Eizo Foris FX2431 Inverness
Eizo Foris FX2431
Eizo may be best known in the UK for its stunning FlexScan range of professional TFTs, but in its native Japan it also caters to the home entertainment crowd. Styled by industrial designer Kazuo Kawasaki - responsible for Sarah Palin's distinctive glasses, of all things - the Foris line of monitors takes the usual high quality template but adds a whole host of consumer inputs for PCs, consoles and other devices. And now, after five successful years, it's venturing beyond the shores of Japan for the first time.
As is so often the case with Eizo, the 1,920 x 1,200 VA panel makes even the best mainstream TFTs look pale and insubstantial by comparison. With impressive 360cd/m2 brightness and a 1,000:1 core contrast ratio, the FX2431 manages to produce both a staggeringly deep black level - to all intents and purposes it's dark enough to appear off - and an even, crisp white that makes document editing a breeze.
But this TFT isn't built for work, it's intended for rich, vibrant colours and full immersion in your media of choice. With that in mind, the smooth colour gradients, flawlessly neutral greys and thick, bloody reds (always a sticking point in our tests with cheaper TFTs) will have gamers and movie buffs drooling in appreciation. It displays 96% of the Adobe RGB colour space, and our finest demonstration of this - Pixar's wonderful Wall-E in high definition - drew gaping crowds in the Labs.
This was all with no setup at all out of the box, and the only minor weakness we could find was its 6ms grey-to-grey response time; technical tests showed minor blurring in fast motion, although we didn't spot any problems in real-world testing.
So the panel is superb, that much we expected, but the Foris line offers much more on top of that. The design is aggressive, looking almost like the TFT equivalent of a Hummer with its bar and speaker grill at the bottom. The stand only lifts a few centimetres, but it swivels widely and tilts back 35 degrees.
And on the rear, divided into two panels, you'll find almost every connection under the sun. For video you get a choice of two HDMI ports, DVI, VGA, component, composite and S-Video; for audio, add RCA phono inputs and the usual 3.5mm jacks to a fine mix. There are two upstream and two downstream USB ports as well, and if you connect a keyboard and mouse you can use them across two PCs without unplugging anything.
Then there are the extra features that may or may not appeal, such as Portable mode, which lets you plug in your PSP and play games blown up to full-screen, and also enlarges other standard definition console content. If you have a Blu-ray player the FX2431's HDMI inputs accept a 1080/24p signal natively, ensuring smooth playback, and you even get a remote control to add to its home cinema credentials.
The 2W stereo speakers are vastly superior to most monitor offerings, with settings for balance, bass and treble, along with enough volume to fill a room, albeit with minor distortion at maximum. The added bulk does make the FX2431 a bit of a beast, but it isn't overly power-hungry. We measured a draw of 59W on the desktop, and there's a physical power switch on the back if you're not a fan of standby modes.
All in all, it's every bit as impressive as previous Eizo FlexScan offerings, with the added appeal that it's not only professional image editors who should get a kick from the Foris line. Alas, it comes with the usual Eizo price tag, initially set at a massive SRP of £942. With even the very finest consumer 24in TFTs costing half that at most, it's a little hard to see many digging this deep into their wallets. Nevertheless, you'll rarely see a finer 24in TFT than the Eizo Foris FX2431.
24.1in widescreen TFT; 1,920 x 1,200 resolution; 6ms response time; 360cd/m2 brightness; 1,000:1 (2,000:1 dynamic) contrast ratio; 2 x HDMI, DVI, VGA, component, composite, S-Video; 2 x 2W speakers; 2 x USB; 5yr RTB warranty; 566 x 230 x 444-480mm (WDH); 10.5kg.
Stunning image quality and pretty much every consumer feature you could wish for - your wallet will suffer, though.
Author: David Bayon