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LaCie's 526 Monitor. Courtesy of LaCie, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. LaCie: 26" LCD with near-Adobe RGB gamut
(Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 12:00 EDT)

From its US headquarters in Hillsboro OR, French company LaCie S.A.S has today announced a new LCD monitor aimed at use in digital photography, prepress, CAD, video editing and creative design.

The LaCie 526 Monitor offers a rather impressive specification, coupled to an even more eyecatching pricetag. Offering a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200 pixels, the LaCie 526 is a 25.5" widescreen LCD that offers room for two A4-sized pages displayed at 1:1 size, plus ample room for toolbars and palettes. Of particular interest to pro photographers will be the fact that the 526's H-IPS (Horizontal In-Plane Switching) LCD panel can display 95% of the Adobe RGB color space, and 98.5% of the ISO-coated color space.

We've seen a couple of LCD panels capable of displaying most or all of the Adobe RGB gamut in the past. Eizo's ColorEdge CG220 (announced in October 2004, and replaced in August 2006 by the similar CG221 model) was the first we're aware of to be advertised as displaying "nearly 100 percent" of Adobe RGB. NEC's SpectraView Reference 21 LCD2180WG-LED is said to actually exceed the Adobe RGB gamut just slightly, with the company promoting it as capable of up to 105.7% Adobe RGB and up to 101.0% NTSC gamut.

Both of these LCD panels however are smaller than the LaCie 526's 25.5" of widescreen real-estate, and the NEC is a more traditional 4:3 aspect ratio unit that offers 320 fewer pixels of horizontal resolution than the Eizo and the new LaCie model. The Eizo CG220 / CG221 are 22.2 inch types, and the NEC is 21.3 inches diagonal.

These existing panels are also significantly more expensive, with the LaCie 526 set for MSRP pricing of just under $2,000 (or $2,300 for a bundle with the company's "blue eye pro" colorimeter). This compares very favorably to street pricing of US$3,600 for the 4:3 aspect NEC model, and a whopping $5,300 for the widescreen Eizo.

On paper at least, it looks like LaCie has a real winner on its hands - and might just provoke a significant adjustment in its competitors' pricing when the 526 goes on sale at the end of this month. We don't have an exact spec on the Eizo's color gamut, but given that photographers would be able to afford two LaCie 526's with colorimeters for less than one Eizo CG221, it seems likely that most won't quibble over a scant few percent difference in gamut anway - particularly given that the Eizo has a 3.3" smaller diagonal.

Original Source Press Release:

LaCie Delivers 26" Widescreen LCD With Support For 95% AdobeRGB

  • Wide gamut supports 95% AdobeRGB, 98.5% ISO-coated
  • Wide format and large diagonal offer ideal working conditions
  • 12-bit LUT and 16-bit processing for smooth color gradients
  • Uniformity-enhanced panel with backlight stabilizer
PORTLAND, OR (April 2007) - LaCie today announced its first wide format, wide gamut LCD. The LaCie 526 Monitor, a 25.5" LCD in the new 500 Series range, is ideal for digital photography, prepress, CAD, video editing and creative design. It offers a combination of the best LCD panel technology available and advanced calibration tools for professional applications where color accuracy is a critical requirement.

"The LaCie 526 Monitor is a professional tool that will help you achieve accurate colors throughout your workflow," said Daniel Mayer, LaCie Color Business Unit Manager. "Its wide gamut and uniform and stabilized panel ensures that what you see is what you get. If you edit projects with a calibrated LaCie 526 Monitor, you can trust that the end result will be accurate."

The LaCie 526 Monitor employs a wide 25.5-inch H-IPS panel with 1920x1200 resolution for displaying two A4 pages at full size, while also leaving ample screen real estate for toolbars and palettes. Its wide gamut supports 95% AdobeRGB and 98.5% ISO-coated color space, opening the door to an even closer match between captured, displayed and printed colors. Integrated circuitry features a 12-bit Look Up Table (LUT) and 16-bit processing for smooth display of color gradients.

Each LaCie 526 Monitor is individually measured and corrected at the factory to achieve panel uniformity. An embedded sensor called ColorKeeper analyzes and stabilizes the output of the backlight over time, while also reducing warm-up time. On-board controls offer easy access to both of these features, as well as other advanced color settings.

The included LaCie blue eye pro software allows for hardware calibration in a single click, without further user involvement. Post-calibration, an extensive set of tools is available for advanced users who want more precise control. This includes manual fine-tuning of the white point, Test & Report to verify profile accuracy, and profile switching without the need to recalibrate. Users may also conduct a quick Ambient Light Analysis, which analyzes the light in the room to better understand whether an environment is ideal for color work.

LaCie also includes the easyHood, a one-piece monitor hood with anti-reflective black velvet lining intended to reduce glare in demanding work environments. The ergonomic stand hides cables in the back, and can be easily height-adjusted, swiveled, tilted and pivoted to accommodate any viewing need.

The LaCie 526 Monitor will be available end of April via LaCie's specialized dealer network for $1,999 MSRP. Also available in a bundle with the LaCie blue eye pro colorimeter for $2,299 MSRP. Monitors ship with all cables (VGA, DVI-D, DVI-I) necessary for immediate use, LaCie blue eye pro calibration software for Windows®/Mac OS®, the LaCie easyHood, and a screen cleaner kit. For more information, visit www.lacie.com.

About LaCie
Located in the US, Canada, Japan, Australia, Europe, Singapore and Hong Kong, LaCie is the leading manufacturer of computer peripherals for PC, Apple and Linux users. LaCie creates external storage solutions and color monitors that help professionals and everyday people easily manage their digital lives. LaCie has differentiated its products through original designs and leading-edge technology. Established in France in 1989, LaCie is listed on Euronext under FR0000054314 (LAC). For more information, visit www.lacie.com.

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