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Discussion on Article:
LCD Monitor Buyer’s Guide: Spring 2010

Started by: TheChucklesStart | Date 02/22/10 02:03:59 PM
Comments: 58 | Last Comment:  02/17/16 03:04:53 PM

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What monitors in 16:9 ratios have a higher resolution than 1920*1200 or 2560*1600?

Your argument that 16:9 gives more room to place toolbars implies 16:9 gives a higher number of total pixels on screen. That is false in most cases:

2560*1600 -> no 16:9 equivalent
1920*1200 -> 1920*1080 = fewer pixels in 16:9
1680*1050 -> 1600*900 = fewer pixels in 16:9
1440*900 -> 1600*900 = MORE pixels in 16:9 (exception)
1280*800 -> 1360*768 = more pixels in 16:9 (<2%)

Overall, there a are few cases where the 16:9 resolution gives you any more pixels over 16:10. In most cases screen height is unrecoverable:
MS Office 2007: menu's are not relocatable to the side of the window
All Major OS's: put a title bar across the top of each window
Picture editing @ 1920 width: 16:10 lets 23% more pixels appear on screen when editing full screen over 16:9.

If they made 2240*1260 or 2880*1620 resolution monitors I would be happy with 16:9.
0 0 [Posted by: TheChucklesStart  | Date: 02/22/10 02:03:59 PM]
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Man, you understand nothing from this article. Forget about resolution, and pixels. For example in movies, a 16:9 monitor is way better than a 16:10 since it's removing/reducing the horizontal black bars. In games, with a 16:9 monitor you have a bigger FOV, more details displayed on sides. The only thing that a 16:10 monitor is superior to a 16:9 one, is in Windows desktop, that's it. Which is absolutely irrelevant!
0 0 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 02/22/10 07:22:55 PM]
I'm sorry but you did not get anything of what chuckles start said. 16:9 does not have any advantage in anything useful performed on the PC/MAC. Arguing your point with games and movies might work for a fifteen year old. Fact of the matter is that manufacturers are cutting their cost on our expense but are telling us it's in our best interest.
0 0 [Posted by: jonup  | Date: 03/02/10 03:40:50 AM]
There is 2560x1440, 16:9 aspect ratio so called equivalent to 2560x1600. To be honest i'd prefer 16:10 to 16:9 but that's all down to personal preference.

Dell's UltraSharp U2711 27-inch monitor is a prime example, as is the 27" iMac, if you like that kind of plastic.
0 0 [Posted by: DeathReborn  | Date: 03/02/10 05:48:17 AM]

I'm in the market for a new monitor, but I won't even consider a 16:9 monitor. Losing an inch of screen is unacceptable.
0 0 [Posted by: smiffy  | Date: 02/22/10 04:03:29 PM]
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Losing an inch??? You're jocking right? )))))
0 0 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 02/22/10 07:23:54 PM]
Square inches. Simple math. Don't be bullish!
0 0 [Posted by: jonup  | Date: 03/02/10 03:42:00 AM]

Indeed, I have tested the Dell monitor with others like NEC and HP as part of my job. The first tested monitor was the Dell 2209WA, the second NEC P221W (PVA) and the 3rd was HP 2275W (PVA). I have brought a testing device to test those monitors and found out the the DELL is not so good at all, the contrast is very dynamical, cannot be truly set, the brightness is not as the spec says (much less), the true green color could not be reached, the bue the the red colors are better but not perfect. When I have tested the NEC along with the HP, they have both showed good colors, each color was almost perfect, red and blue colors reached the edge (true) and the green almost but much better then the DELL.
My first choice was the NEC, then HP and only then the DELL but the board has chosen the DELL because of the price as integrated in our product.
The prices that are mentioned in this article are not completely true. The Dell can be baught below 300$, the NEC about 500$ and the HP below 400$.
I don't have the screen shots to publish but I'll test some monitors in 6 months and will share 'em.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 02/23/10 12:58:06 AM]

I have to say, thanks for all the hard work that's gone into this article. I don't think it's a stretch to say that this is the definitive monitor buying guide on the web today.

Unfortunately I also have to say it is more irrelevant than ever. Desktops with LCD's are becoming an endangered species. PC gamers are defecting en masse to the console, and what gamers really need is HDTV buying guides. Photographers and creative professionals use Apple products religiously - there is no discussion of other brands. And office users typically use whatever is supplied by their office. And as I mentioned, the whole desktop concept is being overrun by notebooks, netbooks, ipads, smartphones, tablets, and so on and so forth...

