Closer Look at 20" and 21" LCD Monitor Features

Today we are beginning a series of articles devoted to 20" and 21" LCD panels. We will look in detail at the most important user parameters of these solutions, such as response time, color reproduction, ergonomics, etc. This time we will introduce to you solutions from Acer, NEC, Samsung, Mitsubishi and EIZO.

by Oleg Artamonov
07/11/2005 | 01:23 PM

Until today we have reviewed only LCD monitors of average diagonal lengths (mostly 17” and 19” models, with a few 15” ones in the very first article on the subject), but larger monitors have remained outside our focus.

 

This has been justifiable to some extent since 17” and 19” models have accounted and account today for a biggest share of the market due to their relatively low price. Meanwhile, the prices for larger monitors have recently sunk down to the level where 19” models were just a little while ago. As a result, large LCD monitors have become a more interesting option for both work and home applications.

In this review I will examine five different monitor models that cover all the price range, i.e. from inexpensive home models to the top-end ColorEdge series from EIZO.

Acer AL2021

The AL2021 has the typical looks of Acer’s business series of monitors, being the senior model in it. You should be already familiar with this exterior – it resembles the AL1721 model I reviewed in the article called Closer Look at 17” LCD Monitor Features. Part III . These monitors look very plain, the only difference from other manufacturers’ office monitors being the pretty labels on the buttons. These labels are placed on a narrow black panel under the screen and are highlighted with mild LEDs as you turn the monitor on. This looks quite pretty, I should confess. If the monitor is off, you cannot read the labels.

The monitor’s base is very simple, allowing to adjust the tilt of the screen only. No portrait mode and no screen height adjustment here.

The Acer AL2021 has an analog and a digital DVI-D input. The latter input is in fact a must for monitors with a native resolution of 1600x1200 and higher because not all graphics card/monitor combinations can ensure a sharp picture in such modes, if connected via an analog interface. For example, even when connected to a Matrox G550 card which has a very good analog output, the Acer AL2021 produced a slightly blurry picture and also displayed strong noise on a 1-pixel grid that could not be eliminated by phase/frequency adjustments in the settings. There were of course no problems with the digital DVI-D connection – the onscreen picture was ideally sharp in this case.

The monitor also has an audio input. The speakers are located at the bottom of the case and are oriented downwards rather than forward as usual. That’s why you can’t see them in the snapshot above.

The monitor’s control buttons are placed at the bottom of the case, too. They sink down easily under your touch. The Power button differs from the others in shape and size, so you cannot mistake it for some other button as sometimes happens with monitors where all the control buttons are identical.

The monitor’s menu is Acer’s typical, and I must once again repeat that it is typically unhandy. You can quick-access – by a press of a single button – the auto-adjustment feature and the sound volume setting. To adjust the brightness and contrast settings and to switch between the monitor’s inputs you have to get into the main menu which does not remember where you left it last time.

The image quality of the employed S-IPS matrix from LG.Philips LCD was, however, a pleasant surprise for me: mild eye-pleasing colors, very wide viewing angles (black backgrounds have a violet sheen which is characteristic of all S-IPS matrixes, but it is not as strong as to disturb you at work) and an excellent response time (the matrix subjectively felt like the fastest I had ever tested).

I should say that Acer’s website claims this monitor model is based on an MVA matrix, but the onscreen picture as well as the results of my tests leave no doubt that it uses an S-IPS one. We took an off-the-shelf sample for our tests, so there can’t be any confusion about test samples like when Samsung once sent out to testers their SyncMaster 172X on PVA instead of TN+Film matrixes.

I don’t think you’d want to use the analog input due to the above-mentioned fuzziness of the image, so the numbers and diagrams below refer to the digital connection only (as a matter of fact, I did some measurements with the analog connection, too, and got almost the same results). The monitor’s contrast and brightness stand on 80% and 100% by default; to make the screen shine with a luminosity of 100 nits (1 nit = 1 candela per sq. meter) I set the brightness and contrast settings to 70% both.

The gamma compensation is set up very accurately by default (the graph above was taken at the monitor’s default settings, but it is no worse at the 100nit screen brightness). The monitor carefully reproduces all the colors, both dark and light.

