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22in LCD opinions and suggestions please

Last response: in Computer Peripherals
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January 2, 2008 2:31:44 AM

Hello everyone,

I'm in the market right now to purchase a new monitor. I'd like to get a 22in widescreen monitor, for that size is the largest monitor within my price range right now. I'm also a fan of Dell's monitors. I've own two of them thus far, a 17in LCD and a 19in LCD, and I have had nothing but good experiences with them. I'm currently using the 19in Dell, which is several years old now.

Things I use my monitor for:
- All kinds of application work for things like school, web design, video editing, image editing, etc.
- Gaming, I've mainly been focusing on the new games on the block like CoD4, TF2, Bioshock, Crysis, but I play slightly older games and old games as well, like C&C3, CS:Source, HL2 series, etc.
- Movie watching. My entire movie collection is widescreen, so watching them on a new widescreen monitor rather than my 4:6 19in Dell Monitor would be a welcomed improvement.

Reasons for wanting to upgrade:
- Larger screen and resolution will allow me to work better with multiple applications (side by side for example)
- Some of the recent games I've played like Bioshock and Portal have caused lines that appear to be separations between frames, which show up on my 19in dell monitor. Upgrading to a new monitor with a better response time and contrast ratio will hopefully only improve my gaming experience.
- Widescreen monitor will be a lot better for widescreen movies. :) 

So basically I'm look for some opinions and suggestions about Dell's 22in monitor products. If anyone has any of them and can offer a review, that would be very helpful. I've primarily been looking at getting the DELL SP2208WFP
22-inch Widescreen Flat Panel Monitor, however the other 2 models offered are also being heavily considered.

Dell monitor candidates:
DELL SP2208WFP - http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Displays/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19&sku=320-6252
DELL ULTRASHARP 2208WFP - http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Displays/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19&sku=320-6107
DELL E228WFP - http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Displays/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19&sku=320-5205

Also, just because I'm a fan of Dell monitors, doesn't mean I'm opposed to purchasing a different brand monitor. If anyone can suggest a monitor better worth it than the three I'm looking at, please do! Thanks in advance!
January 3, 2008 5:28:47 PM

*bump*
January 3, 2008 5:51:46 PM

I just bought the LG 22inch and let me tell you......wow.......forget the high priced monitor's.....this one is under 300 too
Related resources
January 3, 2008 7:18:55 PM

That's cool, but what model did you get and what's so special about it? Would you say it's better than the Dells I'm looking at?
January 5, 2008 8:30:21 AM

*bump*
January 7, 2008 5:45:48 PM

*bump*

Any advice or information would be greatly appreciated. :( 
January 7, 2008 10:28:22 PM

All three of the monitors you're looking at are very similar. They're all TN panels with some variation in contrast ratio. The main differences are built in web cam, height adjustment, and bezel. In this case UltraSharp doesn't denote a panel that's vastly superior.
http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1245831&highlight=2208wfp
Depending on how serious you are about video and image editing you may not be happy with a TN panel.

In fact the only non TN 22" out there is the Lenovo L220x

There are some 20" Widescreen monitors that probably provide a better picture and unfortunately a higher price tag. A favorite is the NEC MultiSync 20WMGX2.
January 8, 2008 11:32:05 AM

Hi Area41. Thank you for your reply and the link.

Would you say the better contrast ratio and refresh rate that the SP2208WFP has, is a noticeable difference compared to the others? Or when it comes to the TN panels, is the improved contrast ratio and refresh rate that the SP2208WFP has, not really a noticeable improvement over the others?

I looked up some information about TN panels and I understand that they are 6-bit panels, whereas the better panels are 8-bit. How much of an impact does this 2-bit difference really affect video and image editing? Is it something I can compensate for by knowing this before hand? What kind of complications or problems can I expect? I ask, because the two Dell monitors I've had have TN panels and I used them for video and image editing without noticing any issues. So I wish to understand this factor better.
a c 195 C Monitor
January 8, 2008 3:41:22 PM

6-bit and 8-bit represent exponents that dictate how many colors the LCD panel can reproduce (to put it simply). Each of the three primary colors (Red, Green Blue) has two states; on and off which is why you need to think in binary.

6-bit color = 2^6 * 2^6 * 2^6 = 64 * 64 *64 = 262,144

6-bit color means that the panel is only capable of displaying 64 different shades for each of the primary colors. That means the panel can really only produce 262,144 colors. Thru a process called dithering, different shades of colors are blended together to estimate the missing 16.5 million other colors. This blending is imprecise compare to true 8-bit color, and will lead to color inaccuracy and image artifacts.

8-bit color = 2^8 * 2^8 * 2^8 = 256 * 256 *256 = 16,777,216

8-bit color means that panel is capable of displaying 256 different shades for each of the primary colors. This means that the panel can actually reproduce 16.7 millions and is why 8-bit panels (MVA / PVA / IPS) are better for color accuracy. There is no dithering involved.

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6-bit TN panels are typically faster than 8-bit panels because they do not need to process as many colors as an 8-bit panel. This is also why they are less color accurate (as mentioned before), have poor black levels, and can display image artifacts.

The limitations of the technology also leads to narrower viewing angles which can translate into poor color uniformity because the colors you see on the screen can shift more dramatically than on an 8-bit panel if you were to move your head left/right or up/down. This also means that colors at the top of the screen can look different than the colors at the bottom of the screen. This will not be the case with all TN monitors, but it definitely affects TN panel more than it would affect any of the 8-bit panels.

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Many manufacturers list LCD monitors using TN panels as “8-bit panels”, but that is very misleading. What they are implying is that 6-bits are used for colors, and another 2-bits are used dithering purposes; “Fake 8-bit”. This has caused some manufacturers & e-tailers to state “True 8-bit” for monitors using MVA / PVA/ IPS panels.
January 8, 2008 8:28:45 PM

The contraast ratios on these panels are dynamic contrast ratios. Which means they are inflated to an extent. But you usually see an improvment it's just not as big of one as the specs would lead you to believe. As far as refresh rate, most monitors that support a higher one like 75hz scale it down to 60Hz internally (you should run it at 60Hz - so people have problems when running them faster). We won't really see an improvement from refresh rate till panels designed for 120Hz become mainstream.

The SP might be a little better than the others. I don't really ersearch TN panels and can't really be of help in comparing them. The E series one probably uses a lower grade panel more likely to have imperfections.
January 9, 2008 4:58:36 PM

Jaguarskx and area41, thank you for your responses. They both were very informative and helpful.
!