Acer, Dell, LG, And Samsung: Four 23" LCD Monitors, Rounded-Up

Acer S231HL Bid, Dell S2330MX, LG IPS236V, And Samsung S23A550H

Acer S231HL Bid

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The 23” S231HL Bid is, as its name implies, part of Acer's S series, which presents an ultra-thin profile in a piano black finish.

At $150, this is still a very budget oriented LCD, though. As best we can tell, the S231HL Bid is a slightly smaller version of the previously-reviewed 24” S242HL Bid. Both monitors have HDMI, VGA, and DVI connections, and employ the same OSD menu. 

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The style and contouring of the display frame is similar, with one exception. On the S242HL Bid, the power-on LED was located just below the Acer logo. The S231HL Bid's on switch sits just below the power button.

Dell S2330MX

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The S2330MX is Dell’s answer to growing demand for cheaper LED-based LCDs. That might be a surprise to enthusiasts, given Dell's history with its premium UltraSharp product line. However, lots of experience manufacturing very popular displays is exactly what makes the S2330MX an interesting option to us.

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Admittedly, when we unpacked this monitor, we couldn’t help but notice its thinner plastic bezel framing the screen, contributing to a cheaper look and feel. But the S2330MX has all of the other hallmarks of a Dell display. Its touchscreen buttons are labeled with simple dots, and the OSD menu is identical to what you see on Dell’s pricier offerings.

LG IPS236V

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It’s uncommon to find an IPS panel in a 23” monitor. That’s what makes the IPS236V unique (in addition to its slightly higher price tag). Most 23” monitors use TN panels because they cost less to make. However, twisted nematic technology is often derided for its poor color production and viewing angles, two weaknesses that IPS doesn't share. As a result, the IPS236V could have an inherent advantage that makes it worth the price premium.

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LG’s IPS236V has a solid feel thanks to its hefty base and thick stand. Our only compliant is the simplistic OSD menu, which isn't as polished as some of LG's less-expensive competition.

Samsung S23A550H

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The S23A550H hails from Samsung’s Class 550 product line and sports the typical reddish-black thin frame, dubbed Touch Of Color (ToC) Rose Black. 

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The monitors in this family that lack tuners include a built-in Pyrolectric Infrared Ray (PIR) sensor that automatically detects your presence in front of the screen, allowing it to automatically dim and power off when you get up. Once the sensor picks up a nearby viewer, it powers back up. Consequently, power consumption stays as low as possible. This feature is partly what makes the S23A550H a premium TN-based display.

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    Top Comments
  • I've noticed that Tom's seems to be focussing its attention on 23" 16:9 monitors. For the previous 3 years the most commonly advertised large monitors were 24" 16:9 with a noticable number of 24" 16:10 panels in the mix. I upgraded from a 19" 4:3 monitor 2 years ago to a 26" 16:10. At that time the market seemed to be flooded with 16:9 monitors.

    I have a friend with a 26" 16:9 monitor and he always wishes he had followed my choice for the vertical real estate gain. Going from 1080 pixels to 1200 pixels is just over 11% more space. That means MS Office can display two A4 pages side by side at life size even with the 'ribbon' showing.

    When gaming, the 1920x1200 resolution gives a greater feeling of being there due to the extra vertical space whilst maintaining the 'widescreen' ability to keep eye-attention.

    It seems that the computing world is beginning to be dictated to by the panel manufacturers who are geared for widescreen TVs in the same way that 4:3 computer moniters were originally just converted TV tubes. I have spent a lot of time in front of computer monitors over a great many years and I have found the 16:10 format to be the most satisfying to the eyes and the best for productivity.

    With these points in mind it seems that the computing industry is on the verge of losing a significant asset in the 16:10 format.

    Therefore,

    Toms Hardware will you please investigate the availability and future of this format.

    Q
    10
  • Other Comments
  • I thought the LG used not S-IPS but e-IPS, 6 bit + AFC. I actually thought it was almost identical to the CCFL backlit Dell U2311H (except the module is for LED backlight in the LG's case, not CCFL).

    I guess I was wrong.
    0
  • ^ I mean the panels, not the two monitors themselves.
    0
  • Im not sure if that input lag test is accurate.
    Why dont you guys test it the usual way? with a CRT monitor side by side running a timer (with ms ofc) and take some photos?
    2
  • why no review a viewsonic monitor they have a 150$-180$ monitor with these same specs
    0
  • Also noticeably absent is the ever popular ASUS brand. I don't have one myself, but it seems a lot of people do. Would have been an interesting comparison.
    4
  • Can anyone tell me why the prices haven't dropped? i bought my asus 24" screen 2 years ago for 178$
    2
  • 404334 said:
    I thought the LG used not S-IPS but e-IPS, 6 bit + AFC. I actually thought it was almost identical to the CCFL backlit Dell U2311H (except the module is for LED backlight in the LG's case, not CCFL). I guess I was wrong.




    LG's QA website.
    2
  • I own the LG IPS236V, and I find your numbers completely non-believable. The contrast ratio is not that abysmal, and it can reproduce decent (though not the best, I admit) blacks. Also, on a review of the IPS226V, while being the 22" model, it is otherwise identical, and DigitalVersus found it to have a contrast ratio of over 1000:1. I'm wondering where the huge disparity in numbers is coming from, and I don't think it's DigitalVersus mussing things up.

