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Response Time And Final Words

Three-Way 22" LED LCD Roundup: Dell, LG, And Samsung
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In our last roundup, many of you requested some sort of a response time benchmark. It's extremely difficult to measure this aspect of LCD performance, though it's not impossible. All three of our 22" displays are TN-based, which stands for twisted nematic. TN displays contain liquid crystal cells that realign in order to allow light to pass through, depending on whether an electrical field is applied or not. A pair of polarizers filter the light, causing it to pass through as transparent or more/less opaque, determined by the voltage used.

The problem with benchmarking is that you need to measure the physical time it takes for this to occur. That's impossible with a normal camera or with the naked eye because it occurs within milliseconds. However, we can measure this with an inexpensive high-speed camera by shooting 1000 FPS and recording the time it takes for a completely black screen to turn to white. This captures the amount of time it takes for the TN-effect to switch.

Monitor Response Time

Brand
Dell
LG
Samsung
Model
SR2220L
E2241V
S22A350H
Full Black to White Response Time
16 ms
17 ms
18 ms
Price
$179.99$189.99
$199.99


Our response times represent a worst-case scenario because they assess a leap from black to white. In the real-world, your monitor is more likely to change brightness from one shade of grey to another. This occurs much faster than a full black to white conversion because you're only subjecting the cells to a partial twist. Manufacturers often supply response times that reflect grey-to-grey transitions, which is why our testing methodology is different, and indeed more taxing.

Obviously, long response times can be a major problem if you're gaming. You need your monitor to display scenes as fast as possible so that you have a bigger window in which to react. Ideally, you want response times less than 10 ms because they affect the input lag (the time you send a signal to the time it's displayed). We're still trying to figure out how to measure that particular attribute, but we should have something figured out in time for our next roundup. Here's a hint: we followed your recommendations and tracked down a handful of IPS-based screens.

In the meantime, we're going to go so far as to recommend steering clear of these screens and looking at 23" TN-based displays, if you insist on going the budget-oriented route. Compared to the last batch of LCDs we reviewed, two of which come from the same companies, they boast superior color and larger contrast ratios. According to our results, this trio of 22" LCDs don't offer many redeeming qualities in either discipline.

What monitors do you want to see us review next? Tell us below in our comment section and follow us on Twitter for a heads up on our other upcoming projects! Thanks again to Best Buy for helping us put together this roundup.

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  • -1 Hide
    compton , July 13, 2011 4:21 AM
    I've put a Jihad out on TN panels. There are so many decent, cheap e-IPS panels out there. At their worst, eIPS screens are better than TN, and at their best comparable to much more expensive IPS units. There isn't really a reason to consider TNs anymore. It's bad enough that every laptop has a TN (except for a few 12" Lenovos), but why rape your precious eyeballs with a terrible TN on your desk? With that said, I look forward to monitor reviews, and this is a pretty good one.
  • 7 Hide
    acku , July 13, 2011 4:34 AM
    Point taken. The key is finding those good IPS panels. There are good IPS monitors and there are bad ones. In the same way, there are good and bad TNs.

    I mean if we're breaking down everything down to tech...
    VA are great at black
    IPS are probably the best at color accuracy
    IPS better at color shift resistance, but you get light bleed at angles.
    TNs better than IPS for motion blur, IPS better than VA for motion blur
    VA and IPS both suffer a bit from flashlighting and clouding effects
    TNs don't have great color, but offer decent middle ground
    TNs are dirt cheap
    TNs generally have lower lags

    Big generalization here. The point is that nothing is perfect. If it was, there would be little point to advance technologies. In the end, you pick your imperfection.

    Cheers,
    Andrew Ku
    TomsHardware.com
  • 6 Hide
    Gamer-girl , July 13, 2011 4:35 AM
    How about 24"+ 1920x1200 monitors?
  • 1 Hide
    acku , July 13, 2011 4:40 AM
    Quote:
    How about 24"+ 1920x1200 monitors?


    I can do that. For whatever reason, I don't see that many 1920x1200 monitors. Most of the time I see 1920x1080.

    Is there a particular reason that you prefer 1920x1200?

    Cheers,
    Andrew Ku
    TomsHardware.com
  • 1 Hide
    clownbaby , July 13, 2011 4:54 AM
    +1 on 1920x1200 monitors.

    "Is there a particular reason that you prefer 1920x1200?"
    The extra desktop space really helps in my design workflow and adds quite a bit of space over 2 or 3 monitors.