So thanks again for this article for the sad few of us who still care about PC monitors!
0 0 [Posted by: Evil_Sheep  | Date: 02/23/10 11:41:49 PM]
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I don't agree with you, there is definitely a market for LCD monitors. Among my friends I know of no one who would "defect" to game consoles and/or HDTV. As for myself, we recently bought an HDTV with my gf to watch movies. I tried to play on it a couple times but found out that my old trusty 17" Samsung works much better for me than an HDTV.

I thought about buying a new LCD and would definitely go with the 23" Samsung mentioned in this article. It has the looks and it looks like it has the specs to satisfy me too.

BTW IMHO serious gamers will stay with PC Desktops and will aquire consoles only for casual playing. I played several games on XBox360 and found the Keyboard + Mouse combination much more precise than a Gamepad. However, I would agree that playing soccer and/or ice hockey is better on an HDTV.
0 0 [Posted by: solearis  | Date: 03/17/10 05:03:38 AM]

I've been eagerly awaiting another X-bit labs LCD monitor round-up ever since last year's buyer's guide! Thank you Oleg for this informative and helpful article.

I only wish you had a full write-up of the NEC MultiSync EA231WMi with a response time chart. Are its black/dark-gray transitions in the neighborhood of 20ms, like the TN-based Samsung SyncMaster P2370 with RTC turned off, or are they quite high (75ms) like the C-PVA Samsung SyncMaster F2380?
0 0 [Posted by: swar  | Date: 02/24/10 12:43:48 AM]
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...with a response time chart

16,6 ms GtG, similar to TN matrices without RTC.
0 0 [Posted by: Oleg Artamonov  | Date: 02/24/10 01:37:40 PM]
Thanks so much, Oleg!
0 0 [Posted by: swar  | Date: 02/24/10 10:43:13 PM]


I'm also thinking about a new monitor, with color accuracy and consistency across viewing angles as main concern

I already have a good TV hooked up to a PC in my living room, and it looks gorgeous, but at 52" it's too big for a regular PC, so, I'll ask:
how about a 26" to 32" TV with fullHD?
they're relatively cheap, and at least a few years back they usually employed good panels

I'm considering:
Sharp LC26SH7
LG 26LU5000
LG M2794D-PZ
LG 32LH3000
Samsung LE32B530

(32" would have to rest at a bit more than 1m from my eyes, but I have room for that)
0 0 [Posted by: NormanBates  | Date: 03/01/10 01:26:01 AM]
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I found out that I needed to be at least 1 m away form an 32" LCD with Full-HD resultion to feel confortable enough. If you don't have a room equiped to handle that, then I guess you need to go with a 26".
0 0 [Posted by: solearis  | Date: 03/17/10 05:10:39 AM]


Any serious gamer can't and wont go for anything worse than this:

I'm always checking new monitors in the shops, because I'm impatiently waiting for a better technology. A GDM-FW900 is an all time masterpiece, but eats up lots of power and takes up place (to be fair, a huge place for a huge visual experience ). LCD is a cheap gimmick created to lower production costs and is only for movies and for other nongaming stuffz.

awesome gaming requires native resulotions with 125+Hz and 125+ fps (so if you can't get 125+ fps @ 1680x1050, you can go down to an lower native res, like 1280x720) And all the "uberpro" egokids gamers who are saying no human can see the difference, are simply casual gamers or slowbrainers.
0 0 [Posted by: Csaba  | Date: 03/02/10 12:48:17 PM]
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Thumbs up for the CRT!
0 0 [Posted by: jonup  | Date: 03/03/10 04:24:49 AM]
I can see the difference: even my eizo f78 looked amazingly mushy when compared side by side with a super cheap TN panel

maybe if you're only gaming it would make sense, but for anything static, you can't beat the crispiness of a flat panel

as I don't care as much about speed and refresh rate as I do about sharpness, going back to a CRT doesn't look like a good idea (for me)
0 0 [Posted by: NormanBates  | Date: 03/04/10 02:10:39 AM]
I agree, you are right about LCD is indeed better for static text, even if I must note that the F78 had an awful large .26 dotsize.

But for static graphics? .... I'm not so sure (color space wise)

I Have my rig secondary output hooked up to a well calibrated Samsung LE40A656F1, and I can tell you that this TV got a very nice picture, and it' almost perfect for watching movies, but soon as I load up a game or anything what's moving, going back to my CRT buzzing 120-160Hz it's always a relief and feels and looks better.

And please understand that i was talking about the relationship between gaming and LCD monitors, which is a joke in my opinion (including that latest uberhyped Alienware thingy what i had a chance to try out just a few weeks ago).
0 0 [Posted by: Csaba  | Date: 03/04/10 04:23:31 AM]

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0 0 [Posted by: kylindanny  | Date: 04/09/10 09:15:29 PM]

I like the approach of this guide very much, but I have to disagree with the arguments put forth in the 16:9 section.

