fidelity Excellent
Text Quality Very Good

Scale = Excellent, Very Good, Good, Flawed, Unacceptable

Specifications

Size 21 inches
Native Resolution (in dpi) 1,600-by-1,200
Connections 1 DVI, 1 analog
Viewing Angle 176 degrees
Brightness 250 CD/m2
Contrast Ratio 500:1
Warranty 3 years

LaCie 321 LCD Monitor

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