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Thread: LCD Monitor round-up?

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    Question LCD Monitor round-up?

    Hi,
    Just wondering if hexus or anyone else you guys know has done a LCD monitor 'round-up' or something. Because I just looking around at the moment (not gonna buy one for a while, obvious lack of funds), and have been told by a few people that some of the retailers and manufacturers semi-lie about the specs of their screens, like with the response time, some of them measure grey-to-grey time, not black-to-black, so they get a much lower (sometimes half) response time. Also, I know the higher contrast ratio means a sharper/clearer picture, but if 800:1 is a good ratio, what difference does it make if you go above that?

    All I'm looking for really is a typical hexus review - whether hexus has done one doesn't really matter, as long as they have covered the things I want to know in typical hexus style =) - with good amount of stats and figures, and most importantly, that they have some their own testing on each monitor. Doesn't really need to be a big round-up, just enough so I/we can get a good idea of what to look for.

    So if any knows of a site/review please post a link, if I've missed one that Hexus have done I apologise, but I did look and couldn't find one.

    Thanks in advance,
    Piga.


    [Edit: I'm also a bit lazy and don't want to spend (and don't have) hours looking at/reading all the web sites and reviews I'd need to, to get a good picture of where LCD monitors are today]
    Last edited by Pigabuff; 24-05-2007 at 12:18 PM.

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    I need a coffee jamena's Avatar
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    You think some lie...they pretty much all bend the truth to make the marketing blurb look better. Response time is not a single number - it's a graph of all the possible changes between all the possible colours. Some monitors may manage a minimum time of like 12ms for either g/g or b/w but have a maximum response in the 50's or 60's. Things are better these days, but they still get away with a lot of dodgy figures in the specs.

    From when I was reasearching which monitor to buy...

    http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/
    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/graphi...ays/index.html
    http://www.behardware.com/html/cat/22/

    ...should keep you busy for a few hours Run through the most recent comparisons, most of them show you pretty pictures, or have sections on what the specs mean

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    Senior Member Smudger's Avatar
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    PCPro did a recent round up of 20 and 22" monitors in the magazine, the article should be available on their website. I won't put the address up so you at least feel like you've put some effort in yourself...

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    www.tftcentral.co.uk

    I have spent some time looking through it and for my budget I have chosen the Samsung 226BW as the best monitor for me.

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    Don't count out the LG equivalent..i'm fairly sure it's the same panel but havn't researched.

    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showpr...-045-LG&tool=3

    probably cheaper at scan but had ocuk to hand.

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    Yeah dude! NightshadowUK's Avatar
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    Last edited by NightshadowUK; 24-05-2007 at 05:07 PM.

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    Okey dokey, thankies people, I'll have a look round those links when I have some free time.... and Smudger, thanks for the vote of confidence in my ability to find something, though I don't really get that sort of pleasure out of doing something for myself. whether I do something for myself or get some help along the way, I don't really care, as long as the end result is the right one. You know, at the end of the day, there is always some stuff you can't do, or don't have time to do, so anything that can help is a benefit, and you can give the person who gave that bit of info/advice thanks (and maybe something in return), which gives that person more joy than you would from finding something for youself.... hope you see what I mean, I generally find I can't explain things very well. =)

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    Quote Originally Posted by NightshadowUK View Post
    ahhh i forgot about these new monitors tis a shame scan does not have the 20 inch version they looks really good and the price is mint !! ill be getting one definatly

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    From that Scan page
    --
    Optimally Designed for Windows Vista™

    • With the Windows Vista™ operating system, it's now easier and quicker than ever before to find, use, manage, and share information on your PC or online.
    • View you work more clearly with the Windows® Aero™ user interface and switch easily between task windows using Windows Flip 3D.
    --

    Can anyone tell me how a monitor can be designed for Vista? What does the screen do that it doesn't do for XP?!

    And for god's sake, 2 of the selling points have absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the screen. Well done Scan

    On a different note, they also say "USB Input Interface for Multi-Screen" - what does that mean?

