Eizo Foris FS2331 review
Great image quality, but the asking price is enough to make even the wealthiest of monitor enthusiasts wince
With entry-level LCD monitors dwindling in price, manufacturers touting premium models at premium prices are having an increasingly tough time convincing the public the extra expenditure is worthwhile.
Eizo's Foris FS2331 makes a fairly convincing argument, however. With a reassuring five years of warranty cover, a high-quality PVA panel and even a remote control into the bargain, Eizo's latest home-entertainment monitor may be enough to twist anyone's arm.
At first glance, you might wonder what all the fuss is about. The specifications certainly aren't that impressive for a monitor that costs £369 exc VAT. First, it's a 23in monitor. Second, it has a mere Full HD resolution. With 24in monitors with high-quality IPS panels and higher 1,920 x 1,200 resolutions available for significantly less than the FS2331, it isn't a particularly auspicious beginning.
Give the Foris time to warm up, though, and it's difficult not to come away impressed. Image quality is great, with colours in particular looking natural without any tweaking at all. And, thanks to a measured contrast ratio of 2,800:1 and even backlighting, all our test images looked fantastic, with punchy highlights, deep blacks and plenty of fine detail.
Analysing its capabilities with an X-Rite Eye-One Display 2 colorimeter largely backed up our subjective appraisal. With all the monitor's settings at their defaults - apart from manually setting the colour temperature to 6,500k - we measured an average Delta-E of just 0.8. With maximum Delta-E figures peaking at just 1.6, this is one monitor whose colour accuracy can be relied upon.
Straight out of the box, brightness is incredibly dim - we measured it at just 52cd/m[sup]2[/sup] - but if you pump up the brightness to maximum it soars to 280cd/m2; more than bright enough.
We were mightily impressed by the almost non-existent input lag. Many LCD monitors introduce a fraction of a second delay between images being sent by your graphics card and actually being displayed, but the Foris was barely affected at all. Input lag peaked at just 20ms and there were occasions when there was no lag at all. With an average of 9ms, the Eizo is about as good as it gets.
Despite the PVA-based panel's significant benefits, however, a quick response time isn't among its talents. An "overdrive" circuit helps coax a faster response time from the FS2331, and while turning it off swiftly reassures as to its efficacy, we still noticed some smearing while gaming. It wasn't until we moved from its Standard to its Enhanced setting that we found the ghosting in games and fast-paced action movies was reduced to an almost imperceptible level.
Around the back you'll find DVI, VGA and twin HDMI inputs, as well as a 3.5mm mini-jack input for the distinctly average pair of built-in speakers. And rather than control the onscreen display with buttons on the monitor itself, Eizo provides a petite remote control in the box. This allows users to tweak the extensive array of options, as well as swap between video inputs. For those planning to hook up a PC and a games console or two as well, it's a nice touch.
But, for all its finer points, the Eizo's price is what sticks in the mind the most. There's no argument that the image quality is good enough to make the most of movies and games, as well as indulge in serious photo editing work, but we're not entirely convinced all this couldn't be achieved for less.
|Price ex VAT||£369|
|Price inc VAT||£434|
|Features & Design||5|
|Value for Money||3|
|Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Pixel response time||7ms|
|Dynamic contrast ratio||10,000:1|
|Horizontal viewing angle||178 degrees|
|Vertical viewing angle||178 degrees|
|Speaker power ouput||1W|
|TV tuner type||N/A|
|Upstream USB ports||0|
|USB ports (downstream)||0|
|3.5mm audio input jacks||1|
|Other audio connectors||N/A|
|Other cables supplied||3.5mm audio cable|
|Internal power supply||yes|
|Peak power consumption||46W|
|Idle power consumption||24W|
|Colour temperature settings||5000k to 10000k|
|Extra adjustments||Black Level, Gamma, Temperature, Saturation, Hue, Gain, ContrastEnhancer, Power Resolution, Overdrive, Reset, Power Save (VESA DPM and DVI DMPM), Off Timer, Volume, Mute, Sound Level, Power Save, Source (HDMI), Product Information (name, serial number,|
|Forward tilt angle||5 degrees|
|Backward tilt angle||20 degrees|
|Swivel angle||0 degrees|
|Pivot (portrait) mode?||no|
|Dimensions||549 x 212 x 403mm (WDH)|