19" LCD Monitors Roundup. Part XI

We continue testing 19” monitors from the leading makers such as ASUS, HannStar, LG, NEC and ViewSonic. This roundup will include models with 5:4 aspect ratio as well as widescreen ones with 16:10 aspect ratio.

by Aleksey Meyev
08/12/2008 | 04:10 PM

This article continues our series of reviews of 19-inch LCD monitors. It covers eight models with a screen aspect ratio of both 5:4 and 16:10. Although the latter aspect ratio is quickly penetrating the low-end market sector, classic 5:4 models are in demand still. Moreover, it is among these classic models that you can occasionally see 19-inchers with matrix types other than TN whereas widescreen 19-inch models are all based on TN technology with its notoriously small viewing angles. Widescreen monitors are also evolving, though. You can sometimes meet very special models such as the ViewSonic you will see in this review – it has an unusual resolution for its screen size.

Testing Methodology

 

Use the following link for a description of our testing methodology, the equipment we use, and a brief explanation of what the specified and tested parameters of LCD monitors mean: X-bit Labs Presents: LCD Monitors Testing Methodology In Depth. If you feel overwhelmed with the numbers and terms this article abounds in, check out an appropriate section of the mentioned article for an explanation.

You can also view all previous monitor reviews in our Monitors section.

ASUS VB191T

The opener of this review is the ASUS VB191T, a multimedia model with a TN matrix and a classic aspect ratio of 5:4. Such monitors are still popular among people who don’t like widescreen models and don’t need a larger screen. Some users also prefer them because of the large pixel pitch.

Judging by the specs, the monitor doesn’t have response time compensation. The declared contrast ratio is dynamic, of course. TN matrixes can’t have such a high level of static contrast. To remind you, the dynamic contrast ratio is calculated as the static contrast ratio multiplied by the backlight brightness adjustment range in dynamic contrast mode. In fact, dynamic contrast should rather be called dynamic brightness because the point of this technology is in adjusting the monitor’s backlight brightness automatically depending on the prevalence of light or dark halftones in the current picture.

The monitor’s exterior design resembles the widescreen VW191 series. The screen is surrounded with a thin black plastic bezel. A row of control buttons can be seen at the bottom of the front panel. This calm, restrained and eye-pleasing design is going to look good in the office as well as at home.

Made from black plastic, the stand only allows you to adjust the tilt of the screen. You can replace it with a VESA-compatible mount using the holes in the back panel.

The monitor has analog and digital video inputs, an audio input, and a connector for the integrated power adapter. Unfortunately, there is no headphones connector here.

Located in the bottom right of the front panel, the controls are quite handy but accompanied with barely readable icons almost the same color as the case. The Power button is at the end of the row and is the only one to have a highlighting LED. Quick access is provided to the brightness and sound volume settings, to choosing a Splendid mode, and to the automatic adjustment feature (you can run this procedure by holding the Splendid button pressed for a few seconds).

ASUS’s standard menu has a few traditional drawbacks. It doesn’t remember the last changed option but always opens up on the tab for selecting a Splendid mode. This is odd because there is a quick-access button for this feature – you don’t even have to enter the menu at all. And if you plan to connect the monitor to two signal sources simultaneously, the lack of a quick-access button to choose the input may be inconvenient. You have to go into the menu to select the video input to use.

The monitor has 90% brightness and 80% contrast by default. I lowered both to 74% to achieve a 100nit brightness of white. Color gradients are reproduced without banding at any settings. Lights and darks are all distinguishable at any settings, too. The monitor regulates its brightness by means of pulse-width modulation of the power of the backlight lamps at a frequency of 240Hz.

 

The average uniformity of white brightness is 6.9% with a maximum of 18.2%. For black brightness, the average and maximum are 6.3% and 15.5%, respectively. The average values are not every good, but the rather low maximums indicate that there are no conspicuously brighter or darker areas on the screen.