The measurements of the matrix response time confirmed my visual impressions, yielding 18 milliseconds on black-white-black transitions of the pixel’s state and growing only to 31 milliseconds on transitions between black and different shades of gray. This is an excellent performance (for example, 19” S-IPS matrixes with a declared response time of 25 milliseconds are only as fast as 35-40 milliseconds on black/gray transitions). Note also that the pixel rise and fall times are equal on black-white-black transitions (for example, the rise-to-fall ratio is about 3-4 to 1 with TN+Film matrixes). Particularly, it means that thin black lines become lighter when you’re scrolling text, but do not change their width. This is another factor contributing to the positive visual impression from the speed of this matrix.

This monitor’s white color lacks intensity. It is enough for work, but more brightness would be desirable for playing games or watching movies in a brightly lit room. The contrast ratio isn’t very high, but typical for an S-IPS matrix – even at daylight you can notice that it displays a dark gray rather than pure black. I don’t publish the numbers declared by Acer since they refer to a different type of the matrix and are obviously irrelevant here.

So, the Acer AL2021 is overall a highly appealing monitor with excellent image quality and matrix speed. As for its disadvantages, the analog input isn’t quite good, the menu isn’t very handy, and there is no portrait mode. These minor drawbacks are, however, well compensated by the low price, which is currently about $700 (you could buy only a low-end 19” model for that money just a little while ago). The AL2021 will suit nicely for work (due to its high resolution and good color reproduction) as well as for games and movies (thanks to the fast matrix).

NEC MultiSync LCD2070NX

The new model from NEC on a 16ms matrix from LG.Philips LCD resembles the LCD1970NX that I have reviewed earlier on our site in the article called Closer Look at the 19" Monitor Features. Part III. They have rounded the corners of the case to get rid of the air of clumsiness and bulkiness, but I still hesitate to call this monitor compact because of the large base.

This base allows adjusting the tilt of the screen as well as its height from 65 to 175 mm (I measure it as the distance from the surface of the desk to the bottom border of the onscreen image, the screen being positioned vertically). Like the Acer AL2021, this monitor doesn’t offer the portrait mode.

The MultiSync LCD2070NX is equipped with both analog and digital inputs, and with a 4-port USB hub. You can also optionally purchase a speakers block which is attached to the bottom of the case and connected to the monitor’s DC-Out connector (you can’t see it in the snapshot above – this connector is located on the other side of the case, near the power connector). The price of this additional block is, however, rather high, so you may want to prefer ordinary multimedia speakers instead.

Once again I had problems with the control joystick. It would get stuck in the bottom position with the LCD1970NX. Here, it doesn’t respond clearly to your pressing it down – you have to press it down and slightly to the right. The remaining three positions work without problems, however, and you can also use the NaviSet utility if necessary. This program allows controlling the monitor from Windows via a DDC channel.

The onscreen menu is made in the same style as the LCD1970NX’s menu. It would be very handy, if the joystick worked better. You can quick-access the brightness and contrast settings, switch between the inputs, and browse between DV Modes. This latter feature seems to be analogous to brightness/contrast presets like LG’s LightView and Samsung’s MagicBright but DV Mode changes the gamma exponent rather than the contrast ratio. I’m not sure about the reason for this solution – for a correct reproduction of colors it is better to adjust brightness and contrast.

You don’t have to use the controls located on the monitor, if you don’t want to. This model comes with a Windows-based NaviSet utility that allows controlling the monitor via the DDC/CI protocol (in other words, no extra cables are necessary). The utility becomes a tab in the monitor’s and graphics card’s properties window and offers more options than the monitor’s onscreen menu.

By default, the monitor’s brightness is set to 100%, contrast to 50%. By selecting 38% brightness and 40% contrast I achieved a screen luminosity of 100 nits. The brightness of this monitor is controlled through modulation of the power of the backlight lamps at about 450Hz. I want to note that the contrast setting should be kept below 50%. Otherwise, the monitor stops to distinguish between light color tones.

I have no complaints about the image quality as perceived by the eye. The backlighting is uniform, smooth color gradients are reproduced without flaws, and there are no problems with image sharpness even with the analog connection. The speed of the matrix is very good, too. The viewing angles are more than sufficient for comfortable work.

The green and red color curves look very neat while the intensity of blue is noticeably lower than necessary. And if you use the DV Mode feature, the gamma exponent changes, distorting the reproduction of colors. For example, the monitor doesn’t differentiate between dark colors in DV Mode 3:

So I don’t recommend you to use the DV Modes at all. It would be better to adjust the brightness/contrast settings as you see fit.

The monitor offers a selection of six color temperature settings, and the table above shows you the real temperatures of different levels of gray (from a 25% dark gray to pure white) at each of these settings. As you see, the monitor’s setup is good, although not perfect.

