To briefly sum up my situation... I have a 15.4" Thinkpad T61p that I love and cannot quite afford to upgrade yet, as it's components are still more than adequate for anything I want to use it for. However it is no longer under warranty and the screen has broken somehow. The rest of the computer works, just not the screen.
In a rush for work (I had a video conference upcoming) I rushed to Best Buy and purchased a nice looking monitor in the hopes that it would allow me to continue using my computer -- and it does.
However because of the rush I didn't get to spend any real time picking out a monitor. I just grabbed the best looking one they had in a 23" size, and now I am hoping to find out if I got a good deal or if I should return it and pick something up online.
Bonus: Tell me how I might be able to fix the screen on my Thinkpad T61p (15.4") then I can return this monitor. This is the ideal situation. (I might ask this on another thread)
What I want in a Monitor, Ideally:
Resolution GREATER than 1920x1080 (Minimum is 1920x1080)
Size - at least 23"
LED (not LCD) - I was looking at the Best Buy monitors and LED just looks better. I'm also told that it is better for other reasons, such as lower power consumption. I don't know if that helps when it's running off a laptop or not. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the difference is that with LED each pixel (?) emits light whereas with LCD there is a big lamp behind a screen? If there is a good reason for getting LCD instead I am willing to listen.
Cost Effective - I'm not rich, but I'm willing to spend a little more than normal in order to get a monitor I'm truly happy with. Whatever I have will be used with the Desktop that I intend to purchase in the next year or two (right now my only computer is this laptop) and will be used after that until it breaks. Getting it right the first time is important to me. That said more than $350 (including tax) is more than I pay.
What I picked up at Best Buy:
23" LG 2350
Resolution 1920x1080 (But I can't get it to display that, it's still at the native 1680 res. of my laptop, anyone know if I can do anything about that?)
LED (not LCD)
$310 or so with taxes
Contrast ratio is 5,000,000:1 (I think) which was neither the best or the worst at Best Buy. I don't know if that means it's good or not. Anyone?
Response time was (I think) 5 ms. I don't know if that's good or not either. What should I look for in response time?
Is this pretty much the best I can do for my budget? Or is there a nice 23"+ monitor out there with higher resolution, better contrast and response time? I don't mind buying a used one even.
I don't know what ports I will want in the future. I don't know why I would want ports on a monitor other than one to connect it to a computer, but I know there are reasons. Likely reasons I will have need of in a year that I don't know about yet. What ports can you get on monitors and what are they used for?
This monitor uses a large irritating port to connect to my laptop instead of a USB, but I guess I was dumb for thinking everything used USBs these days. I was lucky my computer had a port for whatever this cable is, I don't think a lot of them do (laptops anyway).
Thanks in advance for your opinions and advice on this monitor situation. I need to return this one on Thursday if I decide to do so.
LED simply refers to the backlight. Backlight is the light shining thru the LCD panel so that you can see what the LCD panel is diplaying. It is still a LCD monitor. Thank Samsung advertising LCD HDTVs with LED backlight as "LED HDTVs". You can thank Samsung for this nomenclature which has infected the PC monitor segment too.
As for the laptop, you need to bring that into a shop to get it checked out. It can be anything from the electronics (expensive) to the LCD panel (very expensive) or the combination of the two. The LCD panel is generally the single most expensive component in the average laptop.