Review: 20" LCD S-IPS Panels


On one side are some excellent S-IPS panels, albeit they are very expensive. Their rendering is very faithful and their angles of vision wide but performance is disappointing in animated sequences. On the other hand, the latest 17" TN+Film versions tested proved that it's perfectly possible to play on LCD panels. The only problem is that the angles of vision are very narrow and color fidelity needs to be improved.

If we use this year end to survey the ups and downs of the LCD scene, when all is said and done, not much happened in 2003. Despite some exciting marketing announcements promising great things and accelerated product launches, the LCD world isn't moving forward as fast as it seems on the surface. VA technology has been in the doldrums for four years. S-IPS has made little progress in two years. And TN+Film has been stagnating for a year.

In a dramatic turn of events, Sharp and LG-Philips are suddenly bringing out two new S-IPS panels which, at least on paper, combine the advantages of both types. The response time in each case is reduced by 20 ms and 16ms respectively and the angles of vision have increased by 176° in the horizontal and vertical hold while contrast reaches levels of 500:1. Moreover, given that, unlike the TN and VA panels, IPS technology is reputed to offer even response times for all the colors, demanding gamers and graphics designers should be satisfied, at least in theory.

Monitors Tested

  • Eizo L885, 20ms, around $1,360 (€1700)
  • Philips 200P4, 16ms, around $1,120 (€1,400)

The Tests

In order to judge the quality of the monitors, as usual, we used different work applications, including 3D scenes, games, films and a colorimeter. We also took ergonomics and quality of interpolation into account.