 

The gamma curves are good at the default settings but differ somewhat from each other as their values of gamma differ.

 

The curves change but slightly at the reduced brightness and contrast.

 

As opposed to many other monitors, this model doesn’t have too much contrast at the maximum settings which would be indicated by a characteristic bend in the right part of the diagram (meaning that light halftones are displayed as white). The VB191T has this bend in the red curve only. The other curves are very close to the theoretical curve. The overall setup quality is even better than at the default settings.

The temperature of grays varies within 500K in every mode, being warmer on white. This is good as every user can select the color temperature that suits him best.

 

The monitor’s color gamut is just what you can expect from a model with ordinary backlight lamps. It is somewhat wider than sRGB in greens but smaller in reds.

The response time average is 13.6 milliseconds (GtG) with a maximum of 22.1 milliseconds. This is the speed you can expect from an RTC-less matrix.

The contrast ratio is very good at the maximum settings and just sufficient in the other test modes.

Like other monitors from ASUS, the VB191T features Splendid technology, a set of predefined image modes you can switch between by pressing a single button.

The Splendid modes are rather close to each other by default, except for the Night View mode that has a high level of black. Well, this mode is meant for very dark games where the brighter black will help you better spot an enemy lurking in shadows.

 

 

Color reproduction is no good, though. The curves are shaped like this in every made save for Standard. The blue curve has an S-shaped twist and differs from the other two. The curves do not go near the theoretical curve, either. Thus, you can’t have correct color reproduction in any of the Splendid modes. This is actually a common problem of all ASUS monitors we have tested in our labs.

Summing it up, the ASUS VB191T is a typical representative of the class of inexpensive 19-inch TN-based monitors. It has neither special advantages nor serious defects and will satisfy an undemanding user.

Highs:

Lows:

Recommended usage:

HannStar CY199D

We have reviewed HannStar monitors recently and now I’d like to add another model to our knowledgebase.

The specifications make it clear that the CY199D is an RTC-less monitor with a TN matrix and without anything innovational. Interestingly, the viewing angles are measured for a contrast ratio reduction to 10:1 rather than to 5:1 (the latter method is more popular because it yields higher values that can be written into product specs). Visually, most TN matrixes have similar viewing angles that are incomparable to what you can have from a *VA or S-IPS matrix.

The appearance of this monitor is typical of HannStar products. It has a gray plastic case with a very wide screen bezel. The speaker grids in the bottom corners of the front panel enliven the monitor’s face somewhat, but I doubt many people will like this design. It reminds me the unsophisticated models of five or more years ago.

The stand is simple, too. It is a black plastic disc with a protruding pole. The stand allows you to adjust the tilt of the screen. It can be replaced with a VESA mount if necessary.

Somewhat surprisingly, the monitor provides a full selection of connectors: analog and digital video inputs, a connector of the integrated power adapter, and an audio input. You can also find a headphone socket in the bottom edge of the case.

The controls in the bottom center of the front panel are unhandy, though. The blue LED in the Power button is way too bright, shining right into your eye at work. The icons on the buttons are barely readable and incomprehensible. Can you guess which button of the four – marked as Plus, Minus, Arrow Left, Arrow Right – opens the menu?

The monitor provides quick access to the sound volume setting. You can also quickly mute the speakers.

The menu is unfriendly. In most menu items it is unclear what button you should press to achieve the desired effect. I won’t even give you specific examples because the whole navigation is awful. On the other hand, the menu matches the monitor’s overall appearance as it resembles the menus of low-end models produced a few years ago.

The monitor has 100% brightness and 50% contrast by default. I achieved a 100nit white by setting both at 36%. If you increase the contrast value above the default, you will lose light halftones as they will be displayed as pure white. Color gradients are reproduced without banding. The brightness is regulated by means of pulse-width modulation of the backlight at a frequency of 211Hz.