  • 3 Hide
    soccerdocks , July 13, 2011 4:57 AM
    ackuI can do that. For whatever reason, I don't see that many 1920x1200 monitors. Most of the time I see 1920x1080.Is there a particular reason that you prefer 1920x1200?Cheers,Andrew KuTomsHardware.com


    I would also be interested in seeing some 1920x1200 monitors. The reason I prefer that resolution is I find that having that extra vertical space is very useful for productivity software, especially word documents. However, for gaming the resolution really doesn't matter to me.
  • 0 Hide
    acku , July 13, 2011 5:34 AM
    Quote:
    I would also be interested in seeing some 1920x1200 monitors. The reason I prefer that resolution is I find that having that extra vertical space is very useful for productivity software, especially word documents. However, for gaming the resolution really doesn't matter to me.

    Any specific monitors? The list is pretty short on 1920x1200.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , July 13, 2011 5:41 AM
    I agree with the above comments. I loath the 16:9 aspect ratio, and would really like to see some coverage of 4:3 or 16:10 monitors, which (IMO) are much more useful for doing work.
  • 0 Hide
    ksampanna , July 13, 2011 5:49 AM
    How about an eyefinity/surround test with a range of TN, IPS monitors across a range of budgets? I know this is pretty huge, but you are toms, so you should be able to easily pull it off.
  • 0 Hide
    Gamer-girl , July 13, 2011 5:53 AM
    The dell ultrasharp 24 inch mainly
  • 1 Hide
    revjacob , July 13, 2011 6:03 AM
    Yup. Gamer girl just beat me to it. Could you please do a review of E-IPS panels like Dell 2311H and LG IPS236V specially their response time in gaming. Thanks in advance.
  • 0 Hide
    legendkiller , July 13, 2011 6:05 AM
    I Would like to TomsHardware.COM to test Which monitor is the Best Monitor for Gaming and Video Editing like those $400(Or lower) range Monitor like the BenQ:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824014241&cm_re=benq-_-24-014-241-_-Product
    AND this LG Monitor:
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=652396&CatId=4231
  • 0 Hide
    crisan_tiberiu , July 13, 2011 6:20 AM
    I have a Philips 222ELSB 21,5' TN monitor, and it is very good. I dont see Comptons point here with the Jihad on TN panels. Not everybody can aford a very expensive monitor
  • -3 Hide
    Gamer-girl , July 13, 2011 6:23 AM
    ackuIs there a particular reason that you prefer 1920x1200?Cheers,Andrew KuTomsHardware.com


    Because 2560x1600 monitors are too expensive lol and
    I have large excel tables, multiple windows at the same time.
    On the gaming side it would mean the difference seeing that guy on the right-hand corner of your screen and getting shot xD

  • 0 Hide
    fstrthnu , July 13, 2011 6:25 AM
    The Dell Ultrasharp U2410 runs at 1920x1200, I haven't checked any others. From what I've read, it's a pretty darn good IPS monitor.
  • 0 Hide
    acku , July 13, 2011 6:44 AM
    Quote:
    Because 2560x1600 monitors are too expensive lol and
    I have large excel tables, multiple windows at the same time.
    On the gaming side it would mean the difference seeing that guy on the right-hand corner of your screen and getting shot xD

    Point taken Gamer-girl. I'll call Dell up in the morning.

    Cheers,
    Andrew Ku
    TomsHardware.com
  • 0 Hide
    Kamab , July 13, 2011 6:50 AM
    If you're reviewing white-LED backlit TN LCD displays could you try reviewing one of ASUS's monitors? They seem to have a decent line in their VH###H monitors for someone looking for a budget display, but it's hard to know.

    And if not try a roundup of some H-IPS and e-IPS monitors. Seems like these are becoming affordable for people with 200 bucks to spend.
  • 0 Hide
    Gamer-girl , July 13, 2011 7:07 AM
    ackuPoint taken Gamer-girl. I'll call Dell up in the morning.Cheers,Andrew KuTomsHardware.com


    Really is that all you have to do and they just send you one? Now i wanna work at Toms. lol
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 13, 2011 7:16 AM
    There are lots of sites out there that show testing input lag using a CRT and the tested monitor both displaying the same image and taking pics with a high shutter speed. read here http://shoryuken.com/forum/index.php?threads/the-new-definitive-hdtv-lag-faq.55593/ or here showing the testing procedures http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1166196
  • 0 Hide
    acku , July 13, 2011 7:19 AM
    That only tests the lag of the signal. If you're a gamer you care about "Total" lag, from the time you press your mouse to the time you waste the noob at the other side of the door you're bustin' down. Plus, you're assuming that all CRTs behave the same in that there's virtually no lag. That's in an ideal CRT. You need to be careful of creating a test like that because that's not always the case. You get two CRTs and you can get two different results.

    I'm working on a total lag benchmark, because it's a more static measurement. Plus, it's something that people can relate to reaction times. You can't really do that with signal lag.

    Cheers,
    Andrew Ku
    TomsHardware.com
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