Pros: Very clear image. Fast response time. Auto-adjust feature. Slim bezel.
Cons: No height adjusting feature. Buttons are sometimes difficult to press. No DVI.
Well it has been a year since I have owned this monitor, so I figure now is a good time to write a fair review. Almost a year ago, I was in the market to purchase a new monitor to go with my new computer. Though I wanted a flat panel monitor, I was hesitant about the price. At that time 17" TFT monitors were averaging about $400. But as I browsed through the long display of monitors at a local Fry's Electronics, I came across the NEC 1712 TFT. To my joy, it was on sale for $350 along with a rebate, so I decided to splurge and went ahead and purchased it.
The monitor is silver and very sleek looking. Compared to a 17" CRT monitor, it is much lighter (can be easily picked up with one hand). It comes with all the necessary cables and a manual in a very well packaged box. The only assembly required involved latching the base onto the frame of the monitor. Though that latch is a bit delicate, the rest of the monitor is solid and well-built. The base supports tilting the monitor up to a 45 degree angle, but other than that the base doesn't support raising the height or turning the monitor side-to-side. The buttons are well placed on the monitor and allow you to easily adjust all aspects of the monitor. There is also a small LED which turns green when the monitor is ON and amber when it is in STANDBY. Though I liked the look and feel of the buttons, I found them a bit shallow, thus making it difficult to press sometimes.
Up to this point I was satisfied with the monitor, but I was blown away after I finally started it. The biggest perk of a TFT monitor is that it is very relaxing on the eyes and this monitor delivers on that front as I can use this monitor all day long without tiring out my eyes. Despite what critics have said are the weaknesses of TFT, I have not been able to find any flaws in the image. The clarity and crispness of the desktop image is better than any CRT I have every seen. Even the screen saver looks better! The colors are bright and vibrant and the contrast ratio is superb. The viewing angle is also sufficient for a device that will be placed only a few feet from your face. Remember this is a monitor not a TV. Finally and most importantly, this monitor doesn't experience ghosting due to it's fast 16ms response time. I have played numerous fast-paced games at the highest resolution supported by this monitor (1280x1024), and still have not experienced any ghosting. I don't even have a very high end video card (~$100), so I am sure that if you were to team up this monitor with a high end video card, the experience would be breath taking. There is also an Auto-Adjusting button which when pressed automatically adjusts the color and contrast ratio of your monitor and centers your screen perfectly based on your chosen resolution and video card type.
Overall, there is much to like about this monitor, as it can stand toe-to-toe with higher priced competitors. I was fortunate that my monitor didn't come with any dead pixels, but that is a problem than can happen with any TFT by any brand, so your experience may vary. The only major drawback is that it doesn't support DVI, which is the standard most new video cards are exclusively adopting. So unless you are in the market to purchase a $500 video card, you won't be disappointed by this monitor. Also, with it's low power usage (~40 Watts) and 3-year warranty, you will save money in the long run. Most importantly, your eyes will thank you and who can put a price on that?