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Good quality LCD monitor ~$300?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 14, 2009 4:31:38 AM

I am becoming frustrated in my search for a new LCD monitor. I read many reviews on Newegg. It seems like every manufacturer in the industry sends out loads of garbage monitors with dead pixels, backlight problems, etc. My goal is to not be screwed with a piece of garbage and also get a monitor that is affordable and has good features. I understand that high-quality panels are expensive, but I am desperate to find a good solution around the $300 mark. The best bet I have so far is LG W2453V-PF Black 24", and I am hardly content with this prospect yet.

And a side question: What is the difference between 1920x1200 and 1920x1080 native resolution monitors? Its basically the same resolution...and it seems like many 1920x1200 have trouble displaying 1080p input in the proper proportions. Is one resolution better supported for gaming? Or is there some other significance?

I pray that someone can throw me a rope in this black sea of shïτ LCD products! Your help will be appreciated more than I can express. I will spread the knowledge you impart to me as much as I can! You are my only hope.
a b U Graphics card
July 14, 2009 4:40:46 AM

1920x1200 = more square (higher resolution, higher than HD)
1920x1080 = more flat/widescreen (lower resolution, 1080p HD)

Dell currently has some very nice 24"-25" for around $300

a b U Graphics card
July 14, 2009 5:04:29 AM

I think you have the idea Rocky. If you get a 1920x1200 monitor and play dvd movies, which are 1920x1080, the aspect ratio (width/height) of the movie will be a little different than the monitor so you will have small black bars at top and bottom.

Related resources
July 14, 2009 5:24:09 AM

thanks for the info about the resolution differences. The small difference in height just struck me as odd.

I couldn't find a Dell monitor that was what I was looking for around $300 :( 
a b U Graphics card
July 14, 2009 5:33:29 AM

I agree with Blue about the Dell monitors - my current and prior monitors are/were Dell and I really liked both.

My new monitor is the Ultrasharp 2209WA which usually lists for about $280
Note that this is sold only in the small and medium business section. For some strange reason I cannot find it listed now nor does a search turn up any trace - I only purchased it 2 month ago. However I do know that sometimes it was not listed online because they were out of stock, and even when I ordered it delivery had about a one month lag because they were out of stock. But what makes it so good is that it has an eISP panel which provides excellent color even when viewed from an angle. You are probably aware how colors change on the typical TN panel when viewed from the side - does not happen with this one. The two drawbacks are that it is 1680x1050 so it will not use entire screen to show 1920x1080 pictures. In addition, apparently for some uses it does not play the picture 1:1 but distorts it a little. I have not found this to be a significant problem for downloading TV or watching DVDs tho. You can google and get some reviews on the monitor if you wish.

The Dell Ultrasharp 2408WFP is legendary for its quality construction and picture quality. It is 24" and has the 1920x1200 aspect ratio. Google some reviews on it and you will see how well regarded it is . It has an M-PVA panel - also known for better picture quality. The list price on it was $650 for quite awhile, although it often sold a a slight discount. The price was recently dropped and currently it can be had for $412. It is the Cadillac of monitors and has a lot of features like many different types of connectors.

http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/category.aspx?c=us&c...

One thing to note with Dell, you need to be careful and know what type of panel a monitor has to gauge its quality. I say this because otherwise you might draw the wrong inference from model numbers. As mentioned above, the Ultrasharp 2408WFP has the great MVN panel. However the Ultrasharp 2208WFP - which one might expect to be a 22" version with the same features - has the TN panel. If you don't see it on the specs, you should ask. Note that most monitors from other brands only have the lesser quality TN panel and may not even mention it.

In their Home & Home Office section, a monitor worth looking at is a new one - the S2409W. It is 24" and native 1920x1080. It also has received some good reviews - although I have personally never seen one. It has only the standard TN panel - like most monitors - but is on sale now for only $219.

http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Monitors/pr...
July 14, 2009 5:40:02 AM

thanks for the awesome replay other-Rocky!!! My only worry is that these monitors have 5ms response time. I often see 2ms response time for gray-to-gray. Do these 5ms monitors perform differently?
a b U Graphics card
July 14, 2009 5:44:40 AM

rockyrococo said:
thanks for the info about the resolution differences. The small difference in height just struck me as odd.
:( 


The reason for the small differences in aspect ratios is simply because of changing technology. Essentially TVs are changing - or caught in the middle too. Movies for various reasons (primarily to accomodate wide open outdoor scenes compared to the tighter scenes of a typical TV show), have a different aspect ration than TVs. DVDs are often in the movie ratio of 16:9 while TV is 4:3. But as TV and movie use converges, more TVs and monitors for use as TVs are moving towards the 16:9 ratio - which is the 1920x1080.

Older monitors were for office use - not movies or TV - so they had a ratio designed for office work - my last 17 inch Dell monitor had an aspect ratio of 5:4. This also the reason the Dell 2408WFP is 1920x1200 - it was designed for office use - but I guess stetched out a little more because of its larger size.