 

The average uniformity of white brightness is 5.4% with a maximum of 16.6%. That’s acceptable. For black brightness, the average is 7.7% and the maximum is as high as 20%: the picture above shows that there is a brighter band along the bottom of the screen.

The gamma curves are good by default although differ from each other somewhat.

Like with many other monitors, the curves improve at the reduced settings.

The color temperature setup isn’t good. The temperature varies by 2000K between the levels of gray, which is rather too much.

The color gamut isn’t quite good, either. Typical LCD monitors are only inferior to the sRGB color space in reds while the CY199D is also inferior to it in blues.

The response time average is 15.3 milliseconds (GtG) with a maximum of 23.9 milliseconds. That’s a normal result for an RTC-less TN matrix. Of course, this matrix is very slow in comparison with RTC-enabled models.

The monitor’s brightness and contrast are average as TN matrixes go. Most users are going to be satisfied with them.

Thus, the HannStar CY199D is a regular low-end monitor. Its low price is the only good point about it. If price is not the main priority for you, I would recommend you to consider other models as this market sector offers a broad choice.

Highs:

Lows:

Recommended usage:

LG Flatron L1954TQ

The Flatron L1954TQ is not a cheap model, being the “classic” counterpart of the widescreen L196WTQ.

Wow! We’ve got viewing angles of 170 degrees and a contrast ratio of 5000:1! One may even doubt if it is a TN matrix at all. It is easy to explain, though. The specified contrast is dynamic, of course, and the brightness adjustment range in the dynamic contrast mode has become wider. The viewing angles are measured by means of the relaxed method with a contrast ratio reduction to 5:1. Well, there are certain improvements, especially in terms of horizontal angles, but the image gets dark when looked at from below, betraying a TN matrix instantly.

The specified response time of 2 milliseconds (GtG) indicates response time compensation technology.

The monitor looks effective thanks to the black glossy plastic of the case with a thin screen bezel and rounded-off corners. Shaped like a wide checkmark and highlighted with a blue LED, the Power button adds more charm to the monitor’s exterior. This model is going to look splendid in any environment but you shouldn’t forget that dust and small scratches are more conspicuous on glossy surfaces. You have to care about this monitor more lest it lose all its splendor way too soon.

The stand is not very functional, though. You can only adjust the tilt of the screen. It is also rather tall to my taste. It may be a problem to organize the workplace in such a way that the top of the screen were at the same level with your eyes. Like with many other monitors, you can remove the native stand and replace it with a VESA-compatible mount.

There is a standard selection of connectors in the recess of the back panel: analog and digital video inputs and a connector for the integrated power adapter.

Located in the bottom right of the front panel, the controls are handy and have easily readable labels. Quick access is provided to the automatic adjustment feature, to choosing the video input to use, to selecting a factory-set mode (f-Engine technology), and to the EZ-zooming feature. When you install Windows-based control program, you can use EZ-zooming to switch the display resolution to 1024x768 (with interpolation and accompanying loss in image quality). Frankly speaking, I doubt this option is going to be popular. You don’t often need to use a lower resolution on a 19-inch monitor.

This is LG’s standard menu. It is user-friendly, logically organized and lacking any special options.

The monitor has 100% brightness and 70% contrast by default. I achieved a 100nit white by setting both at 51%. If the brightness setting is increased, lights become the same as white whereas darks are always displayed correctly. Color gradients look striped on this monitor. The brightness is regulated by means of backlight modulation at a frequency of 241MHz.

 

White brightness is quite uniform: an average deflection of 4.7% with a maximum of 14.3%. It’s worse on black: the sides of the screen are darker and the average deflection is 7.6% with a maximum of 18.8%.

An interesting feature of this monitor I have not met with in other models, if the monitor is displaying a black background (without even a mouse pointer on it), it automatically lowers the brightness of the backlight lamps threefold to save energy. It is a nice, even though not vitally important, feature.

The gamma curves are all right at the default settings but you can see that there is a little bit too much of contrast and the blue curve differs from the others.

