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Review: 20" LCD S-IPS Panels

Philips 200P4: Games & Movies, Continued

Of course, moving over the map gets jerky and blurs, but this is pretty much always the case, even on CRTs. And it does nothing to detract from playability.

The same paradox applies here as to the Eizo monitor. The response time is supposed to be as low as possible and it really does work at 24 bits. Yet, beyond the angles of vision, which really are extra-wide, the rendering is barely comparable to the worst TN monitors. The lag is excessive, characters are ghosted when you move fast or when you move very slowly and the panel image seems to flutter, normally a feature of 18-bit monitors. The explanation for this is that, as in Eizo's L885, although this monitor really does use 8 bits per color, it uses dithering for 10 bits. Of course, this is done to smooth the images, but as a result, even if it does improve the quality of photographs, it's disastrous for movies, because they flutter visibly even if you are only a yard or so away from the screen.

Conclusion

Anyone hoping that IPS technology would supersede TN + Film in monitors designed for gamers is going to be disappointed. Neither Sharp's 20ms panel, nor the LG-Philips, claiming16ms, can produce a result that is comparable to the TN + Film 16ms made by LG-Philips and AU-Optronics. They even pale into insignificance beside the Hydis 20ms, which only lacks a wider angle of vision in order to win all the laurels.

The color rendering on these two panels is not all that amazing either. True, the Eizo is one of the few in which the brightness level has not been pushed too hard, and at 110 cd/m², the color rendering is fine. It ought to display dark colors better, however, a failing in this area. The L885 makes up for this by its impeccable ergonomics. True, it's expensive, but it's convenient and pleasant to use.

The 200P4 seems to be targeted at a different market, halfway between the general public and the image-creation professionals. This is shown by its features, record response time which will make all the gamers long to own one, and its specs the graphics people will love. The default settings are like the monitor, just as useful for each group of users. The very high brightness level is valuable for games and the color rendering, with the factory settings, is rather better than average.