Hope this helps - and that I am not telling you something you already know.
a b U Graphics card
July 14, 2009 5:55:30 AM

For you question about the response time, I had best refer you to looking for some reviews.

I have never noticed any problems watching video - but I don't do any gaming to speak of. I do know enough tho to be aware that in response times some vendors may be talking white to white while others are talking gray to gray and it sometime is not clearly disclosed. Although your comment leads me to beleive you are already familiar with this.

But I have seen online reviews on both the S2409W and 2408WFP where they do extensive color checks and report on things like the response time and how black the blacks are and the gamma and other things that are beyond me.

But I really like my Dells. I was hoping they would come out with the new one I bought in a 24 inch version with the eISP panel and 1920x1080. The ISP panel by the way is the Cadillac for most purposes although the MVN has better color accuracy - I have read. The eISP stands for an economy version of ISP - but it is relatively new and I could not find any meaningful discussions comparing eISP to ISP - but I can say from experience that the eISP is much better than TN - except that TN, I understand, does have faster response times - but you give up a lot in picture qualtiy for that - especially the distortion you get viewing it from even slightly off center.
July 14, 2009 6:15:37 AM

Not a fan of LG (Mainly because they have a habit of not putting dvi cables in their lcd monitors and only putting a rgb one in there)i like to stick with Viewsonic and Samsung
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Most of them around that resolution for that price probably will all jsut be TN LCD which have poor vertical viewing angle but lower ms it's not a big deal it's what most people are used to.

The whole ms thing is more of how it was measured usually things like ghosting is a mixture of poor video drivers and monitor with the lack of vertical sync. Anything lower then like 6ms usually means a tn monitor err here is a brief summary of types of LCD's
TN-(Cheapest usually)-Poor vertical viewing angles alright horizontal-Colors depends ranges very much on over all quality of monitor but usually is just fine-Input lag (From the time it takes for single to screen) 0-3ms?-response time 0-2ms gray to gray
PVA- (Costly?)-Viewing angles fine-Colors better then TN usually noticeably on lower black-light settings-input lag 16-50ms?-response time 0-8ms?
MVN- just a cross between pva and isp qualities imo 0-3 input with 0-6 responce.
IPS -(Very costly)-Viewing angles fine-Colors better then TN usually noticeably on lower black-light settings-0-1ms?-response time 0-6ms?

Is the general thing but each company has their own varients of pva/ips etc.Generally you can tell when its TN or not by viewing angles alone usually the ones that are 170/160 etc

For movie watching computers i just avoid tn that just about it else i find them alright to use.
a b U Graphics card
July 14, 2009 7:43:42 AM

I ran down some of the reviews on the Dell Ultrasharp 2209WA:

14 page review
http://www.erodov.com/forums/dell-ultrasharp-2209wa-rev...

Review with tool for comparing color quality of different monitors
http://www.digitalversus.com/article-358-4862-88.html#

Minireview
http://www.overclock.net/monitors-displays/467862-my-re...

ZDNet Australia
http://www.zdnet.com.au/reviews/hardware/desktops/soa/D...

AVForums Thread
http://www.zdnet.com.au/reviews/hardware/desktops/soa/D...

Owner reviews at OverclockersUK
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MO...

Foobar
http://fo0bar.livejournal.com/203363.html

Hardforum – 80 page forum with discussions going back to January
http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1387587&page=...

a b U Graphics card
July 14, 2009 4:30:15 PM

Samsungs Syncmaster line is excellent, no real issues for me so far.
a b U Graphics card
July 14, 2009 5:28:14 PM

LoL - I googled best monitors and the first listing selected Syncmaster monitors as best at 22" and 24" for widescreen. and the Dell 2804WFP at 24" for photo/video work.
The reviews appear be based on a composite of customer reviews taken from other sites such as Amazon and expert reviews.

http://www.consumersearch.com/lcd-monitors

I also found TFT Central which seems to be a great resource for those shopping for monitors with buyers guide, lots of reviews, and selector tool.

http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/
July 15, 2009 4:05:17 AM

thank you for the great responses! I am leaning toward a samsung at this point but who knows what i will decide
a b U Graphics card
July 15, 2009 12:10:08 PM

Out of curiosity, you have a size in mind? Also, do you need/want speakers built into the moniter?
July 15, 2009 5:02:20 PM

Right now I figure that 24" is the best for me. As for built-in speakers, I will not use them; my vague preference is that they are not included, so it is in no way a deciding factor.
a b U Graphics card
July 15, 2009 6:37:08 PM

I'd go with the Syncmaster T240 then (No need for the HD model, which has the speakers). The only complaint I have with the moniter is that is has an optical output, but will only carry a standard audio signal, and not a Dolby/DTS encoded signal (meaning I needed a Optical Digital switch, instead of one global output from the moniter). Minor point it doesn't sound like will affect you though.

I wish there was a 24" LCD with 120Hz. I know Samsung has a 22" one, but I love playing consoles/TV at 1080p...
!