Affordable 19" LCD Monitors


History tends to repeat itself. Now LCDs are repeating, at an albeit faster rate, what happened with CRTs. After 15" monitors began to cost about the same as the latest 17" monitors, they began to be phased out of the market. Now we're beginning to see the same thing happen vis-à-vis 19" LCDs versus 17" monitors.

Prices for 19" monitors are falling. The lowest-priced monitors are less than 1000 euros, scarcely more than what a 17" monitor cost six months ago.

The trouble is that the great progress 17" monitors represented and which we noted in our last tests in , does not yet apply to 19" monitors. In fact, none of the manufacturers has used TN technology. Because they are offering high-end monitors, they all use MVA (Fujitsu) or PVA (the Samsung version of MVA). The issue is that these technologies have not evolved much over the last two years. Their advantage is very good colors and unmatchable viewing angles. On the other hand, their response time is only 25ms. This makes us doubtful about their suitability for games.

Monitors Tested

  1. Acer L1931
  2. Iiyama AS4821DT BK
  3. Nec LCD1980SX
  4. Nec LCD1920NX
  5. Samsung SyncMaster 192B
  6. Sony SDM-S93

The Tests

The criteria we used to test the quality of the monitors were: suitability for office applications, games, movies, colors, ergonomics, and quality of interpolation when resolutions were changed for games.

The games used to test monitor quality were:

  • Unreal, in 1280x1024, 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480
  • Wolfenstein 3D in 1280x1024
  • GTA Vice City in 1280x1024
  • Command & Conquer Generals in 1152x864, 1024x1024 and 800x600