The response time of this monitor is even better than that of the Acer AL2021. It is only 25 milliseconds at the maximum and coincides with the declared 16 milliseconds on black-white-black transitions.

The LCD2070NX also features a good maximum brightness of white color, sufficient for any application. On the other hand, its contrast ratio isn’t very good.

So, the MultiSync LCD2070NX is another good monitor suitable for both home and work, with a good reproduction of colors, excellent viewing angles, and a very low response time. Unlike the Acer AL2021, it has handier controls, a better analog input (but again, I strongly recommend you to use the DVI-D connection), screen height adjustment, and a built-in USB hub. On the other hand, its price is higher than the price of the AL2021, so you should see for yourself if these advantages are worth the extra money.

Samsung SyncMaster 213T

Although the 20” S-PVA LTM201U1 matrix is marked as “mass production” on the Samsung Electronics website, the company hasn’t yet revealed a monitor on it. That’s why I have to review an out-dated 21.3” SyncMaster 213T which came out as long as two years ago. This is a very long time for this market sector indeed. On the other hand, this model is still attractive due to its very low price of less than a thousand US dollars, i.e. at the level of inexpensive 20” monitors.

The SyncMaster 213T is made in a cute and neat silvery case (this is painted plastic rather than aluminum as in the top models 173P and 193P). The base allows to tilt the screen, to adjust its height, to rotate it around the vertical axis and – unlike with the above-reviewed models – to use it in the portrait mode. Despite the not very small dimensions, the monitor doesn’t look bulky at all.

The monitor is equipped with an in-built power adapter and both digital and analog inputs. Alas, the functionality of the DVI input is limited: if you use this connection, the contrast and color temperature settings become blocked in the monitor’s menu. This is in fact the typical behavior of Samsung’s older monitors – but two or three-year-old models with a smaller diagonal have long disappeared from the market, while the 213T just hasn’t got a successor as yet.

The monitor is controlled with five buttons located on its front panel (the sixth button turns power on). The auto-adjustment, switching between the inputs and the brightness setting can be accessed quickly. The MagicBright feature that allows to browse quickly through several brightness/contrast presets in newer Samsung monitors, is missing here.

The monitor’s onscreen menu looks humble against modern models. It can’t boast any extended setup options, but it is easy to use anyway.

When the monitor is connected via the analog input, the default brightness is 80%, contrast is 50%, and I achieved 100nit screen brightness by reducing the brightness setting to 50%, keeping the contrast intact. The default brightness is 80%, too, with digital connection, but I had to drop it lower, to 28%, to get 100nit screen brightness (the contrast setting was blocked at that, as I said above). The monitor controls its brightness by modulating the power of the backlight lamps at a frequency of about 180Hz.

The onscreen picture is subjectively very good. The viewing angles are excellent, the backlighting is uniform, and smooth color gradients are reproduced without a slightest flaw. And still, being based on a PVA matrix, the monitor is not free from the traditional defects of this technology: a big response time (which is especially conspicuous if you’re moving a dark-gray object against a black background; the matrix seems relatively fast displaying a high-contrast black-and-white picture) and the loss of black tones if your line of sight is exactly perpendicular to the screen (these darks become visible back as soon as you deflect your line of sight by some 5-10 degrees to a side).

As I already said above, there is not much sense in connecting monitors with such a large resolution via analog input. Most often this leads to a blurry image on the screen. In this case, however, the contrast and color temperature settings become blocked if you use the digital input, so I decided to test the monitor with its analog input, too. The image quality turned to be acceptable, but some loss of sharpness could still be discerned, if compared to the connection via DVI-D.


DVI-D, default settings

The gamma exponent is a little bigger than necessary as you can tell by the color curves bottoming out in the middle of the range. In practice it shows in halftones being darker than in reality. The blue color is the worst of all in this respect. Otherwise, however, the monitor has no problems. It reproduces the entire color range. This situation does not change at the reduced brightness since the monitor controls it with the backlight lamps, while the contrast setting cannot be changed if the connection is digital.


D-Sub, default settings

It is overall better with the analog connection: the color curves almost coincide with the etalon, and only the blue one is somewhat wavy. The entire dynamic range is reproduced here, too.

Due to the above-mentioned reason, I measured the color temperature only with the analog connection. The temperature is very close to 6500K in the Bluish and User modes, and the difference in temperature between the different shades of gray is very small. In the Reddish mode, however, the temperature is too low, especially for white color (this mode usually means a temperature of 5000-5500K).