Reducing the level of contrast brings about a positive effect. The curves look good enough at the 100nit settings.

The color temperature setup is sloppy, the temperature dispersion between the levels of gray being as large as 3000K in every mode. Moreover, the monitor doesn’t offer a really warm mode. The image is always cold with a bluish tint.

The color gamut is standard. There is nothing to comment upon.

The response time average is 3.3 milliseconds (GtG) with a maximum of 6.4 milliseconds. That’s not the best result among RTC-enabled models, but very impressive in comparison with “slow” matrixes. There seem to be little difference between the specified 2 and 5 milliseconds, but RTC-enabled TN matrixes with a specified response of 2 milliseconds prove to be many times faster in practice than RTC-less 5-millisecond models.

The RTC error level is 8.3% which is quite good for a TN matrix. The maximum error is as high as 121% but only occurs on transitions between lightest halftones. It is inconspicuous to the eye. For the other transitions the maximum error is 33.5%. So, you can spot RTC-provoked artifacts if you are purposely looking for them, but the implementation is good overall. Most users are going to be satisfied with it.

The maximum brightness and contrast ratio are normal for this matrix type and acceptable for most applications.

Now let’s check out the monitor’s factory-set f-Engine modes.

They are all right in terms of contrast ratio but too bright. Who would ever work with text at a screen brightness of 210 nits? You may only need such a high brightness if you’ve got direct sunlight falling on your monitor, but if this is the case, you should organize your workplace better.

Color reproduction is far from accurate with f-Engine. So, this feature is not implemented well in this monitor.

Overall, the LG Flatron L1954TQ is a good and nice-looking monitor with a fast matrix for those who prefer the classic aspect ratio of 5:4. Gamers may like it for its stylish appearance and fast matrix with a good implementation of RTC. One drawback I can note about this model is that its color temperature setup is too bad.

Highs:

Lows:

Recommended usage:

LG Flatron L1972H

Like the above-discussed L1954TQ, the Flatron L1972H is a top-end 19-inch monitor from LG Electronics.

The specifications are exactly like those of the previous model: a fast matrix with improved viewing angles and a dynamic contrast ratio of 5000:1. Judging by the marketing materials, the developer takes great pride in this model.

Although the case is designed in the same style as the previous model, it is hard to confuse them. Besides the round Power button, the L1972H is one of the few 19-inch monitors that have a stand with height adjustment.

The dual-hinge stand allows you to adjust the tilt of the screen and its height by changing the angle in each hinge. The height adjustment range is 40 to 140 millimeters counting from the desk to the bottom edge of the screen – the screen nearly lies on the desk in the bottommost position. Well, even if this functionality doesn’t suit you or if you want to wall-mount the monitor, you can replace its native stand with a VESA-compatible mount.

There are analog and digital connectors at the back panel. The power adapter is integrated into the case.

The monitor’s controls are located on the bottom edge of the case. The Power button, highlighted with a blue LED, is the only one left on the front panel. The buttons are accompanied with easily readable labels and are placed at a proper distance from each other. They are easy to use even though not visible from the front.

Quick access is provided to the same features as in the L1954TQ: selecting an image source, automatic adjustment of analog signal, EZ-Zooming, and f-Engine modes.

This model’s menu is the same as in the model discussed in the previous section.

The monitor has 100% brightness and 70% contrast by default. I achieved a 100nit white by lowering both to 53%. Increasing the contrast level above the default makes lights indistinguishable from white. Color gradients are reproduced without banding at any settings. The monitor regulates its brightness by means of pulse-width modulation of the backlight lamps at a frequency of 261Hz.

 

The monitor doesn’t feature record-breaking brightness uniformity, yet it is good overall. For white, the average deflection is 4.7% with a maximum of 15.1% For black, the average and maximum are 5.5% and 14.6%, respectively. It is good there are no conspicuous spots or zones with greatly different levels of brightness.

The gamma curves look very good at the default settings.

