I'm looking for some recommendations for a flat-panel monitor. I've been laptop-only for about eight years now, so I *really* don't know what's going on in the monitor world. I also have some pretty specific requirements. I managed to more-or-less cram them all into the thread title, but here's the advice template anyway:
Approximate Purchase Date: Within three or four weeks.
Budget Range: I want what I want, and price isn't really an issue (if all else is really equal, though, of course cheaper would be better).
Monitor Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, then work (Word/internet/email).
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: No idea.
Country of Origin: Japan might be nice, since that's where I live, but it's not a priority at all.
Brand Preferences: Any.
Physical Size (Diagonal): 24" (maybe a little smaller or larger, but basically 24").
Resolution(s) You'll Consider: 1920x1080. (Or higher, I guess.)
Computers and Other Devices To Attach: 1 desktop (DVI, DisplayPort, and HDMI available).
Panel Type(s) Desired: Beats me.
LED Backlight: Don't know.
Speakers: Must have. Yes, I know the quality will probably be crappy—trust me, I don't care. I live and work in a quiet apartment in Japan with thin walls and neighbors on three sides of my office; I definitely won't be turning them up, and I use headphones when I really want to enjoy music. I also want to save my limited desk space.
Wall-Mount: Don't need.
Stand Functions: Must have a good range of height adjustment and up/down rotation (is that tilt, pivot, or swivel?). I tend to get stiff shoulders/neck/lower back from working all day, and I'm convinced this will help. I know I could attach an external stand, but I really don't want to bother.
Additional Comments: Looking for good specs in general (contrast ratio, brightness, response time, viewing angle), although if I had to give a priority order, stand adjustability and speakers come first. Also, I found when trying to search on my own that a lot of monitors these days function as USB hubs, with USB ports in the monitor—I really like the idea of that. One port would be very nice, two even nicer.
Ok, I've been doing searching on this Japanese shopping site I often use, and upon inputting my criteria there are three monitors that kept coming up, all Eizo FlexScans: their EV2416W, EV2436W, and S2433W. They all appear to fulfill all my requirements (well, they only tilt up, not down, but I guess I can live with that), and I kinda like that they're 16:10 not 16:9 (what I'm using now is 16:10, and I've gotten rather used to it).
But I can't tell the difference between the three. Or rather, I can see that the main difference is that they're TN, IPS, and VA respectively, but that means nothing to me . . . what's good for what?
After more research, my impression is that for gaming and general use, IPS seems to be the best as long as it's a high-end panel with a good response time. The Eizo FlexScan EV2436W (the IPS of the three I found) is quoted by the manufacturer as having a "gray-gray" response time of 6 ms; sounds good in theory, although I've already read people saying that you can't trust the manufacturer's numbers. It should be high-end though, since I'm seeing prices of almost $500.
So that's my top candidate right now, but I won't be buying for another few days at least, probably a week, so any comments or advice would be much appreciated!