The response time graph is typical for a PVA matrix. The response time is growing up as there is a bigger difference between the initial and final state of the pixel, getting over 100 milliseconds at the maximum. That’s why such matrixes suit poorly for playing dynamic games, but they do suit for work and even for watching movies.

There’s neither high brightness nor good contrast ratio here. On the other hand, the brightness of 200 nits is sufficient for the absolute majority of applications, and the contrast ratio of the matrix is still higher than that of the above-described models on S-IPS matrixes. Note also the big difference in the screen brightness between the analog and digital connections at the same settings of the monitor (it is the second column of the table; the settings for the first column differ, as I said above).

The SyncMaster 213T is quite an interesting option for people who work with text, vector graphics and similar applications, partially because of its price which is comparable to prices on inexpensive 20” models. It has excellent viewing angles, a good color reproduction and contrast ratio, and an acceptable responsiveness on black-white images. If you want a monitor for games or for work with color, you should better consider models on S-IPS matrixes (for example, the two models described earlier in this review).

Mitsubishi DiamondPoint UX21LCD

This monitor is made in an angular case typical for the previous generation of NEC/Mitsubishi monitors (I consider the above-described NEC LCD2070NX as a representative of the new generation), but while this case used to look bulky and awkward in smaller monitors, it looks much better in this large model. As I’ve mentioned NEC (as you may know, NEC and Mitsubishi started a joint LCD monitor manufacture some time ago), I should also note that the UX21LCD is analogous to NEC’s MultiSync LCD2180UX model. The monitor uses a SA-SFT matrix from NEC. This is in fact the well-known S-IPS technology, selling under a proprietary brand.

The monitor’s base permits to adjust the height and tilt of the screen. You can also turn the screen around into the portrait mode.

The DiamondPoint UX21LCD is equipped with two independent inputs, each of which can take in either analog or a digital source. The first input is the universal DVI-I, and the second input is divided into a DVI-D and a D-Sub connector that can work only with digital and analog signal, respectively. The DC-Out connector located nearby is the power connector for optional speakers which can be hung on the monitor’s case.

The control buttons, seven in total, aren’t very handy. They are small and hard to press down. Yet your controlling options are far greater than that…

Pressing any of four buttons (<, >, +, -), you get into the typical onscreen menu of NEC/Mitsubishi monitors that allows setting any parameter up. The menu isn’t very user-friendly and does not differ from the menu of many other NEC/Mitsubishi monitors of that generation (it looks much different in newer models, like in the above-described NEC LCD2170NX).

But the UX21LCD differs fundamentally from many other monitors in having a second menu which can be accessed by powering the monitor off with the Power button and then turning it on again with the Select button depressed.

This enhanced menu looks even less appealing than the main one, but it offers you the opportunity to fine-tune an astonishing number of parameters. Besides items you can find in the main menu, it offers:

Of course, you can also use the enclosed NaviSet utility to control the monitor. This program offers some highly interesting options, too, like color temperature adjustment from 3000K to 9600K stepping 100K or color reproduction adjustment by six coordinates.

Separately from NaviSet, you receive the GammaComp utility that communicates with the monitor across the DDC/CI interface and allows you to set up the gamma compensation curve (it is much easier than doing the same from the monitor’s enhanced menu). Unfortunately, GammaComp refused to work on my system with the UX21LCD saying DDC/CI wasn’t supported (on digital connection) or that there were no supported monitors (on analog connection). So, the next screenshot was taken on the NEC LCD1980SX. The interface and functionality of the utility remains the same on the UX21LCD:

That is, GammaComp allows you to select a standard gamma curve (with an exponent from 0.7 to 4.4), an S-shaped DICOM curve (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine; it is used in medical imaging), or to set up your own custom curve. In the latter case you can choose the points for each of the three basic colors manually – GammaComp cannot work with a hardware calibrator.

By default the monitor’s brightness and contrast settings are set to 100% and 50%, respectively. By choosing 36% brightness and 37.5% contrast, I achieved 100nit screen brightness. The monitor controls its brightness by modulating the power of the backlight lamps at a frequency of about 225Hz.

I had no complaints about the visual quality of the onscreen image at all. The image remained sharp even with the analog connection (the distortion-correcting options were left default). There were no artifacts in smooth color gradients. The backlighting is uniform; the viewing angles are normal.