The value of gamma increases somewhat at the reduced settings but the overall shape of the curves remains nearly ideal.

Although the average color temperature is 500K or more degrees higher than mentioned in the names of the modes, the levels of gray differ but little. The overall setup quality is good.

The color gamut is standard again. It is somewhat wider than sRGB in greens, smaller in reds and coinciding in blues.

The average response time of this model is even better than that of the previous monitor. It is 2.8 milliseconds (GtG). The maximum is somewhat higher at 12.5 milliseconds.

The setup quality is different: the maximum RTC error is about 40% but nearly every transition is accompanied with an error. The average level of RTC errors is 14.6%. You can spot RTC-provoked artifacts in games and at work.

The contrast ratio is very good for a TN matrix, reaching 400:1.

The previous monitor had awful setup of its f-Engine modes. Let’s see if this one is any better in this respect.

It’s almost the same as with the previous model: the contrast ratio is good but the brightness is too high in the Text mode. I wouldn’t recommend you to work with text at such a high brightness as it will strain your eyes.

 

Color reproduction is inaccurate in the f-Engine modes.

The Flatron L1972H is a good monitor with an aspect ratio of 5:4. It has a TN matrix with response time compensation. It features good color reproduction and uniform backlight brightness, a height-adjustable stand and a nice exterior design. The only downside is the rather high level of RTC errors.

Highs:

Lows:

Recommended usage:

NEC AccuSync LCD19WMGX

This widescreen model is a new addition to the AccuSync series which traditionally includes NEC’s inexpensive offers.

Judging by the specs, this is yet another widescreen 19-incher without RTC and dynamic contrast.

The monitor resembles the NEC LCD19WV we have tested recently but is overall more impressive thanks to the glossy matrix and the ornamented controls on the front panel. It doesn’t look like an entry-level model anymore. This monitor will match nicely both office and home environments.

You should be aware of the common problem of glossy matrixes. While they produce a high-contrast image, they also reflects every light source behind you back just like a mirror.

The modest stand allows to change the tilt of the screen only. It can be replaced with a VESA-compatible mount.

The monitor has analog and digital inputs and an audio input. The power adapter is integrated into the case. The monitor lacks a headphones socket.

The controls are located at the bottom center of the front panel. They are handy and accompanied with easily readable labels. The Power button is the same shape as the others. It is on the far right and has a highlighting LED which is blue at work and orange in sleep mode.

Quick access is provided to the auto-adjustment feature and to the sound volume setting.

The monitor has the same menu as the above-mentioned LCD19WV. It is new and doesn’t resemble the menu of older monitors from NEC. Like the old menu, it doesn’t remember the last changed option but it has labels for the menu items. You can also exit the menu by pressing a button rather than choosing a menu item.

The monitor has 90% brightness and 50% contrast by default. I achieved a 100nit white by lowering the brightness setting to 68%. Color gradients are reproduced without banding. Every halftone, except for the darkest ones, is distinguishable at any settings.

 

The backlight brightness is quite uniform. On white, the average deflection is 5.2% with a maximum of 15%. On black, the average and maximum are 3.7% and 11.1%.

The gamma curves are good at the default settings but the left part of the diagram indicates that about 10% of the darkest halftones are displayed as black.

The curves improve somewhat at the reduced settings but there are still some problems with the darkest halftones.

Take note that the curves do not change much even at the maximum brightness and contrast. The blue curve is sagging but this color reproduction is acceptable overall.

The quality of the color temperature setup is high. The temperature dispersion is no larger than 1000K in any mode and smaller than 200K in the sRGB mode. If it were not for the problem with the darkest halftones, this would be a good monitor for simple processing of graphics.

The color gamut is nothing extraordinary again. You will have the same gamut from most other modern LCD monitors.

The response time average is 16.7 milliseconds (GtG) with a maximum of 32 milliseconds. It is a modest result even for an RTC-less TN matrix. Of course, this monitor is far slower than “fast” 19-inchers.