    DM

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    The USB is for Windows Sideshow stuff like calendars, time etc, the designed for Windows is just marketing.

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    Scan just cut n paste whatever it says on the manufacturer's website. The bottom line seems to be that all manufacturers blatently lie and twist the truth.

    I did a lot of research on monitors. From what I've read, its important to not buy a 22" monitor. They ALL have issues basically. The only exception MIGHT be the "LG L226WTQ" because that is so new, it might not suffer the other problems. But anyway, I read that all 22" inch monitors use similar panels, and the panels are ugly and just not good quality. This was confirmed when I saw a particular 22" monitor and its horrible to look at. The colours are all faded, its got an uneven brightness, and if you look at it from the side slightly, you can hardly see whats on the screen. So personally, I would strongly suggest just ignoring all 22" monitors (except perhaps the new LG L226WTQ which I would only consider if it had insanely amazing reviews everywhere).

    24" monitors are generally out of my price range.

    As for 20" monitors, there are lots to choose from, but only about half a dozen of them are "good". There are lots of pages on the internet which review them all, either seperately, or together. This page for example, briefly talks about some of the better ones.

    From what I've read, theres really only about 2 or 3 that I would consider. The new DELL screens (2007FPW etc), are meant to be very good, but its hit and miss whether you will get a good one. I have an NEC 20WGX2 and I find it safe to say, "its the best looking monitor" on the market. (this size atleast). The downsides with this NEC, is that it has a glossy screen. The screen just looks amazing anyway, but the glossy coating boosts the picture even more, and just makes it so sharp and colourful, that no other monitor can compare. (this size atleast). But the downside, is that its quite reflective. I have mine facing a window, but there are blinds on the window and they are always closed. I find it ok. At night time its not an issue at all if you use the screen in a dimly lit room, or a dark room. But you couldn't have a light behind you shining onto the screen, or it would be too reflective. Likewise, if you used the monitor in the day, you wouldn't want it to be facing at an open window. So whether its a problem for you or not, only you could decide really. I took a chance based on the fact that I could just re-arrange my computer room so its not facing a window if I needed to. But I haven't needed to. Unless I'm watching a very dark scene in a movie or game or something, in the middle of the day, and it happens to be very sunny out, then I don't even see any reflections.

    Another problem with this NEC though, is that I have had a few bad ones. One had a bunch of dead pixels, one had "backlight bleed" and two of them had "image retention". At this point you may be thinking, "So uhh.. the NEC is crap then?". Well not really... From what I've seen, pretty much all monitors from any manufacturer have flawed monitors. Sometimes you will be lucky and get a perfect one. Sometimes you will be unlucky and get one with flaws in it. Its impossible to predict really. The only thing you can do is either buy one that you can look at first. Or take a chance and buy one and be prepared to send it back right away, if its not perfect - or if you are not 100% happy with it. Its also worth checking what each manufacturer would consider "worthy of replacing". Because the UK is one of the stupidest countries in the world (), there is an "ISO Standard" which allows these manufacturers to give you a monitor with up to 4 dead or stuck pixels. If its 4 or less, you are not eligable for a replacement no questions asked. You would likely be able to get a free repair, or a refurbished replacement monitor. But getting a brand new one sent to you, for having a few stuck/dead pixels, seems to be unlikely.

    The only other monitor I hear good things about is the 20" viewsonic monitor(s).

    All in all though, you take a chance buying a monitor unless you can test one yourself first and then take it home with you. So given that its a risk, I personally think its just best to go for whatever is the best monitor for you, and if theres a problem, just bite your lip and send it back for a replacement and hope that ones perfect. For me, the best monitor was the NEC because of the picture quality. If the reflections was an issue, I probably would have gone for a Viewsonic instead.


    p.s. I would ignore all the technical specifications personally. They all lie. Nothing is as good as just reading reviews and researching it thoroughly. Its a pain in the arse to do, but because I was spending hundreds on a monitor, I spent a lot of time looking for reviews and it pays off. If anyone mentions ghosting, or "screen door effect", or "input lag" etc.... then you better skip that screen - unless other people refute that and it turns out they where mistaken, or doing something wrong etc.. As long as you buy one of the better brands, and the response time isn't over 16ms, then chances are, you won't get any ghosting - or very noticeable atleast. But reading reviews will make you doubly sure.

