Formac Gallery 2010 Xtreme-5 review
Review Date: 19 Feb 2007
Price when reviewed: inc VAT
Reviewed By: Lynley Oram
Formac's Gallery 2010 Xtreme-5 is a strikingly designed monitor, but not everyone will like it.
Rather than sitting on a pedestal and stand, the Xtreme-5 looks more like an oversized picture frame. The 20.1in screen is set in a plastic surround that sits directly on the desk, propped up from behind by the hinged stand. This gives the screen a lot more tilt than other monitors, but it is not height adjustable. This inflexibility works against the Xtreme-5. Other monitors in this price range have both considerable tilt and height adjustment available.
The Gallery has captive DVI, USB (for the two-port USB2 hub) and power cables, so if anything does go wrong then you cannot just replace the cables. For a monitor of this price, we would expect removable cabling. It's also a shame that the cables are white, as they stand out from the black monitor. The cables look better on the silver and white version, though.
On the front of the display are two dedicated buttons for adjusting the brightness and contrast. According to Formac, the monitor leaves the factory tuned to perform straight out of the box. It's likely, though, that you'll want to adjust the settings to suit your personal preference.
All our criticisms are cosmetic. For accurate and natural colours, the Xtreme-5 is hard to beat. It is well suited to professional users such as designers and photographers. Skin tones in our photos - something that many monitors find difficult to reproduce accurately - were realistic. Our test video clips were displayed with vibrant and rich colours. Text was incredibly sharp and readable even down to the smallest of font sizes. Games players will also like this display, as details in fast, action-packed games were sharply defined with no ghosting or streaking.
We were also impressed with the viewing angle of this monitor. We didn't see any loss of quality in the image produced when stepping to the side of the display, or tilting the screen right back.
The Xtreme-5's image quality is simply superb and it is a great choice if you are doing a lot of professional video or photo-editing work. However, it is incredibly expensive. HP's LP2065 has a four-port USB hub, an extra DVI port and near-identical image quality. For most people the LP2065 will make more sense, particularly as it is £200 cheaper.
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