LaCie 526 Review
Monitor size marches on, and LaCie’s new wide-screen offers 25.5in at 1920 x 1200. The inclusion of a hood in the box and the high price suggests that the target market is high-end professional use for proofing, photography and print, rather than general purpose web browsing and gaming. This could be why the colour features are more advanced than average, with a range of four pre-set 5000K-9300K colour settings, a general purpose sRGB mode at 6500K, and two extra native (ie, unprocessed) and programmable modes. Hue, offset, saturation and white point can be set individually, and brightness, contrast and black level are global.
A sharpening feature adds an automatic unsharp-mask effect for better text legibility, or alternatively softens hard edges. Connectivity includes three DVI connectors. HDCP is included for protected content, but there’s no HDMI connector for video. The onscreen display (OSD) is a new design which uses a selection of buttons at the bottom right of the bezel. It’s more intuitive and faster to work with than most OSDs, but unless you’re doing a lot of source switching you probably won’t use it much.
Video test performance was good but not outstanding, with wide gamut, good reach into green, and a profile with fairly even edges. Unfortunately it wasn’t as good as the profile of – for example – HP’s new 30in LP3065. Plus, given the video performance and 2560x 1600 resolution of the HP, it’s hard to see what the LaCie offers to make itself a compelling alternative to other models at this price.
The 526’s feature list and visual quality are good, but the price is difficult to justify given that 30in models are currently available for less. Colour professionals may be interested, but competition in the proofing market is stiff, and the extra two inches may not be enough to pull this model ahead of the wide range of alternatives.