ASUS LS201 20" LCD Monitor

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A Closer Look At The LS201's Screen

Details About The ASUS LS201's Screen
A Definition of Hardness

The glass covering the front surface of the LS201 isn't actually glass at all, or at least not in the standard sense. According to ASUS, the LS201 is covered by a sheet of crystal-sapphire with diamond-cut, beveled edges. The crystal-sapphire 'glass' used by the LS201 is rated for significantly higher 'hardness' then the silica-derived glass you would find normally on a window. This is worth further explanation, since it is the central unique feature of the LS201 and the source of much of the LS201's unusual toughness.

In mineralogy, hardness is the characteristic of a solid material that relates to its ability to scratch softer materials. A mineral can only be scratched by a harder substance. A soft material can never scratch a hard material. This is actually only one of several definitions for hardness in the broader science of Materials Science and it is sometimes specifically referred to as 'scratch hardness'. There are also numerous scales used to measure hardness, but the one most commonly associated with scratch hardness, and the one seemingly used by ASUS, is Moh's scale of mineral hardness.

Moh's Scale of Mineral Hardness (extended with additional materials)

Moh's scale of mineral hardness is a purely ordinal scale that measures the scratch resistance of various minerals and classifies the hardness of materials based on their relative hardness. ASUS claims the crystal-sapphire 'glass' used on the LS201 is rated a 9 for hardness. Refering to our handy HotHardware Moh's Mineral Hardness Table we can see that this means only a few substances, namely diamond, are hard enough to scratch the surface of the LS201. For reference, oridinary silica-based glass is usually around 6.5 on Moh's scale which means it can be scratched by hardened steel, among other things.

Looking at Moh's hardness scale, we can see that Sapphire is a 9 on the scale, which corroborates ASUS' claims of the LS201's screen's hardness. A closer examination of the fine print in the marketing materials also reveals that the LS201 has been tested with the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) D3363-92a pencil hardness test. The D3363-92a is a fairly standard test of material hardness and it is proof enough to us that ASUS' claims probably have some substance. In any case, you can definitely bet the LS201 is more resistant to scratches than your standard LCD screen made of soft plastics.

We felt the
You Tube video that attracted us to the LS201 in the first place was proof enough of its durability so we did not go out of our way to test its mettle. However, we did give it a couple solid blows from an old keyboard we had laying around for good measure and it withstood the punishment without even blinking, literally. The screen was displaying the desktop at the time and the blow didn't cause it to distort, blink or change in any way, nor did it leave any lasting scratches or marks.

We think that this is a sufficient test of the LS201's durability and we felt no need to fire crossbow bolts at our review sample. Especially since ASUS doesn't make any specific claims about the LS201's crossbow bolt deflection ability. In all likeliness, the worst an LS201 will experience at the hands of its user is some undue venting of frustration, most likely with office supplies or a keyboard as in our "test", and not medieval weaponry.

Tags:  Asus, LCD, monitor, CD, LCD monitor, s2, S20, LC, Tor, ITO

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