The contrast ratio is not high. It is lower than 200:1 in two test modes and becomes normal at the maximum settings only.

Thus, the NEC AccuSync LCD19WMGX is a nice-looking widescreen monitor with good color temperature setup and uniform brightness of the backlight. It has a slow matrix with a low contrast ratio and problems with the reproduction of the darkest halftones. It is going to suit just fine for text applications but you can find better options for other usages.

Highs:

Lows:

Recommended usage:

NEC MultiSync LCD195NX

Yet another monitor from NEC, this model comes from the more expensive MultiSync series and has a classic aspect ratio of 5:4.

The specs are quite standard. The LCD195NX is based on a very ordinary TN matrix without RTC.

The classic bulky appearance of this model should be familiar to everyone who has ever seen an LCD19xx series monitor. The screen bezel is rounded off and thin but the monitor seems large due to the thick case and the monumental stand.

The stand is functional, however. You can adjust the tilt and height (from 70 to 175mm) of the screen, rotate the screen around the vertical axis and pivot it into portrait mode. The stand can be replaced with a VESA-compatible mount.

There is a standard set of connectors here: digital and analog video inputs, an audio input and a connector for the integrated power adapter. There is no headphones socket. The cables are neatly hidden under the decorative cap of the stand.

The controls are placed at the bottom center of the front panel and designed in NEC’s traditional style. The joystick you may be familiar with by more expensive NEC monitors is missing here, though. The Power button is highlighted with a LED. Quick access is provided to the auto-adjustment feature, to the brightness setting and to choosing the source of video signal.

This is a standard menu of NEC’s inexpensive monitors. It doesn’t have labels to the menu items (you have to guess the meaning of the incomprehensible icons) and doesn’t remember the last changed option. You can’t also exit the menu by pressing a button (you have to use the arrows to move to the Exit icon instead).

The monitor’s brightness and contrast are set at 100% and 50% by default. I achieved a 100nit white by lowering both to 30%. You should not increase the contrast setting above the default level because lights become indistinguishable from white. When the contrast setting is reduced to 15% and lower, darks get indistinguishable from black. Color gradients are reproduced without banding at any settings. The monitor regulates its brightness by means of backlight modulation at a frequency of 400Hz.

The brightness setting is somewhat odd here. Changing it from 72% to 100% doesn’t produce any effect whatsoever – the level of white remains the same.

 

The backlight brightness is acceptably uniform. For white, the average deflection is 5.9% with a maximum of 17.4%. For black, the average and maximum are 6.5% and 14.9%. In both cases the sides of the screen differ in brightness from the rest of it.

The gamma curves look good at the default settings but differ in shape. They remain the same at the reduced settings.

The color temperature setup is good as is typical of NEC’s monitors at large. The temperature dispersion is within 500K in every mode.

The monitor’s color gamut is nearly standard. It is closer to sRGB in reds than in most other monitors.

The response time average is 15.2 milliseconds (GtG) with a maximum of 33.1 milliseconds. This is a typical result for a TN matrix without response time compensation.

The contrast ratio is good, higher than 400:1 in two test modes. That’s a very good result for a TN matrix.

Thus, the NEC MultiSync LCD195NX is an ordinary monitor without exceptional qualities (except for good color reproduction) or serious defects. It costs somewhat more than other RTC-less monitors of its class, though.

Highs:

Lows:

Recommended usage:

NEC MultiSync LCD1970NXp

This model has been around for long and is popular among users who want to have a monitor with wide viewing angles and accurate color reproduction. The letter p in the model name indicates a PVA matrix (the LCD1970NX model is based on an S-IPS matrix). Now we’d like to fill in the gap in our tests because there are too few 19-inchers with matrixes other than TN.

This model has been produced for a long time already and has not been modified. That’s why it comes with a PVA matrix without response time compensation.

Note the contrast ratio and the viewing angles. It is in these parameters that the monitor differs from TN-based models.