    Question: did you go into the Menu > Picture and change the Black Level setting to Low? It defaults to High for some unknown reason, and at that setting the blacks are indeed terrible. At Low, the blacks are much, much better, and the slight decrease in white levels isn't much of an issue given that this is an extremely bright monitor.
    2
  • Also, what was the Gamma setting on the IPS236V?
    0
  • 96459 said:
    I own the LG IPS236V, and I find your numbers completely non-believable. The contrast ratio is not that abysmal, and it can reproduce decent (though not the best, I admit) blacks. Also, on a review of the IPS226V, while being the 22" model, it is otherwise identical, and DigitalVersus found it to have a contrast ratio of over 1000:1. I'm wondering where the huge disparity in numbers is coming from, and I don't think it's DigitalVersus mussing things up. Question: did you go into the Menu > Picture and change the Black Level setting to Low? It defaults to High for some unknown reason, and at that setting the blacks are indeed terrible. At Low, the blacks are much, much better, and the slight decrease in white levels isn't much of an issue given that this is an extremely bright monitor.


    Gamma set to 2.2. We did set to low. And as you know we measure luminance (nits) not illuminance (lux). Maybe this unit sat in the review pool too long... Not sure, but those were the readings that we achieved.
    1
  • Please test also the absolute input lag of a CRT (you only have to do it once, I guess) for reference.
    2
  • I've noticed that Tom's seems to be focussing its attention on 23" 16:9 monitors. For the previous 3 years the most commonly advertised large monitors were 24" 16:9 with a noticable number of 24" 16:10 panels in the mix. I upgraded from a 19" 4:3 monitor 2 years ago to a 26" 16:10. At that time the market seemed to be flooded with 16:9 monitors.

    I have a friend with a 26" 16:9 monitor and he always wishes he had followed my choice for the vertical real estate gain. Going from 1080 pixels to 1200 pixels is just over 11% more space. That means MS Office can display two A4 pages side by side at life size even with the 'ribbon' showing.

    When gaming, the 1920x1200 resolution gives a greater feeling of being there due to the extra vertical space whilst maintaining the 'widescreen' ability to keep eye-attention.

    It seems that the computing world is beginning to be dictated to by the panel manufacturers who are geared for widescreen TVs in the same way that 4:3 computer moniters were originally just converted TV tubes. I have spent a lot of time in front of computer monitors over a great many years and I have found the 16:10 format to be the most satisfying to the eyes and the best for productivity.

    With these points in mind it seems that the computing industry is on the verge of losing a significant asset in the 16:10 format.

    Therefore,

    Toms Hardware will you please investigate the availability and future of this format.

    Q
    10
  • Tom's hardware readers are mostly developers who need 16:10 (extra vertical space) not 16:9 (for movies). I would like to see 16:10 monitors reviewed.
    7
  • I'd like to add to the call for reviewing 16:10 monitors.

    I love my 1920x1200 Samsung 2443BW but worry that when it needs replacing there won't be any affordable replacements. Tom's can't tell manufacturers what to do but perhaps more reviews would result in more sales and hence more interest in making 16:10 displays.
    5
  • Eman25thCan anyone tell me why the prices haven't dropped? i bought my asus 24" screen 2 years ago for 178$

    it reached the lowest price point. you can't expect to buy an LCD for 1$.
    remember CRT TV's. they were produced for over 50 years, yet the price remained the same for several years after reaching a certain minimum.
    It will be the same with OLED and AMOLED. currently you can buy a 17" OLED for 4k$. in some years in the future you can buy a 24" OLED for 178$. Just like you did for your LCD.
    2
  • I suspect the truth is - a display is a display is a display. For all but the very specialised applications
    around - they are probably all more than good enough. I'd rather someone warned me that my
    black samsung bled light round the edges - had a dark "reflected shaddow" along the top edge of the image about 4mm down if it was slightly higher than my eyeline (caused by the shiny black plastic case - not as I originally thought - by dead LCD electronics - its a weird effect)

    I'd like reviewers to get out of the tech details and into the real world.

    Another example of this is video cards. I neither know nor card how they work. For all intents
    and purposes the only reason to have a better graphics card is to play games. Very little else
    has any reason these days.

    And I dont want to know how many pixels a second in mode 2 with X operaing system and Z memory
    it can do.

    I want to know where the new card sits IN RELATION to my existing card for ease of play.
    Nothing else anyone says helps me choose. And no one seems to do that.

    I read the review here this week to see if upgrading my GT320 card would play Far Cry better.
    I still havn't the faintest idea. Not a clue. I'm getting the sense that others are reluctant to upgrade
    just to get the newest thing on the block these days too. Just because its newer and even performs better doesnt mean its worth having.

    And guess what. I design electronics for a living so I'm not dumb to tech talk. So whats the point?
    Lets have reviews targeted at users not specification matching.
    -5
  • lol...

    Why not buy ASUS 24" LED monitor over these? The picture quality is better and you can get it less then $200 sometimes on New Egg.
    1
  • There have been some new 1920x1200 monitors released in the last 6 months, so the format is far from dead.

    ;)
    1
  • Why arent more monitors shipping with DisplayPort? need more non legacy displays out there for Eyefinity/Nvidia Surround!
    0
  • I'm tired of cheap (as in quality) 1920x1080 monitors. The industry is stuck on making a cheap product for a quick buck.
    4