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Evaluating monitors isn't straightforward. No doubt, processors and graphics cards are much easier to review given our well-established suite of benchmarks. Often, before we even start talking about a given display, any debate about specific evaluation criteria gets lost in the discussion about how color behaves. That's why we aren't going to use test patterns that we need to measure with our eyes.
As a result, we're generation more objective performance analysis by using a spectrophotometer and monitor calibration software: specifically, a Spectracal-certified i1Pro, Spectracal's CalMan (luminance and gamut measurements), X-Rite's i1Match (default state), and ColorEyes Pro (calibration). This allows us to isolate specific traits, such as color space, luminance uniformity, and contrast ratios, without having to rely on subjective impressions. If you are unfamiliar with these terms, we'll explain the benchmarks as we start picking apart each monitor's performance characteristics.
If there are other benchmarks you'd like to see from a display roundup, let us know in this story's feedback thread. We'll try to accommodate your request in our next LCD roundup. In the meantime, our current set of benchmarks gives you a good idea of what to expect, whether you are gaming or just watching video on Hulu.