26" Planar PX2611W review

Just in case someone is interested in the 26" Planar PX2611W LCD monitor, like me.


For web surfing and general application use, I find that the display is very capable. It's so very crisp and sharp. The text is very clear and that is easy on the eyes. I can easily have two browsers open on the screen, next to each other. If your computer won't do the screen's native 1920x1200 resolution, the monitor will scale the screen (more on that later) well. 1280x1024 and 1024x768, while a bit soft, looked fine on the desktop for general use. 1280x720 worked fine, too. 1440x900 uses the same aspect ratio and so will fill the screen properly in aspect mode (more on that later too).

For gaming, the monitor tests to a little bit less than one frame of lag (about 12ms) . This is very good for an LCD. The test was using a VGA splitter comparing it to a CRT. CRTs have virtually no lag and are a good comparative benchmark. This LCD has no electronics to introduce input lag such as DCR (dynamic contrast), and no color critical electronics. All good for gaming!

One unfortunate note: There is undesirable color banding at 'real' (1 to 1) mode at 1080p and 1080i (1920x1080), but the banding disappears in 'full' aspect mode. It's not visible in movies but it is in games. This means that you might notice some quality loss at 1 to 1 in those modes: If you use 'full' aspect mode, the image will be stretched vertically some but have no banding. These modes are the only ones where I noticed the banding. Native 1920x1200 doesn't have that banding nor does any other resolution I tested.

The Planar 26" PX2611W is a great all-purpose widescreen monitor that delivers an incredible image. It delivers a great value, considering what you are getting, a 26" S-IPS LCD monitor. A three year warranty makes it a more comfortable buy too. Computers and video equipment are increasingly capable of pushing out great color at high resolutions and this display can handle that in stride. The fact that it is great for PC gaming pushes this display over-the-top and into the 'superb for just about anything' category.
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  1. not the most exhaustive review, but this monitor sounds pretty great. I wonder how much it will drop in price in the next few months. If you get this jaguar, you should write your own review! I'm desperately trying to find a good LCD monitor for a reasonable price and this one seems like it might fit the bill.
  2. I'll get this monitor soon enough, but unfortunately right now I'm kinda in between jobs. Which kinda sucks.
  3. well, whenever you get it, i would love some feedback. i probably wont get a display for another 2 months or so
  4. Hey Jaguar, I found this trolling the interwebs. Probably won't sway your opinion but that's not the point.

    ToastyX Limp Gawd, 2.4 Years

    ToastyX is online now
    The Planar came in yesterday.

    Forget what I said about H-IPS panels having better viewing angles. NEC must have done something to improve the viewing angles because the Planar glows white at an angle like newer S-IPS panels. Other than that, it has similar characteristics to the NEC, so it looks like the same panel, but the NEC doesn't glow white for some reason, which makes it look significantly better than the Planar.

    The NEC is on the left, and the Planar is on the right:

    As for gamut, it's definitely wide gamut. There's no doubt about it. I'll take measurements with a colorimeter later.

    As for lag, there's definitely less lag than the NEC. The Planar has less than one frame of lag, while the NEC has about two frames of lag. See this post for more information: http://www.hardforum.com/showthread....post1031259394

    As for response time, "5 ms GTG featuring Planar's RapidVideo™ accelerator, 12 ms (5.5 rise, 6.5 fall)" seems to indicate overdrive is being used, but if that's the case, I certainly can't tell. I don't see any overdrive artifacts. Either it's very well done, or it's not working at all. I have no way of knowing for sure, but I can see overdrive artifacts on every other monitor with overdrive, including the NEC when enabled.

    Someone asked about the anti-glare coating. The Planar has a mild anti-glare coating like the NEC, not aggressive like the Apple Cinema Display.

    The Planar has a dead red subpixel, which shows up as cyan on white. The panel is also not centered properly. The left side is almost touching the bezel at the top, while the right side has plenty of space.