The exterior design is the same as any other LCD1970 series model has: a massive case with rounded-off corners on a heavy stand.

The stand provides a wide choice of adjustments. You can change the tilt and height (from 70 to 175mm) of the screen and pivot it into portrait mode. You can use the latter feature quite comfortably thanks to the wide viewing angles of the PVA matrix. The screen can also be turned around by using the disc in the sole of the stand. The stand can be replaced with a VESA mount.

The monitor has digital and analog inputs. The power adapter is integrated into the case. The cables can be neatly hidden under a decorative cap on the stand.

The monitor is controlled by means of a joystick and four buttons centered below the front panel. You can only see this solution in NEC monitors. It is handy but the buttons are rather too soft and the joystick doesn’t provide enough feedback. I mean you often miss the desired direction when you are using it.

Quick access is provided to choosing a video source, to the brightness and contrast settings, to enabling and choosing a DV mode.

The menu follows the style of the most expensive monitors from this brand. It is user-friendly. The only thing I can gripe about is that it doesn’t remember the last changed option.

The monitor has 100% brightness and 50% contrast by default. I achieved a 100nit white by lowering both to 42%. Color gradients are reproduced without banding at any settings but lights become indistinguishable from white at a contrast of 55% and higher. The monitor regulates its brightness by means of backlight modulation at a frequency of 209Hz.

 

The uniformity of white brightness is 4.9% on average with a maximum of 17.1%. It is worse on black: an average of 7.7% with a maximum of 29.4%. You can easily see an X-shaped pattern on black under dim ambient lighting.

The gamma curves nearly coincide with each other at the default settings. The only drawback I can see here is that the value of gamma is slightly lower than necessary.

Alas, the value of gamma is even lower at the reduced contrast. The resulting image is whitish and low-contrast.

The color temperature dispersion is small, within 500K, in every mode. The available modes should satisfy most users.

The color gamut is standard overall but this monitor is closer to sRGB in reds than most others monitors.

The response time average is 24.7 milliseconds (GtG) with a maximum of 112 milliseconds. Transitions between the darkest halftones take the longest to perform. As you can see, this is a catastrophic result for a modern monitor. RTC technology would come in handy for this matrix type. Unfortunately, it is not implemented in this model.

The contrast ratio is high as is usual with VA matrixes: no lower than 400:1 and reaching 650:1 at the maximum settings.

Now let’s check out the quality of the DV modes.

Well, I don’t quite grasp the meaning of the first two modes, especially of DV mode 2 in which the contrast ratio drops below 100:1. And brightness is high in every mode.

The first two modes are no good in terms of color reproduction. The third mode is okay in this respect. So, my recommendation about DV Mode technology is simple: you may want to set the desired brightness for work manually and switch to DV Mode 3 for games and movies.

The NEC MultiSync LCD1970NXp is one of the few 19-inch monitors with a matrix type other than TN. It offers a wide range of settings, superb viewing angles and good color reproduction. It can thus be a good choice as a monitor for working with graphics. Unfortunately, the low uniformity of brightness and the lack of response time compensation make it a poor choice as a universal monitor. It is not good for games and movies.

Highs:

Lows:

Recommended usage:

ViewSonic VX1940w

A new model from ViewSonic will make this review complete.

Its specs are quite ordinary for a modern monitor. A fast TN matrix and dynamic contrast, but what about the resolution? It is not a typo. The monitor’s native resolution is indeed 1680x1050 pixels, the same as that of 20-inch models. As a result, the VX1940w has a very small pixel pitch. Some people won’t like this (gamers will need a more advanced graphics card to play at the higher resolution, for example) but it is good to have the option of choice between the large pixel of classic 19-inch monitors, the medium pixel of widescreen 19-inchers (with a native resolution of 1440x900) and the small pixel of the VX1940w.

