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Out-Of-Box Performance: Brightness And Contrast Ratio

Three-Way 22" LED LCD Roundup: Dell, LG, And Samsung
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All three 22" LCDs display black rather poorly right out of the box. While Samsung's S22A350H produces decent whites, it only generates mediocre blacks. We set the Black Level setting to low on the E2241V, but it still had a major problem reproducing deep blacks. Admittedly, this handicaps white production a bit because it cuts overall luminance. However, our overall contrast ratio didn't change much when we set the Black Level switch to high. Dell's SR2220L has the opposite problem. It produces poor whites, but it does decently in black production.

Brightness can have an effect on how you perceive color, but it's indirect. It can also help the display achieve brighter colors, but brightness often sacrifices contrast if a monitor has a poor color palette, which is why we measure that as well.

There's a wider range of default color temperatures between our three 22" monitors. Samsung's S22A350H is the most aggressive because we're looking at a noticeably cooler color temperature at 7571 K. LG's E2241V comes the closest to approximating 6500 K, while the SR2220L is a tad cooler at 6751 K.

If you want a balanced image, you'll need to calibrate the display to 6500 K. Most DVDs, digital cameras, and online videos are calibrated for a 6500 K white point, because this represents the spectrum you would see in overcast daylight. So, we'll do that too.

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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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