The gamma curves are almost ideal (of course, I chose the standard gamma compensation curve with an exponent of 2.2 in the GammaComp settings – without any additional manual setup). I must confess that with LCD monitors you can but very seldom see the curves coincide with the theoretical one so closely.

The color temperature setup proved to be highly accurate, too. There’s a very small difference between the temperatures of white and gray colors, and the average is very close to the name of the appropriate option.

The response time of the UX21LCD is rather average: it is bigger than with the above-described monitors on S-IPS matrixes, but small enough for comfortable work and even for watching movies or playing games. Moreover, the UX21LCD is positioned as a serious monitor for work, and its functionality may be excessive if you use it at home just for games/movies.

Unfortunately, the contrast ratio of the monitor is typical for S-IPS matrixes. In other words, it is rather low.

If you need a monitor for serious work with color, with better functionality and setup than ordinary “household” models, but the price of professional models like EIZO ColorEdge or NEC SpectraView is too high, the DiamondPoint UX21LCD may make a good compromise. Even if you don’t use its hardware calibration features, the initial setup of this monitor is better than with many cheaper models. Using the NaviSet and GammaComp utilities you can even do things ordinary monitors do not permit. For example, you can adjust the color temperature smoothly with a 100K stepping or set up custom gamma compensation curves. Of course, the UX21LCD suits for home applications, too, but if you need a monitor for games and movies, the extended functionality of the UX21LCD may be lost on you, while its response time is still higher than with the 20” monitors described earlier. In this case your choice would be more difficult to make.

EIZO ColorEdge CG21

While the above-described UX21LCD had some additional color management capabilities, the ColorEdge CG21 is a monitor specifically intended for professional work with color.

The CG21 is made in a matte dark-gray case with a minimum of contrasting details: flat control buttons, flush with the case surface, a Power indicator that can be disabled in the menu, a ColorEdge sticker (easily removable), and a small EIZO logo in the bottom left corner (the only not-black detail you cannot get rid of). I personally think other manufacturers would do well to follow EIZO’s example rather than to use ultra-bright light-emitting diodes that don’t just serve as indicators but yield enough light to illuminate a small room. No doubt, a monitor in a silvery-black case with shiny inserts and an inch-wide indicator at the center of the front panel is going to be the first to catch the visitor’s attention in a shop, but it is much more pleasant to work at monitors like the CG21 where the extra decorations do not distract you from what’s going on on the screen.

The base allows to portrait-orient the monitor, to adjust the height of the screen from 11.5 to 19.5cm (from the desk to the bottom edge of the screen), to correct the tilt of the screen and to rotate it around the vertical axis.

The ColorEdge CG21 is equipped with two connectors: an analog D-Sub input and a universal DVI-I input through which the monitor can be connected either to analog or digital output of the graphics card. The USB port located nearby is necessary for the monitor’s exclusive calibration program. It cannot work via DDC/CI, but this may be even better since compatibility issues are unlikely to occur with a USB connection and happen with DDC/CI, at least as yet.

The monitor’s controls are made in such a way as to least attract the eye. They are the same color as the front panel and are on the same level with it. They’re quite handy, though. The buttons are large and sink down easily. Their labels are easily readable.

The monitor’s menu looks humble and unassuming, resembling simple menus of many inexpensive models. The exterior is deceiving, however. The setup options are so extensive that there’s no talking about comparing them to ordinary monitors.

The menu allows you to change:

Besides, the ordinary options like onscreen menu-related settings, power-saving settings and others are available. I would note the option to disable the Power indicator and to enable brief sounds when the monitor’s controls are pressed.

But the most interesting feature of ColorEdge monitors is the automatic hardware calibration opportunities they offer. By “automatic” I mean that the calibration is performed with appropriate equipment rather than by your filling in a large table like with the above-described Mitsubishi UX21LCD. The calibration is done through the ColorNavigator utility supplied with the monitor, and using hardware calibrators EIZO ColorEdge CX1 or Gretag-Macbeth Eye-One.

Unfortunately, we received the monitor without a calibrator (which is actually an optional component, purchased separately), so I can only enumerate the capabilities of ColorNavigator. First, it can calibrate the monitor for any of the following targets:

After the calibration, ColorNavigator allows you to set up additionally the saturation and hue of each of the six colors, the white balance, the levels of black and white, and the gamma exponent, if your requirements are so tough that you want to fine-tune the results of the hardware calibration. These parameters can also be adjusted in the monitor’s menu, but ColorNavigator is much easier to use. But I don’t think you’ll have to do this calibration too often: with the above-mentioned calibrators, EIZO guarantees color setup accuracy with a delta-E difference of less than 0.5. That’s an excellent result.

