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Why does monitor shopping suck?

Last response: in Computer Peripherals
December 27, 2008 4:47:08 AM

First off let me pose a general question about computers.

Why does purchasing computer components suck so much? Especially for monitors?

Of all the annoying return policies and warranties monitors have the worse. New Egg for instance won't take back a monitor unless it has 8 dead pixels. I don't know about you but I am spending 400-800 dollars on a monitor it having a defect such a dead pixels seems unacceptable, but yet here we are. Even more so than that are the lies and garbage we have to deal with when sifting through candidates. Dozens of companies make monitors though only a handful make the screens which these monitors use. Companies selling monitors with the same screen advertise grossly different specifications. What more these specifications are inherently over exaggerated or critical values are omitted. Such as input lag and true response delay on monitors.

Anyhow where this is all getting to is this, I'm looking for a new monitor in the 24"-28" range with a budget of about $800 maximum. I'm not hugely into photo editing or anything that requires a very accurate color space though anything that looks just plain wrong isn't something I would like. Most importantly for me is this would act as a platform for watching movies, playing video games (PC and xbox 360), and general purposes development. I work a lot in C and assembly in my field so something I can look at for a long time without going blind is preferable. Based on the cost range I have listed it's obvious I don't mind spending a bit of money for a quality product.

I understand the differences between TN, VA, and IPS monitors and the associated cost and performance trade offs offered by each. Many people on this forum suggest a Dell 2408WFP (VA Panel) monitor which does seem to offer the best warranty solution. However, upon further reading I found there were some concerns with contrast and input lag. Contrast can be a big issue due to all the time I can spend looking at lots and lots of text. Though to be honest listening to everyone online squawk about input lag gave me a massive headache. It's hard to determine if it would be an actual problem for me or not and purchasing a $700 display and possibly paying $125 to return it to dell is not attractive. I'm not going to even ask about the A01 revision because frankly no one has a clear answer to how this affects gaming and such outside of try it yourself.

Next comes the HP 2408h or Acer G24, both seem to be a highly regarded TN monitors for the gaming scene. While I am not adverse to going with TN. However as I mentioned this is less than optimal for my movie and TV-watching pleasures. The price however is more than attractive running in the $450 or less range.

Then there comes a little hidden gem in the form of the Double Sight DS-256W which uses the exact same panel as the Planar PX2611W but comes in at $100 dollars less and is an IPS monitor. Trouble is that this company seems to be relatively new and it is questionable what sort of long term support I could get on this monitor.

Finally there is the NEC LCD2690WUXi, which however does seem to get a lot of great reviews from sites I trust such as PRAD, it breaks my budget at $1200. (Apparently this is the same screen in the PX2611W?)

So is what I am looking for exist even? A none TN monitor that's 24"-28" provides a great gaming and movie platform with good angle of view, good support for things such as xbox 360? Does anyone know a review of the Dell 2408WFP that isn't a flame war or a reviewer who seemed to have gotten a none production model? Is there an easier way to try some of these panels myself rather than buying them and having to pay a restock fee? Perhaps I should just bite the bullet and blow my budget? Has anyone read this massive wall of text? :p 

Thanks for any help, information, or other monitor suggestions.

P.S: Perhaps I'm too picky for my own good but frankly I just feel that there is too much going on with computer monitors now a days for me to make a decision without input from other neurotic people.

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January 2, 2009 1:19:38 PM

I couldn't agree with you more. I can not offer any advice as it seems you know more about LCD's than I do. I am just starting my first new PC build in over 6 years and I am still using a CRT. I want to get a good LCD for the same purposes as you. I am looking and looking and seeing all the same info as you. It is frustrating. There doesn't seem to be a Silver bullet when it comes to LCD monitors.

I was at Fry and saw a very nice looking 24" Gateway. It was a TN screen but it looked much better then the Asus setting next to it. It was a Gateway FHD2401.

Here is a link to it.

IMHO it was the best looking one at Fry. I read reviews and they were about the same as most TN models.

All I know is I saw this one in person and thought it looked good. Then again, I know almost nothing about them or what to look for.

a c 195 C Monitor
January 2, 2009 8:27:47 PM

I have a friend who bought the Planar PX2611W and he said he was very satified with his purchase. I have not seen it in person. However, it has a known issue with color banding when playing consol games at 1080p resolution.

I too was looking at the Planar PX2611W back in Nov. 2007, but I decided to get the NEC 2690WUXi instead. The NEC costs more because of extra electronics to improve picture quality that the Planar does not have. It also has an A-TW filter to reduce white light bloom. Unlike the Planar, the NEC has no color banding issues.

A good 24" monitor you may want to conisder is the HP LP2475w which uses an IPS monitor and costs around $650 (off the top of my head). The only other 24" IPS monitor sold in the US is the NEC 2490WUXi for $1,100+.

January 8, 2009 12:56:26 AM

Monitor Shopping does indeed suck. I am tired of trying to find a good PC monitor. I have looked at three monitors debating what to get.
The ASUS VK266H, the Samsung T240HD or the Dell UntraSharp 2408WFP. I need component input, and a good image and response rate for fast paced games on my PC, Xbox 360 and PS2. I am so sick of reading a good review about a monitor and then reading many bad user reviews. I am about to blow my brains out if I can't get my monitor ordered with satisfactory research in the next two days.