Articles: Monitors

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Unfortunately, the black background is measured with lower precision than I might wish. It means we should round the contrast ratio value given in the tables to tens to avoid mistakes. And one more note: the “specified” level of the black is not actually specified by the manufacturer, but calculated by myself from the specified maximum brightness and the specified contrast ratio. I assume they measure the contrast ratio with the matrix at the maximum brightness.

The word “brightness” may refer to both the display setting and the screen luminosity. This may cause certain confusion. In this review, I usually use the word “brightness” to denote the display setting like “the brightness was set to 50%” (meaning that the “Brightness” control in the display settings menu was set to 50% of the maximum). When referring to the physical brightness of the display, I use the term “screen brightness” often followed by a numerical value like “the screen brightness was set to 100nit” (meaning that by adjusting the “Contrast” control I made the display screen shine with 100nit brightness). I hope you excuse me for not finding better terminology and hope there won’t be any confusion or misunderstanding.

Now we should determine the reference points for our measurements. I chose three of them. Firstly, it is the maximum screen brightness when both brightness and contrast controls of the display are set to maximum. It helps to measure the maximum brightness of the white color as well as estimate the brightness adjustment reserve, although there is of course no point in measuring the color rendition with these settings. Secondly, it is the default settings of the display as set up by the manufacturer. I chose this point as the manufacturer should have known better and adjusted the color rendition in the best possible manner. Thirdly, to compare all the displays under equal conditions, I chose a screen brightness of 100nit. This brightness is considered normal for work in a word processor in a room with mild lighting. For example, at your home in the evening (for note: a comfortable brightness for Internet surfing, for image processing or for work with text in case of good external lighting is about 150nit, while for games and movie-watching it ranges from 200 to 250nit).

Besides measuring the levels of brightness, color curves and color temperature, I slightly changed the method of measuring the response time parameter. Our experiments showed that many matrices increase the response time considerably (by a half in some cases) if the contrast and brightness are reduced (if the latter parameter is controlled by the matrix itself rather than by the backlight lamp). So, I will measure the response time three times for each display: using three reference points described above. However, in order to make the results easier to analyze, I will provide only one graph for each case: they don’t differ that much anyway. For those who are looking for a new display, here is my advice: pay attention to the response time not only with the default settings but also with the screen brightness set to ensure highest comfort for your work with this monitor.

The last preliminary note is about the viewing angles. We don’t have equipment to measure them with high precision; that is why I just shared my personal impressions with you. For the displays included into the today’s review, I would like to say from the beginning that none of them have inconvenient viewing angles. All models have about 160…170 degrees viewing angles, which is quite enough to feel comfortable – you don’t have to sit straight all the time. On the other hand, only fast matrices showed poor viewing angles in our 17” LCD Displays Roundup (for example, those with the famous 16ms matrix from AU Optronics), while all models we reviewed today proved rather slow – the minimum measured response time was only 23ms.

However, now that the long introduction is over, let’s pass over to the actual products.

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