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Monitor Selection -- Help desired?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 25, 2011 12:15:42 AM

Hey there folks. Sorry if this is the wrong Sub-Forum but it says "Graphics & Displays" so I figured I'd give it a shot despite not seeing many monitor posts in here.

I'm a n00b to the world of displays. I freely admit this. I've used laptops exclusively for the last 9 years (when I started college) and haven't had a monitor until a month or so ago when I dug up an old CRT from a closet at my parent's house because the display on my Thinkpad gave out.

I've done a lot of reading lately on what I want to buy and I've come to the conclusion that for most things IPS > VA > TN, but that TN shines in the world of online gaming. I'm open to anything.

My monitor will be used for various things. Most notably a lot of work in Microsoft Office and Web Surfing, but I do also play games (SC2, WoW, Oblivion). I do not consider myself to be a hardcore gamer but a monitor that has bad "ghosting" or whatever would hardly be ideal given that I do play games often enough to want a good monitor for it. I'm building a new computer soon-ish and figure it's finally time to buy a monitor.

I've been looking primarily at the Dell U2211h, the Dell U2311h, and Dell 2209WA. These are all IPS panels (I think) that have great reviews and apparently reasonably good performance in games. However a few things have come up and I wanted to get the advice of the awesome people here.

(1) Can you really tell a difference in how an IPS vs. a TN panel looks just using the naked eye? I don't do serious photo work or anything, but if it's noticable in more than just viewing angles for games/movies/whatever then I will continue considering them. Otherwise I might be able to find a Dell P-series for cheaper.

(2) If I get a refurbished unit I can get a Dell U2311h for $200 it looks like -- but what kinds of risks are you likely to be taking going that route instead of new?

(3) I've been told twice now that a high resolution (1920x1080) in a monitor <24" is going to be a pain in the butt b/c things will be too small to see properly. That's why I was considering the 2209WA -- it has 1680x1050 instead, but I think I might regret not having HD in the future? Anyway I am looking in the 21.5"-24" range but is 1080p going to strain a normal person's eyes?

(4) I want to keep this under $250 if possible.

(5) If I go the TN route to save money what do you all think about LED backlighting? I tend to think it looks better but I don't really know about the pros and cons, and the internet is a hotbed of conflicting information.

(6) I've been looking at Dell because I like all the swivel options the monitors have as well as the matte display and bezel. I am open to other options but would slightly prefer Dell (they have so many "series" of monitors, from ST to SX, S, E, U, P, and whatever else, and I can't find a good comparison tool to tell me the difference, so if anyone can give me a rundown there of specs that'd be amazing).

(7) Help me pick a monitor? I know that most folks aren't going to want to go through all of those questions and help me out, but anything anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated.

I hope that was everything I needed to ask, hah!

Thanks in advance guys,
CT
January 25, 2011 7:22:48 AM

Bump? :( 
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January 25, 2011 9:30:29 AM

1. I don't know since I never have/use IPS monitor before.
2. I think you will be more safer with a brand new monitor.
3. No, it's fine, do not worry about high resolution, many people here are satisfied with HD resolution.

4. For under $250, I guess you can't buy a LED Monitor, but don't worry, LED monitor is just more efficient than regular one, you can take a look at this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

5. Just like I said before, LED monitor is more "energy safer", else are the same.
6. Dell? then take a look at this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
That's out of your budget range.

7. I think the best way to "judge" whether the monitor is good or not is look at the reviews.

Sorry If I'm not help at all. :) 
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January 25, 2011 1:17:08 PM

You should shorten your post if you wan't more people to respond. Nobody want's to read a friggin book.
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January 25, 2011 1:28:59 PM

Im with Geek, your question is all about monitors - everything!

You are trying to dice apart the last 5% of monitor features. 99% of the world uses non-LED monitors and its fine. 99% of the world watches HD on a 1600X1000 monitor just fine. PC's resize the video...

If you really want to SEE the difference between those panels, go to a store and look at them, otherwise buy the best you can afford and call it good.

There may be a perfect panel, but you cant afford it. So accept that and buy something reasonable and get on with your life...

Undoubtedly someone will reply with OMG r u kidding. an IPS panel from Cheng Fu Electronics is the only way to go... whatever....
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a c 104 C Monitor
January 25, 2011 1:49:09 PM

CheddarTrek said:

(1) Can you really tell a difference in how an IPS vs. a TN panel looks just using the naked eye? I don't do serious photo work or anything, but if it's noticable in more than just viewing angles for games/movies/whatever then I will continue considering them. Otherwise I might be able to find a Dell P-series for cheaper.

(2) If I get a refurbished unit I can get a Dell U2311h for $200 it looks like -- but what kinds of risks are you likely to be taking going that route instead of new?

(3) I've been told twice now that a high resolution (1920x1080) in a monitor <24" is going to be a pain in the butt b/c things will be too small to see properly. That's why I was considering the 2209WA -- it has 1680x1050 instead, but I think I might regret not having HD in the future? Anyway I am looking in the 21.5"-24" range but is 1080p going to strain a normal person's eyes?

(5) If I go the TN route to save money what do you all think about LED backlighting? I tend to think it looks better but I don't really know about the pros and cons, and the internet is a hotbed of conflicting information.

(6) I've been looking at Dell because I like all the swivel options the monitors have as well as the matte display and bezel. I am open to other options but would slightly prefer Dell (they have so many "series" of monitors, from ST to SX, S, E, U, P, and whatever else, and I can't find a good comparison tool to tell me the difference, so if anyone can give me a rundown there of specs that'd be amazing).

I hope that was everything I needed to ask, hah!