    As for brightness, I wouldn't worry about that either. I don't know of any LCD monitors that aren't bright enough.

    The important things (for me atleast), is picture quality, and no ghosting or input lag.

    The best place to research all these monitors, used to be:
    www.widescreengamingforum.com

    But for some reason... that place seems to be quite dead in the past few months. I used to be able to post a question or comment there, and get a reply within a day or so. Nowdays, it seems to take weeks or maybe even never. But they have a HUGE archive of reviews of all kinds of monitors, and the best reviews are the "User Reviews" because its real people who have bought the monitor and then tell you about it. I know they have pretty much every screen reviewed, up until a few months ago. So that should be good. Whether they have the very latest screens though (released in the last month or two), I'm not sure. You would have to check and find out.

    Good luck =)


    ----edit----

    The only other thing worth considering, is whether it is HDCP capable. If you plan on buying a blue ray drive (or HD-DVD), and you have a HDCP compatible graphics card, and you plan on watching high definition movies on your PC, then you would need an HDCP capable monitor. Not everyone is bothered about that, and would rather watch any HD stuff on their telly. But its worth mentioning anyway. My NEC for example, is not HDCP, but the american version of the same monitor is I don't really mind though because I don't even have an HD TV. So if I was going to start watching blue ray movies or whatever, I would go for a TV first.
    Last edited by acrobat; 25-05-2007 at 02:47 PM.

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    Filthy old man noTHINGface's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NightshadowUK View Post
    Me got-y. Picked up one of these earlier this year from Scan and for the price its bang on the money.
    What we share with everyone is glum, and dark...

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    Hello jackvdbuk's Avatar
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    im confused im trying to find what a 22inch LCD and a 20inch LCd looks like, as in they both have the same amount of pixels but the 22 is physically larger, and i want everything to be as sharp? as on the 20inch if i did get a 22...so everythings not just bigger

    any sites or comparisons you know about?

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    Quote Originally Posted by noTHINGface View Post
    Me got-y. Picked up one of these earlier this year from Scan and for the price its bang on the money.
    The one you picked earlier in the year must have been the non 'Q' version which I is a better version.

    See the AnandTech thread linked below.

    Quote Originally Posted by acrobat View Post
    The only exception MIGHT be the "LG L226WTQ" because that is so new, it might not suffer the other problems.
    It does suffer from problems

    http://forums.anandtech.com/messagev...readid=2038000

    Review (link kindly provided by Mousemat) - http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,2133304,00.asp

    Quote Originally Posted by jackvdbuk View Post
    ahhh i forgot about these new monitors tis a shame scan does not have the 20 inch version they looks really good and the price is mint !! ill be getting one definatly
    I wanted to get one but not sure after the review and user comments.

    Quote Originally Posted by NightshadowUK View Post
    Are you sure about wanty?

    Quote Originally Posted by staffsMike View Post
    Don't count out the LG equivalent..i'm fairly sure it's the same panel but havn't researched.

    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showpr...-045-LG&tool=3

    probably cheaper at scan but had ocuk to hand.
    Please see above.

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    Filthy old man noTHINGface's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amjedm View Post
    The one you picked earlier in the year must have been the non 'Q' version which I is a better version.
    Good spot - absolutely right!
    What we share with everyone is glum, and dark...

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    Yeah dude! NightshadowUK's Avatar
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    http://www.hardforum.com/showthread....130522&page=28

    I'm hoping post #541 is correct, otherwise I'll order the none 'Q' model from MicroDirect.

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