We've grown rather fond of NEC's range of flat-panel monitors; they're always stylish, well designed and a joy to use. However, we're not so sure about this latest model from the range - one of the first products released since NEC announced that it had bought out its joint-venture partner Mitsubishi and decided to go it alone in the world of flat-panels.

The MultiSync LCD 1770NX is the baby in NEC's range of professional monitors and it looks the part. It features a slightly more curvy slimline bezel than its larger siblings, and it also has the benefit of DVI and analogue D-sub inputs, which makes it great for anyone with an older Mac who might be upgrading to a newer model with a DVI connector.

Obviously there's no ADC connector, since that's a technology peculiar to Apple that has now been consigned to the technological dustbin of history.

Back to that caveat in the first paragraph... although the 1770NX is a great-looking monitor with lots of height adjustment and just about the best set of monitor controls you'll ever find, the image quality on the screen is oddly disappointing.

The response rate seems rather slow and leaves a yellowish trail behind black text when scrolling through, say, a web page. The standard settings bleach out a lot of detail on the screen, although the sRGB setting improves things a little.

We did calibrate the monitor, but somehow it just doesn't sparkle like so many of the other NEC screens we've viewed. Text isn't as black and sharp as we'd have liked. Perhaps our review sample was having an off day, but we couldn't get it to deliver the kind of performance that we usually see from NEC.

The NEC MultiSync 1770NX has more good points, of course. On the positive side, the height, tilt and swivel adjustments are perfect, and even Apple could learn a thing or two from NEC in that department. Mark Sparrow