Thanks in advance guys,
CT


1. Yes there is a very noticable difference between TN and the higher end technologies in LCD pannels. And look at it this way, you get a TN, then will spend the next 5 years wondering how much better the display may have looked if you got the other one. Saving $50-100 on an item you stare at for possibly hours a day is not worth the savings, unless you are really hard up for the cash. I spent $500 on my 22" monitor and have never once regretted it. If I spent $200 on one, I will think about it each time I turn it on.

2. Up to you about the risk on a used one, no way to tell if you will have bad luck with it. If you have a return/exchange warranty on a used one, go for it. Just check the bad pixel policy and any other reason you would be allowed to return it. Myself, I was burned on used parts before, and got super deals other times.

3. Monitor resolution is all up to you, only you know how well you can view small text or what bothers you. Don't worry about HD or not HD, any LCD these days will handle HD quality video. This brings back to TN or IPS though, higher end you will have better video quality.

5. LED will look sharper and more pop in colors, better contrast also.

6. Dell UltraSharp series is a good bet, check web reviews for all of models though as they are pricy compared to most. There is no need to have someone re-write a week of monitor testing for you when there are probably a hundred comparisons of monitors already out there.
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January 25, 2011 5:42:41 PM

Thanks guys -- sorry it was a book. I tried to break it up as best as I could and hoped that if someone didn't want to read the whole thing they might read one or two of the points.

Thanks hang-the-9, very helpful. I wasn't hoping someone would re-write something for me -- I have google'd it extensively and have found reviews but not comparisons. I think I have a fair idea now though -- the U and P series are the only worthwhile ones, one being TN and the other being IPS.

I couldn't go to a store to see the difference because there is not a single IPS sold in town, nor do I know anyone who owns one.

I didn't mean to imply that I just posted here without bothering to try looking around in town and online, my bad.

Anyway -- thanks everyone for the suggestions and the info.
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a c 363 U Graphics card
a c 195 C Monitor
January 26, 2011 1:07:43 AM

Quote:

(1) Can you really tell a difference in how an IPS vs. a TN panel looks just using the naked eye? I don't do serious photo work or anything, but if it's noticable in more than just viewing angles for games/movies/whatever then I will continue considering them. Otherwise I might be able to find a Dell P-series for cheaper.


Yes. The most dramatic difference will be the viewing angles. Additionally, TN panels tends to be more prone to have color banding than IPS panels because TN panels cannot truly create 16.7m colors.

Viewing angles of the NEC EA231WMi which uses the same e-IPS panel in the Dell U2311h




Viewing angle of the Samsung P2450H which uses a TN panel.



Quote:
(2) If I get a refurbished unit I can get a Dell U2311h for $200 it looks like -- but what kinds of risks are you likely to be taking going that route instead of new?


Maybe some blemishes on the case. Sometimes the monitor simply did not meet expectations (whatever they might have been). Could be a dead pixel.

Quote:

(3) I've been told twice now that a high resolution (1920x1080) in a monitor <24" is going to be a pain in the butt b/c things will be too small to see properly. That's why I was considering the 2209WA -- it has 1680x1050 instead, but I think I might regret not having HD in the future? Anyway I am looking in the 21.5"-24" range but is 1080p going to strain a normal person's eyes?


Generally higher resolution on a smaller size monitor means smaller text. I would prefer at least 23" for 1920 x 1080 resolution. It also depends how far you sit away from the monitor. My eyes are generally 22" - 24" away from my 25.5" monitor; about 30" away when I am slouching back. You can always go into a computer store to look at the monitors.

Quote:

(4) I want to keep this under $250 if possible.


Easily doable with a TN panel monitor. You'll need to settle on the Dell U2211h if you want an e-IPS panel monitor. Or a used Dell 2209WA or U2311h.

Quote:

(5) If I go the TN route to save money what do you all think about LED backlighting? I tend to think it looks better but I don't really know about the pros and cons, and the internet is a hotbed of conflicting information.


LED backlighting is nothing more than backlighting. It does not make things look sharper, it doesn't make things "pop". It is just white light. The stated Dynamic Contrast Ratios are ridiculously high to the point where I would label it as false advertisement. I don't have an "LED monitor", but I do have an "LED HDTV". What is more important is the Static Ratio and is usually 700:1 to 1000:1; not all brands bother to state the static ratio.

LED backlights use less electricity than traditional CCFL (florescent) backlight.

One small negative is that a few people have stated the colors are slightly bluish. This is explained by the fact that LED backlight used in PC monitors is 68% color gamut rather than 72% color gamut (normal color gamut). I don't want to discuss the techicals or go in-depth 'cause it's long winded and beyond the scope of your question. Just be aware that colors may appear slightly bluish to you.

Quote:

(6) I've been looking at Dell because I like all the swivel options the monitors have as well as the matte display and bezel. I am open to other options but would slightly prefer Dell (they have so many "series" of monitors, from ST to SX, S, E, U, P, and whatever else, and I can't find a good comparison tool to tell me the difference, so if anyone can give me a rundown there of specs that'd be amazing).


Basically the U series are the UltraSharp monitors which use IPS panels. As for the rest... most if not all use TN panels; something that I am generally not interested in.

Quote:

(7) Help me pick a monitor? I know that most folks aren't going to want to go through all of those questions and help me out, but anything anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated.


If you are interested in buying a monitor with an e-IPS panel, the get the Dell U2311h which is currently on sale for $280. Not too much above your budget.

http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c...

Here's a review:

http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/dell_u2311h.htm

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January 26, 2011 7:47:09 AM

Best answer selected by CheddarTrek.
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January 26, 2011 7:47:23 AM

Thanks man ;) 
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January 26, 2011 11:48:25 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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