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Three-Way 22" LED LCD Roundup: Dell, LG, And Samsung

Response Time And Final Words

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.

BrandDellLGSamsung
ModelSR2220LE2241VS22A350H
Full Black to White Response Time16 ms17 ms18 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.

  • compton
    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.
    Reply
  • acku
    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
    Reply
  • Gamer-girl
    How about 24"+ 1920x1200 monitors?
    Reply
  • acku
    9516998 said:
    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
    Reply
  • clownbaby
    +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.

    Reply
  • soccerdocks
    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.
    Reply
  • acku
    9517001 said:
    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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • ksampanna
    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.
    Reply
  • Gamer-girl
    The dell ultrasharp 24 inch mainly
    Reply