Zonbu video output quality – VGA only, DVI needed

LCD MonitorI’ve been using my Zonbu aggressively, as my principal home desktop, for the last five days.

At this point, I’ve logged 40-50 hours using it with my NEC flat panel 18″ monitor.

By contrast, I may have used my XP machine for 3-4 hours over the same period.

One thing that I am disappointed with is that the Zonbu unit only has a VGA output.

The Digital Visual Interface (DVI) is not supported and is badly needed…

Eye Spy

I switched to digital output for my XP machine about two years ago.

It has made a world of difference in quality and reducing eye strain.

Text is sharper, there is less flicker in the image and the overall detail level is much higher than with analog VGA.

DVI is now the standard for interconnection with monitors, especially LCD flat panels, and it needs to be supported on the Zonbu for the device to be competitive.

In fact, a lot of new LCD panels only support DVI.

The device also needs proper wide screen resolution support, as I discussed in this initial overview.

The Mom Test

I mentioned in an earlier post that when my mother bought her current PC, within the last two years, she spent as much on her monitor as she did on her PC.

It’s not complicated to explain, she’s older and her eyes aren’t what they used to be.

She wanted lots of screen real estate and an extra sharp and easy to read picture. We added a low end video card to her box, giving her DVI output, and she has never looked back.

I couldn’t ask her to go back to analog output on the Zonbu.

My eyes! My eyes!

I’m getting older myself, and I’m starting to notice my eyes are not what they used to be.

I have to be brutally honest, after logging over 40 hours on the Zonbu, I’m really minding the video output quality with the analog VGA connection.

This may well be a “show stopper” for me, in terms of using the box as a day-to-day PC replacement.

In fact, I’m wondering whether I can realistically log 30 days using the box with the video quality such as it is.


I will be posting under a different heading about some of the other hardware changes I think Zonbu needs to make, working with their OEM, to make the box better suited to ts target market.

None of these changes are complex, nor should they be expensive, but I think they are critical to make the box viable for the mass market.

In the mean time, I hope a serious discussion takes place inside the Zonbu company around the video output quality. DVI output is not optional.
In it’s current state, the video output quality could seriously hamper the products appeal in its target market; many of whom will be over 30 and dealing with slowly declining vision.

-Mr. Zonbu


5 Responses to Zonbu video output quality – VGA only, DVI needed

  1. mykhal says:

    Hm, that’s a pity.. I have quite nice and sharp picture on, let’s say zonbu’s older brother (ebox-3853, CLE266) with Samsung LCD, see http://tinyurl.com/2r5y4v . I was hoping not only computing power, but also VGA output, will be yet better with new ebox-4xxx.

  2. mrzonbu says:

    Hmm, you’ve got me wondering if my device is sub-par but that others may be fine.

    Can anyone else, who is used to DVI output, offer thoughts on their Zonbu video quality?

    -Mr. Z

  3. mykhal says:

    Well, the “screenshot” may look unusually sharp for someone who uses anti-aliased fonts on the desktop, which is mostly the case. I do not use antialiasing, nor that ugly subpixel hinting.

  4. mykhal says:

    … err, subpixel antialiasing 🙂 I hint to use hinting

  5. Dave says:

    I’ve used VGA screens for most of my computing life, and only recently used DVI to attach a newly bought Dell 22″ LCD widescreen to my then Macbook (and now Pro). I’m not really sure if I can see that much of a difference, actually.. At work I still used a 21″ CRT display, connected via VGA.

    Maybe I’m wrong though, I should test it side-by-side to confirm I guess.

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