So you have just seen another batch of 17” LCD monitors and may have got the same idea as I. The market of 17” LCD monitors is approaching the state the market of 15” ones has long been in. Of all possible types of the matrix only TN+Film is in fact widely employed. Yes, you have seen monitors on PVA and S-IPS matrices above, but the PVA models are currently manufactured by Samsung alone, while the S-IPS one is a special and expensive model with an integrated TV-tuner. Otherwise, the parameters and capabilities of many monitors don’t differ much from model to model. A lot of new models can be now reviewed in a “simplified” way like “just another 17” one on TN+Film” with a photo added for the user to appreciate the exterior.
This market doesn’t draw in big money anymore. The prices are too low and new technologies take long to cover the cost of implementation. So, everything really interesting is first implemented in larger monitors and only then transferred to 17” models, if transferred at all.
The specified response time of the matrix has reduced in double in the last two years: from 16 milliseconds to 12 and 8 milliseconds. But while it was possible to note the difference between 25ms and 16ms matrices, it is hard even for measuring instruments to tell between 12ms and 8ms. An ordinary user won’t see anything different between two such monitors even if they were placed near each other. This situation may only change with the arrival of monitors that use the overdrive technology (we haven’t covered them yet in our reviews, but are going to do so in an upcoming article).
So, many manufacturers of 17” monitors focus on the exterior rather than on the stuffing of their products, so we have the pretentious Artistic Series from LG and the animated menus from AG Neovo. We have monitors that look superb when put on a display but are not very comfortable at everyday use. And again, their real parameters do not differ from those of many other 17” monitors.
I think that only Samsung stands out amongst the others with its two models on PVA matrices (SyncMaster 173P and 720T). The above-described 720T is an excellent monitor for work whose main drawback is high response time which makes it inadequate for many games. Instead, this model offers you an excellent contrast ratio (times above the rest of 17” monitors), widest viewing angles, rich setup options – all in a convenient casing.
Samsung’s 17” TN+Film models are also remarkable, though. They combine fast matrices with good contrast, handy cases (even though they don’t strike you in the eye with shiny chrome details), and excellent setup opportunities that exceed what a majority of modern 17” monitors can offer.
In my last review of 17” LCD monitors I was inclined to prefer LG’s L1730 series that was competing with Samsung’s 710-th line, but now the situation has changed to the contrary. Neither the L1740B nor the L1750S could impress me as much as Samsung’s 720-th series did.
The rest of the monitors are so alike to each other that it’s hard to say some brand is superior over another. Yes, some person may think the fanciful design of the L1740B or the animated menu of the M-17 as a big advantage over their competitors, but these designing things are too subjective and depend on your personal tastes (for example, I have to look at the computer’s monitor daily and I would prefer the low-key exterior of the monitors from Mitsubishi, ASUS or Samsung since it doesn’t distract one from the onscreen image). From the objective point of view, these models are all very similar. Yes, one model may reproduce colors a little better, and another may have a better contrast ratio, but if you do care about color reproduction or contrast, you should consider quite different monitors (for example, the reviewed PVA-matrix 720T model from Samsung or even 19” models). Again, 17” LCD monitors on TN+Film matrices are too similar to each other, and if you don’t like their characteristics, you should consider monitors on other types of the matrix.