It seems all reviewers do with their computers is fun stuff : playing games and watching movies.

It might come as a shock to you, but a huge number of people actually use their computers mainly for work. And work implies incredibly boring things such as writing reports with a word processor, keeping track of figures with a spreadsheet or book-keeping software, and looking for information on the Internet.

A written page is vertical ; a spreadsheet often has numerous rows that go deep down the page ; and Web pages are vertical too.

Furthermore, menus and icons are arranged horizontally on the top and bottom of the page, increasing the need for vertical space. Yes, some menus can be detached in the form of movable palettes and put away on the side, but they are the exception rather than the rule. Most people don't spend their days over CAD and photo editing software, and even those have plenty of horizontal menu bars you need to use.

So, yes, 16:9 is definitely worse then 16:10 for an awful lot of people, and I guess 16:10 was already a downgrade from the previous, more square ratio. Going back from 1200 pixels to 1080 pixels vertically degrades usability in a significant way.

Common sense has been thrown overboard in a great many lines of products nowadays, and I'm not speaking only about computers.
0 0 [Posted by: Clairvaux  | Date: 09/09/10 11:06:43 AM]

I work all day on a computer (handling mostly text) and suffer from eye strain.

Can IPS panels help reduce eye strain ?

Thank you for a very informative and well researched article.
0 0 [Posted by: take2rec  | Date: 09/28/10 09:23:58 AM]

Help needed over new monitor confusion ( i did enjoy reading the lcd 2010 buying guide thanks given me a good start ) but then someone wrote about crt monitors being better for gaming .
Since gaming is my primary reason i sit close up directly infront of the screen and have a good card with dvi or hdmi connections i do not use it for work just general ebay or internet use and play mainly WoW Lotrol etc . Please could you give me some help choosing between the new range of 120hz monitors the quality of a Hewlett Packard LP2475w or a crt . budget upto £500 looking at 24" screen max as will only be 12" to 24" away from screen . United Kindom Models
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 11/16/10 12:39:08 PM]

I’ve glanced through this article, and many others, on my quest to find a good monitor for graphics works. I thought I had perhaps found a monitor - the NEC MultiSync PA271W, but then I read the user comments on this review:

This supposed great (and expensive) monitor uses a fluorescent bulb instead of a rgb-led for backlighting. I’ve read various articles stating that rgb-led is far better than the old flourescent or white lcd for color accuracy in graphics.

“A pro monitor for color professionals? Not with a fluorescent bulb it isn't. Fluorescents have entire parts of the color spectrum missing -- I don't mean low, I mean missing. The gasses in he tbulb produce spikes at their characteristic colors. There is no way to compensate for that or balance it out. You wouldn't view a painting by fluorescent lighting; don't buy an expensive monitor with such lighting.”

But then I read this part of this article:

Color accuracy:

“Obviously enough, the other aspects of color reproduction do not depend on the type of backlight at all. They are determined by how accurately the monitor is set up, by the monitor’s electronics, the characteristics of the LCD panel, etc.”

So this would seem to suggest that the the use of a flourscent in the NEC makes no difference over a rdb-led if the electronics and software in the NEC are good enough to compensate. So who is right here?

I find is very frustrating to find a monitor. I am using my last two crt monitors and I’d still buy them they still made them, but instead I have to sort through all the false manufacturing claims and fake reviews that are just put on web pages to earn a commission from the sale of a monitor form the review. Hard to believe anything I read.
0 0 [Posted by: Rayovac  | Date: 12/08/10 02:21:13 PM]

Judging photo monitors should involve the comparison of the capabilities of the human eyes, the photo sensors of the subject cameras and color-display capabilities of the monitors. Eventually, one would like to see the same picture on the monitor as it was seen by the photographer eyes, or at least as close to it as it is technically reasonably achievable. This obvious requirement would automatically rule out all TN monitors, and would call for the closest coupling between camera and monitor gamuts. Interestingly enough, this is hardly ever mentioned in the digital photography literature.

Unfortunately, monitors are vastly inferior to slide projectors used in the film-based photography. Who is really so happy with the fact that most monitors unable to reproduce close to two-third of the colors that the average human eye can see, or reproduce close to half of it with significant color distortions. Those monitors with the substandard sRGB color limitations may be perfectly fine for routine office work, but mostly inadequate for photo presentation. Monitors with somewhat less-restrictive gamuts need some never-ending fiddling with calibrations. Not even the very expensive "professional" monitors can take the place of a medium priced slide projector.

I have never seen a monitor review that would have presented the spectral distribution of the background light in comparison with the theoretical black body radiation, and that of an actual higher output incandescent light bulb. For a decent photo monitor, I am afraid, we have to wait for a long time when finally the so many times promised organic LED based monitos will have arrived.
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