By the way, the manufacturer says the viewing angles are measured for a contrast ratio reduction to 10:1. This may be true. Of course, the screen gets dark when viewed from below, but the viewing angles of this model seem larger than those of regular TN-based monitors.

The monitor is not exceptional on the outside. It looks like a typical widescreen 19-incher. The black case with a slim bezel is nicely complemented with a light plastic band along the bottom. The monitor’s controls are placed in the center of that band. This exterior design will look good in both home and office environments.

The stand is very simple and only allows you to adjust the tilt of the screen. The stand may surprise you with its weight – there is a heavy metal plate in its sole to make the monitor steadier. You can replace the stand with a VESA-compatible mount if necessary.

The monitor has digital and analog inputs and a connector for the integrated power adapter at the back panel. The cables can be neatly laid behind the plastic clips.

The control buttons are the most questionable design element here. They are too small and too plain. They are also placed close to each other making you fear to press the central Power button accidentally. Besides blue highlighting, it doesn’t differ from the other buttons. Finally, ViewSonic’s traditional way of labeling the buttons (two arrows and two numbers) is inconvenient.

Quick access is provided to the brightness and contrast settings and to choosing the source of video signal.

ViewSonic’s standard menu is not exactly pretty or user-friendly but offers all the setup options you need.

The monitor has 100% brightness and 70% contrast by default. I achieved a 100nit white by lowering both to 48%. If the contrast setting is increased above the default level, lights become indistinguishable from white. Color gradients are reproduced without banding at any settings. The brightness is regulated by means of backlight modulation at a frequency of 240Hz.

 

The average uniformity of white brightness is 6.6% with a maximum of 15.6%. That’s acceptable. On black, the average and maximum are 4.6% and 12.9% respectively.

The gamma curves are not neat at the default settings. The value of gamma is too high resulting in a high-contrast image. Besides, the blue curve differs from the others.

The curves are almost ideal at the reduced settings.

The color temperature setup is not very accurate but acceptable. The temperature dispersion in each mode is within 1000K.

The color gamut is standard for a monitor with ordinary backlight lamps. It coincides with sRGB in blues, larger in greens and smaller in reds.

Besides a high native resolution, the matrix features RTC technology. The response time average is only 3.2 milliseconds (GtG) with a maximum of 6 milliseconds. This is not a record, yet the difference from RTC-less models is colossal. The VX1940w is four to five times faster than the RTC-less models discussed in this review.

The average level of RTC errors is 8.8% with a maximum of 46.9%. That’s a good implementation of the RTC mechanism as TN matrixes go, but you’ll see RTC-provoked artifacts on some transitions. The artifacts are not very conspicuous, though.

The contrast ratio and brightness are all right. Their maximums are close to the best results we’ve achieved with this matrix type in our tests.

Thus, the ViewSonic VX1940w is an interesting product with a widescreen TN matrix. It features RTC, improved viewing angles, and a native resolution of 1680x1050 pixels. It is free from obvious drawbacks. If you prefer monitors with a small pixel pitch, you may want to consider this model.

Highs:

Lows:

Recommended usage:

Conclusion

I would like to remind you of the most interesting models tested for this review.

The ViewSonic VX1940w comes with a new TN matrix that has a native resolution of 1680x1050 pixels. The increased resolution is a questionable thing but some people will like it, especially as the monitor is overall free from serious drawbacks. Its matrix also features response time compensation which is still a rare thing among widescreen 19-inchers.

The NEC MultiSync LCD1970NXp is one of the few available 19-inch monitors with a VA matrix that ensures good color reproduction. Unfortunately, it has a high level of black brightness and lacks response time compensation, which makes it unsuitable for games and movies. But it will surely make a good monitor for work.

Among the other models LG’s L1954TQ and L1972H can be mentioned. They are based on fast matrixes with an aspect ratio of 5:4. The former model has a lower level of RTC errors while the latter offers somewhat better color reproduction and more uniform brightness of the backlight. Both are going to be a good choice for gamers.