XBOX HARDWARE REVIEW: 6.0 inch TFT Monitor with SRS (NTSC)
Manufacturer: Joytech (http://www.joytech.net
Review Unit Supplied by: (http://www.xbox-modchips.com
Price: appr. $169
Friday Oct 10th, 2003
*High Definition 6.0 inch (15.2cm) TFT Colour Screen provides pin sharp picture quality and true RGB colour definition. The TFT screen provides a wide 160-degree viewing angle for a clear picture in any seated position.
*SRSģ 3D Surround Sound dramatically improves audio quality by providing stereo sound with a rich spatial effect.
*Integrated twin modular Stereo Speakers use Dynamic "Mylar" Cones to deliver full rich sound.
*Integrated Audio/ Video Inputs allow connection of an external AV source to the Monitor (i.e. DVD, VCR)
*AV Multi Output allows you to connect your console to an external TV and/or Hi-Fi without removal of the Monitor.
*4 Stereo Headphone Outputs for private multi-player gaming.
*Volume and Brightness controls allow you to adjust your Monitor settings to match your surroundings.
Joytech knows their business, as they have been making computer and console peripherals for awhile now. If you are familiar with their monitors for GAMECUBE and PS2 then this review wonít shock you much.
The XBOX 6.0 inch TFT Monitor is an excellent example of form, function, and styling. It comes well packaged which is good because it comes a long way, as JOYTECH is located in the UK. (Iím in Canada)
Rigid, black, and sturdy, the monitor acclimates itself well to the looks and style of the stock XBOX case it attaches to. No sticky strips, no Velcro, just a simple slide down and grab connection is used to keep this baby where you want it. Do not lift the combined XBOX/MONITOR by the monitor only, as youíll end up with some expensive broken hardware. (Likely the XBOX) The binding mechanism works well as a stationary unit, but if you are into porting the combo around, youíll learn to handle them with care. However, thatís not to say the monitor doesnít take a beating - it does. This review almost didnít happen because I took a flip and tossed the monitor 6 feet up and 10 feet away. As you can see from the screen shots, it survived! I ended up with bandages on my elbow, and my wife laughing while she clean my wounds with alcohol.
The strong hinge allows the monitor to fully close protecting the screen during transit. (good thing too.. because youíll want to lug this bugger around and show it off at your next Halo/Lan tourny) The styling of the front panel matches the grill effects of the xbox case well, concealing 2 cone speakers which provide more than adequate sound. As noted in the hype the unit supports SRS 3D Surround Sound. (switch on/off)
As you can see itís not a rigid shell connection to the video port, itís a flexible cable connection. This bodes well for the unit and its longevity. Rigid rear connections for consoles are vicious beasts and tend to not fare well over the long haul.
Rear mounted A/V connections, means you can have this monitor hooked up to the XBOX and, hook up a secondary unit like a VCR, Satellite, DVD unit or better yet another console. Simple slide switch allows you to switch from internal video to external video inputs. Alternatively you can run this monitor without even owning an XBOX at all. My test XBOX unit is from a previous mod project and resides in a small pc case. Due to the External Video Connectors, I was still able to connect this monitor to that particular XBOX. A feature not found on most portable LCD screens of this size on the market.
Finally someone is using their head, and included 4 Headphone jacks. I canít imagine 4 people sitting around this screen playing multiplayer anything, (I wouldnít to be that close to 3 other players) but I applaud the effort. The unit disables output to its speakers when any of the headphone jacks are in use. I always felt that a big drawback for XBOX was the lack of a headphone jack on the unit, or even better, on the controller. (are you listening MS?)
Now you are wondering is it any good for games, movies, etc?
I was shocked as I always had the misconception that LCD displays were not good for gaming. This screen held up surprisingly well. No color irregularities, no ghosting or blurring/drifting images. Animation and live action sequences move fluidly. I was able to play Ghost Recon Island Thunder surprisingly well with it (feared that the small screen would hinder visibility, when actually the opposite was true). The game had extreme clarity and sniper mode was a dream on this unit. Granted it wasnít a high paced game to test with so I dug up the archive and started playing game after game hoping to find one that would show this unit to be less than stellar. I didnít find one.
EDIT: I watched TOP GUN and LOST IN SPACE on the screen during final edits of this review it was an enjoyable experience.
Just for the hell of it.. I fired up some of XPORTís Emulators and I have to tell you playing some Nintendo classics on this screen alone would be worth the price.
I donít have much in the way of complaints. But I did notice a number of issues. If used with any modchip that uses/relies on a rear mounted LPT connector/switch (example X2 Pro) you will need to be creative and relocate that connector. The clamping/binding system could be better IMO. Also, when using the monitor you will not be able to use many of the side mounted Air Filters and Air Coolers on the market today. (Review of both coming soon) A stock XBOX unit, with this monitor attached will not properly fit into one of those XBOX PAK carry bags that are available on the market. (Commonly bundled in Canada with the XBOX when they still retailed for $600Cdn)
I would love to see some additional features added to this unit in the future. Video connector pass-through would be at the top of my list. It would be nice to not need to remove or disconnect the monitor from the Xbox in order to hook it up to a TV again.
Larger screen would be another. 6 inches is plenty, but weíve gotten used to 9-13 inch TFT displays on notebooks, so itís hard to impress people today with 6 inches. (Course 13 inch lcd would price this unit out of the market)
As a final addition.. Iíd love to see a universal PLUG. The unit reviews comes with the black plug shown, the grey adapter was added to the unit by Xbox-modchips.comignore caption in this pic ^ it's the .UK connector (makes sense.. Joytech is UK)
Swivel option might be nice too. 160 degrees viewable was nice, but Iíd like the option at least to not sit right in front of the unit.
Overall, I like this unit; since people seem to like a numerical rating I give this unit 8.9 out of 10.
Visit the manufacturersí site www.joytech.net they produce quality products for a number of gaming consoles including Playstation, Gamecube, and GBA.
Canadian Supplier : http://www.xbox-modchips.com/mobile-xbox-monitor.htm
UK Supplier http://www.gameplay.co.uk
For more pictures and video clips: http://hsdemonz.mikerosoft.net/JoytechTFT/
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