    The Planar has significantly more backlight bleeding than the NEC, especially on the right side:

    The Planar has the same faint horizontal lines that the NEC has, and just like on the NEC, the lines are stronger on the left side of the screen. I don't get it. Am I the only one that can see the lines? Nobody else has reported the lines on either monitor, but I don't think it's a coincidence that two monitors with the same panel have the same lines.

    Here is an emulation of what the lines look like:

    The lines are very subtle, but the problem is strong enough to affect image quality. I can't even view that image properly on the left side of the screen because the lines on the monitor either double or cancel out the lines in the image, depending on what row of pixels the image starts on.

    The Planar also has the same problem with checkerboard pixel patterns that the NEC has, and just like on the NEC, the problem is worse in the bottom-left corner of the screen.

    Here is one such pattern:

    When I drag that image to the bottom-left corner of the screen, some of the square rings turn red, and the rest of the image turns green. The image is supposed to be black and white.

    Here is another pattern:

    When I drag that image to the bottom-left corner of the screen, the checkerboard pixel pattern bleeds into the gray, which is supposed to be solid.

    I tested the Planar with the PS3 and a cable box:

    1080p is supported without stretching or cropping the image. However, when set to not stretch the image, the colors are slightly degraded, which causes banding in gradients. Why does every monitor manage to screw something up? That doesn't happen when set to fill the screen, but then the image is stretched. The NEC has no trouble with 1080p.

    1080i is supported with some sort of bob deinterlacing, but it has the same banding problem. The NEC doesn't support 1080i. The capability seems to be there, but the feature is intentionally blocked.

    720p is scaled properly and doesn't have the banding problem. The NEC has no trouble with 720p either.

    480p is treated as 3:2, like on most monitors. It should be 4:3 though. The NEC can scale 480p properly, but a line of tearing travels slowly up the screen from time to time.

    480i doesn't seem to work. All I get is a green screen. The NEC doesn't support 480i either.

    The black bars are a weird shade of blue by default, and there's no way to make them totally black. There's a setting called SIDE COLOR which allows you to customize the border color, but even when all the RGB values are set to 0%, it's still not black. It's more like a dark purple. Who designs this stuff?

    The OSD on the Planar is suspiciously similar to the OSD on the NEC 20WMGX2. The layout is similar. The terms are similar. The font is the same. There's even the same sharpness quirk. The Planar also uses a similar 4-way joystick to navigate the menu.

    Here are some of the settings:

    DV MODE: The only usable mode is TEXT. sRGB mode turns the screen pink. All the other modes have banding. I don't even see the point of the other modes.
    BRIGHTNESS: This setting controls the luminance of the backlight. The brightness can be set to any value without affecting the colors.
    CONTRAST: The contrast should be left at 50%. Higher settings crush whites. Lower settings reduce the contrast without degrading the colors.
    SHARPNESS: The sharpness should be set to 40%. At the default 50%, there are extremely faint vertical lines in horizontal gradients. The NEC 20WMGX2 has a similar quirk.

    EXPANSION MODE: The expansion mode can only be set when using a non-native resolution. The setting is global, so it affects all resolutions.
    FULL: Stretches the image to fill the screen
    ASPECT: Scales the image while maintaining the aspect ratio
    REAL: Centers the image without scaling (1:1)

    The color presets are useless. They're not even close to correct. The gain and offset settings aren't much help either. They affect certain shades more than others, which makes it impossible to get an even grayscale. The saturation setting doesn't even work in TEXT or sRGB mode.

    The OSD is very quirky. For instance, if you max out the saturation setting, the percentage values change, so you can't set it to exactly 0% anymore. The brightness setting also has a similar quirk.

    Overall, the only thing better about the Planar is it has less lag, and it's cheaper. The NEC has better viewing angles and much better color control along with the ability to hardware calibrate it.
    Last edited by ToastyX : 07-13-2007 at 04:48 AM. Reason: Updated lag information

    from http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1180069&page=6
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