The market of widescreen 19” monitors has taken its final shape in the last year. Unfortunately, it has no place for matrix types other than TN. If you want a monitor with wide viewing angles based on an MVA/PVA or S-IPS matrix, you have to consider larger-diagonal models, 20” at least. Still, there is some choice on the market yet. Widescreen 19-inchers come in a variety of shapes and colors, with a lot of setup options or just a basic selection of them, with and without Response Time Compensation technology.
Samsung’s three RTC-enabled models are a success. All three of them boast high setup quality and correct RTC implementation without serious errors and are free from obvious blunders in the exterior design. Of course, it’s up to you to decide what design and what setup options you need, but I’m personally in favor of the Samsung SyncMaster 940BW for its combination of a mild, eye-soothing design and a full selection of settings. The others are not inferior, but just for people with a different taste than mine. The SyncMaster 931BW and the recently released SyncMaster 961BW are both going to find supporters among gamers as well as among users who just want to have a pretty-looking and stylish “glossy black monitor” at home.
Among the RTC-less models I’d single out the ASUS PW191A and ViewSonic VX1945WM whose exterior designs put them apart from the others. Unfortunately, their appeal is somewhat marred by their slow RTC-less matrixes and mediocre setup quality, especially considering their rather high price. The ASUS PW191A may be recommended for the admirers of the brand and for people who just happen to like its particular design. The ViewSonic VX1945WM is a special model for devoted owners of iPod players. Such special devices often fail to perform their main duty – here, to display information – properly.
The low-end BenQ FP92Wa, Proview FV926AFW and Samsung SyncMaster 940NW differ but slightly from each other. The first one has more correct color settings, but has a plain exterior design and unhandy controls. The second features a remarkable design and an additional D-Sub connector, but has worse dark tones at low contrast and a less accurate color temperature setup. The third is a sturdy mainstream product, but costs 10% more. All in all, these three models are all similar to each other, and you should choose one basing on your personal preferences and on what technical characteristics you are ready to forfeit in your monitor to save some money.