My personal interest about this test session was concerned with the arrival of 19” LCD monitors on TN+Film matrices. In all probability they are going to conquer this market in this year as they have done with the market of 17” devices.
The Acer AL1912 is not just the first monitor reviewed in this article, but also the first 19” TN+Film monitor ever tested in our labs. And it left me utterly disappointed. But my experience with the LG Flatron L1930SQ made me optimistic again: although this model exhibited the inborn defects of TN+Film technology such as small viewing angles, it can still make a good inexpensive home or office monitor. Alas, TN+Film monitors can’t yet aspire for anything more – without their appealing price, they wouldn’t have a chance against the competing technologies. The third monitor on a matrix of this type, the Samsung SyncMaster 913N, has good characteristics, too. But overall it is certainly inferior to the L1930SQ and takes a position in-between the L1930SQ and the AL1912.
The other models from LG – the Flatron L1910S and especially the Flatron L1910P – were, on the contrary, a disappointment. These monitors both have problems with the image quality. The problems of the former lie in the setup, while the latter has a defective LCD module.
The Philips Brilliance 190P5 is rather a mediocre product with average characteristics, while the exclusive LightFrame technology falls short of the expectations.
Samsung’s monitors of MVA matrices, on the contrary, leave a highly positive impression, especially the SyncMaster 920T of course. This is an excellent monitor for any task, except working with color (S-IPS matrices are still better at that) and playing some dynamic games. It is a mixture of excellent design, rich settings, excellent contrast ratio and viewing angles and good color reproduction. The design of the case and of the onscreen menu has improved a lot since the previous 910 series – in terms of nice looks as well as of functionality.
In spite of a number of small defects, the two monitors from NEC leave a nice impression. Thanks to their S-IPS matrices, these models are multi-purpose devices, with excellent viewing angles, small response time, and good color reproduction. They are only inferior to PVA matrices in the contrast ratio parameter. So, if response time is important for you, the NEC 1960NXi and 1970NX may suit you well. Alas, the 1970NX is just a cosmetic improvement on the 1960NXi, unlike with the SyncMaster 920T and the 910T. The new model from NEC has a different case and onscreen menu, while the characteristics and functionality have remained the same. This, as well as the number of small, but annoying problems, makes the 1970NX a kind of unfinished product, especially after the above-mentioned 920T. Anyway, this monitor is an interesting option, so you may want to consider it when shopping.
Lastly, we’ve got the monitor/TV-set hybrid from Iiyama. It’s hard to compare it to regular computer monitors, but it’s good for its purpose, which is in fact one – reproducing movies. Its brightness may be excessive at work, while its response time may be too slow for games.