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4 Hot Multimedia Notebooks Reviewed

Luminance Testing Results

Most of the displays score in a range of 122 to 133 for maximum brightness (the Sony is lowest at 122, and the Qosmio and MSI both tie at 132). As you’d expect the HP HDX is significantly higher at 172, which is easily explained by the size and quality of the display in this unit. What’s interesting is the contrast data, where again the HP HDX is way ahead of all the others at 973:1 (better than or equal to the highest-quality LCD HDTV sets). While the Qosmio manifests an acceptable contrast ratio of 673:1 (on par with many good LCD TVs, and better than the majority of notebook monitors), both the MSI (136:1) and Sony (53:1) show low values, where the Sony’s ratio is downright dreadful (less than 100:1 makes any such display invisible under bright light or sunlight).

What’s interesting about this is that both screens functioned well in normal indoor lighting conditions, both throughout our testing and in viewing some sample DVDs. We’ve got "Swordfish" in HD-DVD and conventional so we used it to compare the HD-DVD units to the MSI. We’ve also got "X:Men: The Last Stand" in both Blu-ray and conventional DVD, so we used it to compare the Sony to the MSI as well. All displays were at least tolerable, if not better than that, and both the Sony and HP HDX looked good when viewing high-definition material. We also did not notice any unusual loss of clarity or detail when viewing dark scenes on the Sony display, as the low contrast ratio would lead you to expect.