I basically need a dual monitor setup, gaming/browsing/general use. 1900x1080 resolution most likely. For price/quality/features, upper mid range... so willing to spend something like 400 (eur/usd) in one go.
Should I just look for 24" screens, or do I get the same image quality in 22" format for a bit less of the price (like -20% or even more)? Are 24" just better featured in various respects than 22" screens, and do they offer a much better selection for models? In other words, does it make sense to look at 22" screens at all?
Going with 22", I could save some money - maybe even buy two of the same screen in one go, for a larger desktop space (with a 24" screen, I'd just use my existing 17" as the 2nd screen until I get a new 24"). And having 2 very similar screens would be nice if I decide to go Eyefinity later, which is however quite unlikely.
With a $400 budget you can get a 24" TN panel monitor or a 22"/23" e-IPS panel monitor. I believe people (including myself) have already responded to your past threads and stated the difference between those two types of panels.
I generally go for the "bigger is better" mentality, but only up to a certain point. The larger the size of the LCD panel is for a 1080p monitor, the larger the pixel pitch which means the less sharp the image can look. The difference is very, very minor.
To me 1080p on a 22"/23" monitor is a bit small for such a high resolution. However, the distance between my eyes and the monitor is generally between 23" (sitting up right) - 30" (slouching a little bit and leaning back).
1080p on a 22" will look sharper than on a 24"
however the tradeoff is that everything will be a bit smaller looking as well unless you change your windows settings to enlarge features. if this doesnt bother you then i would go with the 22" monitors to save money.
I suppose I have to do some research into what models there are that fit the bill and what's the price on them. So interested to hear good suggestions in 22" to 24" range.
Things that could make a difference in my choice:
Color depth (I think it's quite important to get at least 6bits+FRC for 16.2 mill colors)
Wider color gamut could be nice (like 92% of NTSC) but not an absolute requirement, could go with the standard color space, but I think white LED backlight is out
Power consumption should be <50W, I think this means LED screens
Less important factors:
Stability of the base (and general robustness) - so the monitor is not as easy to knock over
Response time - I think I'm looking for a quote of 5ms, but if there is a measurement on black-white transition, faster is better
Portrait mode (tilting monitor) available
1900x1200 could be a nice resolution (but I have some concerns another 1900x1200 screen would be hard to find when 1080p is taking the market by a landslide)
Of no importance:
TV tuner - who needs a TV when we have internet
Speakers - don't want to pay for crappy speakers
120Hz - only needed when you want to do 60+ FPS, I'm generally happy with 40-50
Brightness - all monitors should be bright enough nowadays
Also, a display port could be nice. I hear it helps quite a bit if you want to do some exotic multimonitor setups in the future.
For 24", I suppose the HP ZR24w could be close to what I'm looking for. It's a S-IPS panel for just under 400eur. Old model though - came out in April - so it's better to wait for a new model or buy a corresponding one from a different brand.
I don't want to go to large displays because I have little experience in 20"+ range, and the big ones could run into ergonomic or other issues. 22" is OK - text is easily readable for me, though sometimes things feel a bit small which is more of an aesthetic (look&feel) issue. But I think 24" is preferable perhaps for a bit more flexibility in viewing distance and immersion etc.
View angle is not too important - I typically view head-on.
I'm not anal about color accuracy. If it looks good and natural, I am happy. I don't do color printouts or typesetting work so it's not much of an issue if it doesn't match up with reality.
It still sounds like a *IPS or *VA panel (not TN) would be a better choice for best image quality. Would this be correct?
Wide color gamut I take is not common in mainstream price ranges, but would be required in professional image editing monitors (so would typically be found on *IPS and maybe *VA models above my specified price range). RGB-LED technology I take exists mostly in monitors with higher price tags, and even W-LED is not common in *IPS I read. So some compromise must be made between color gamut - panel type - power consumption.
Fujitsu makes the p24w-6 which uses the same panel as the mentioned HP model. Price for their older -5 model was slightly lower than HP's. The HP model was tested to have low input lag so should be OK for all-around gaming. Review and other links:
Dell's U2311H seems to get a very favourable review at TFT Central:
Colour accuracy, black depth and contrast ratio are all very strong, and in fact the U2311H offers some of the best performance we have seen from any monitor in these regards. It was good to see Dell applying an RTC impulse to help boost response times compared with the NEC EA231WMi, and with input lag being very low you could easily use this screen for gaming.
Granted it's a tad smaller, comes with just the standard 1080p resolution, and the dynamic contrast claims seem an obvious hoax - but price is also some 140 eur less than for the ZR24w, and this screen is stronger in some other respects - responsiveness is slightly better, and black contrast is also better than for ZR24w, the claimed "typical" power consumption is some 50W lower at mere 33W. Overall it seems like the best option so far...
I went with a pair of the 2311s for about 500 eur and they are very nice. Nice little screens that offer you a good image, lots of desktop space and flexibility due to the low price and portrait mode - can easily fit at least 2 browser windows on top of each other, it feels funny, a tall and narrow screen in portrait mode because the height of the panel is only 1080 pixels. Still have to install Linux and try out the Awesome window manager - I figure I could easily manage some 100 windows/tabs with its advanced WM concepts.
Images feel relaxed and natural with this monitor, text is sharp with little colour bleeding (seen some cheapish TN screens which are way worse), rather enjoyable screen overall. Sure money can get you closer to perferction, and I might not notice the difference even here but certainly this is good enough for me and then some
23" screen is nice for general purpose use. For me the text is readable even at a slight distance. I sit a bit away from the screen as I currently am using it in a 3 screen setup. Maybe a 24-30" screen could offer a bit more immersion and oomph. But I can very well do all I want to do with these screens, so the U2311H seems to have been the right choice for me.
Overall I suppose it meets almost all the criteria I specified:
High contrast - haven't actually tested this too much, feels nice but I suppose so do most modern screens
Color depth - check - this is 8 bit
Wider color gamut could be nice - just normal color space on this screen
Power consumption should be <50W, I think this means LED screens - U2311H delivers here too, seems to be typically 34W for me, sleep mode is near to zero
Less important factors:
Stability of the base (and general robustness) - so the monitor is not as easy to knock over - looks good here; visually the design is an elegant no-nonsense black, goes well with my Sonata case I guess, even the blue led colour matches
Response time - I think I'm looking for a quote of 5ms, but if there is a measurement on black-white transition, faster is better - good enough here, not an issue for me when playing FPS
Portrait mode (tilting monitor) available - check
1900x1200 could be a nice resolution (but I have some concerns another 1900x1200 screen would be hard to find when 1080p is taking the market by a landslide) - only 1920x1080, but at this price one has to prepare for compromises
The monitor comes with a display port too, so it's easy to use for triple screen setups. (No HDMI, but I don't need that.)