Widescreen TV is in, and as one of its main purveyors, it’s logical to expect a widescreen monitor from Sony – hence the FW900.
Sony had previously had a wide screen computer monitor, and the tube is still used in some OEM models. But that version is getting a bit long in the tooth now. The FW900 is much flatter and more modern looking than its predecessor. In fact, the screen is total flat both vertically and horizontally.
The screen is measured as a 24-inch tube, which translates to a 22.5-inch viewable area. As this is a widescreen model, the 22.5-inch measurement gives an image of just over 12-inches high by 19-inches wide. This should be big enough for most users, leaving a hefty border to stash palettes and tool bars.
At £1,499 the FW900’s charms are not cheap, unless you compare it to something like the Apple Cinema Display. It’s actually a poor-man’s Cinema Display, as it costs £700 less. The picture quality is sharp and the convergence is pretty good, even in the corners. One issue with the widescreen aspect ratio is getting a graphics card to drive the screen to its optimum capabilities. The recommended resolution is 1,920-x-1,200 pixels at 85Hz. The best a standard G4 can do is 1,920-x-1,080 at 72Hz. If you have one of the higher rated Nvidia cards, you should be able to get a full-screen image at 85Hz. Otherwise, you’re faced with a small black line top and bottom.
Although the Sony FW900 doesn’t come with any calibration options beyond the Mac’s built-in ColorSync, it still does a good job. It has a much bigger footprint than the Cinema Display, but if you have the space for it, it will do a similar job. The price is high for a normal monitor, but this is a sleek prestige monitor for which you should expect to pay more.