Of course, ColorNavigator offers you tools for managing a set of color profiles (up to 20 profiles in total) in case you need several setup variants, for example, for different printing devices.

The monitor is based on an S-IPS matrix from Hitachi. EIZO declares a 10-bit LUT (Look-Up Table – a table that stores the points of the gamma compensation curve), which misleads some users into thinking that the monitor displays a 30-bit color (10 bits for each of the three channels). The matrix is actually 8-bit (so, there are 24 bits in total to represent color), while the 10-bit LUT increases the gamma compensation accuracy. If the LUT were 8-bit, smooth color gradients wouldn’t be as smooth as they are. I should confess, though, that a majority of modern LCD matrixes use a 10-bit LUT, and EIZO’s newer models employ a 14-bit one.

The visual impressions from the monitor are highly pleasant, except for the analog input which couldn’t ensure a high-quality picture in 1600x1200 resolution. But I think the owners of this monitor will hardly connect it via the analog input.

The default brightness is set to 100%. I reduced it to 60% to get 100nit screen brightness. The brightness is controlled through modulation of the power of the backlight lamps at 170Hz frequency.

The color curves are almost ideal – well, this is expectable with such a monitor. But of course, in this case the initial setup of the monitor isn’t that important: this monitor is intended to work with a hardware calibrator and it is implied that the owner will first of all recalibrate the monitor to meet his/her particular requirements.

The modulation of the power of the backlight lamps does not vanish even at the maximum brightness and brings a serious distortion into the response time measurements. That’s why the graph above shows you only the pixel rise time. Yet even this time indicates that the matrix is not fast, and the declared 50 milliseconds are all here. On the other hand, I doubt someone will buy such a monitor for playing Counter-Strike or something, while for a color corrector the response time doesn’t play a big role.

The matrix’s contrast ratio is on about the same level with other S-IPS-based monitors reviewed in this article, and the brightness is slightly below 200 candelas per sq. m.

It would make no sense to compare the ColorEdge CG21 with the monitors described earlier in this review, because it belongs to a completely different class. But I want to stress the fact that the difference is in the functionality rather than in the LCD matrix. Yes, LCD panels for such professional monitors undergo a much more rigorous testing, but they do not differ fundamentally from others. For example, the NEC SpectraView, an immediate rival to the CG21, uses exactly the same matrixes as are employed in the above-described Mitsubishi UX21LCD.

Conclusion

Becoming more affordable (the average retail price of junior 20” models has already decreased to $700), large LCD monitors have not only brought quantitative changes in the screen size but also qualitative ones in the monitor parameters. By “large” monitors I mean models with 20 inches and more in diagonal. You cannot find monitors with 1600x1200 resolution among 17” and 19” models (a few such models were released but didn’t become popular), and you cannot find such fast matrixes among them, either. The 16ms S-IPS matrixes currently being produced exclusively for 20” monitors can challenge even 8ms TN+Film panels in terms of real speed and are head above them in terms of viewing angles and color reproduction.

Thus, 20” monitors on fast S-IPS matrixes, like the above-described Acer AL2021 and NEC LCD2070NX, are an excellent choice for both home and office use.

The 21” Samsung SyncMaster 213T is an interesting option, too, but largely because of its very low price. This is an out-dated monitor in characteristics. Its PVA matrix is rather slow, so it will suit well for working with text or vector graphics, but S-IPS matrixes are better for games and work with color. I am expecting that Samsung will soon replace the 213T with new and better monitor models.

The Mitsubishi UX21LCD is mostly interesting as a very high quality product for working with color. Its price and characteristics are in between professional series like EIZO ColorEdge and NEC SpectraView and “household” monitors. It features an excellent setup and extended functionality, including user calibration opportunities (unfortunately, it is manual rather than hardware calibration). Besides that, this monitor can be employed in medical establishments because it supports the DICOM compensation curve.

Last but not least, the EIZO ColorEdge CG21 is an LCD monitor of a highest class for professional work with color. The functionality of this model is astonishing: color control using six coordinates instead of the ordinary three, hardware calibration, and accurate setup of gamma compensation, white balance and other parameters of the image. In fact, I put this model into this review not to compare it to the other monitors in brightness, contrast ratio or response time, but to describe the setup and calibration options it offers. It is these options that define this monitor as a highest-class product.