Which Widescreen monitor for about £120-£130?

Discussion in 'Computer Peripherals & Consumables' started by theo cupier, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. theo cupier

    theo cupier
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    Finally getting around to upgrading to an LCD monitor (having bought a Samsung but then been forced to give it to the kids!) It will be used for some film watching, some graphic design work and Photoshop CS3 work on photography with my DSLR, as well as MSOffice type stuff & browsing.

    Things I've found so far:
    My GPU has DVI-out, but I'm not presently desperate for DVI-in on my new monitor, but am open to persuasion on its merits.

    A refresh rate of 5ms at worst would probably be sensible, wouldn't it?

    I think I'd like a minimum of 20", and see that many 22" screens have the same resolution as 20", so presumably this just leads to bigger pixels and a less sharp image.

    I don't need speakers built in to the monitor.

    Beyond the above, and requiring something widescreen, I have no other particular requirements from the monitor. So I'm quickly getting lost as to what is a good deal for my budget of £120 (upto around £130 at a push).

    A quick trawl around the popular sites reveals the following "deals", but I'm rather at a loss to know what's best among them - genuinely decent price and good picture/reliability.

    MISCO SAVER 20 TFT @ £100 in Misco
    Misco Saver 22 TFT[/url @ £117.49 in Misco
    FUJITSU SIEMENS 20 TFT A20W @ £117.50 in Misco
    Dabs Value 22" Wide 5ms DVI LCD TFT @ £125, with DVI
    ViewSonic VA2016w @ £129 in Ebuyer (or £126 in Dabs)
    ACER AL2016WB @ £129.24 in Misco
    BenQ T201Wa @ £129.39 in Dabs
    HANNSG HG216DP 22 TFT @ £130 in Misco

    or would this LG L197WH 19" @ £130 for a 19" monitor be of sufficiently good quality that I won't notice the missing inch?

    or have I missed anything that really should be bought for this sort of price?
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2008
  2. Infinitelegend

    Infinitelegend
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    i just bought the 22" ag neovo h-w22 and it is looks superb. it is down to around £130 this weekend only at www.scan.co.uk and u get free delivery ^^ it has good specs aswell. 3ms response and 1:1000 ratio.
     
  3. theo cupier

    theo cupier
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    Any chance you could link to the ag neovo at Scan? I can only see it at £141.

    Cheers

    EDIT: Never mind, found it, they just apply the discount in checkout.

    Now, how do I get my free delivery? They seem to have stopped the deal for forum members, so far as I can see. :(
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2008
  4. EndlessWaves

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    Which samsung did you have and did you find it acceptable for your DSLR photo work?

    Lies, damned lies and statistics. A 5ms monitor can be amongst the least ghosty or most ghosty depending on the panel type and how well implemented the overdrive is. I know that's not terribly helpful but to answer your question 5ms seems largely acceptible these days even in the worst case.

    Try viewing your current monitor from three feet away and then four feet away. At three feet the pixels are 'bigger', does the image look better or worse?

    Pixel size is a matter of viewing distance, preference and probably eyesight. If you know the size of your current CRT (viewable size if you know it) and your prefered resolution then you can work out the DPI and see how it compares with 20" and 22" LCDs

    I had this one for a day (it was listed as a VA panel where I bought it but received a TN so it went back) and it seemed decent enough. It was very light compared to the 24" I replaced it with since it was all plastic for the bezel and stand but it seemed well enough built. It did only have tilt adjustment of course and the bezel was rather thick so it may but be ideal for a multi-monitor configuration. Nice looking too, apart from the group of dead pixels mine had but it was well enough packed that I wouldn't expect them to be caused in transit much.

    Speakers were about as good as monitor speakers get - good enough for listening to radio but even then clearly not giving the full quality of that (though I did have a £40 set of headphones to compare to - on their own you may not notice until you move to higher bitrate stuff like mp3s)
     
  5. theo cupier

    theo cupier
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    It was the Syncmaster 940N. TBH, I didn't really get to use it enough to form a judgement before the kids appropriated it. Also, I hadn't got a handle on calibration at that point to know what I was doing.
    Yeah, my point was that I probably don't want anything "slower" than 5ms, which you seem to be endorsing. Cool.
    My current CRT is 17" and doesn't like going above 1280 x 1024. On paper 1680 x 1050 sounds like a nice improvement, my issue is whether 1440 x 900 will be OK if the overall picture quality would be better.

    I know that monitors usually outlive PCs, so I want to make sure I'm spending money on something with a long term future. I've only just done a BIG upgrade on my PC (the GPU is an ATI Radeon HD 3850) so I want to get the best out of it now, since at 1280x1024 my CRT isn't using the GPU to the fullest.

    In truth, I'm not even going to connect the speakers up, I have a decent Logitech 2.1 setup which I would always use in preference.
    OK, so the Dabs Value screen is not going to be a bad purchase (dead pixels notwithstanding), yes?

    I guess the issue for me is wanting to understand which screens will give me a good image. I know there is more to it than simple pixel count (my 42" plasma TV has a lot fewer pixels than my 32" LCD TV, but the plasma TV has a FAR better picture).

    Equally, I know I seem to be shopping at the "budget" end of the scale. Up to a point the bezel and "cheap or plasticky" look of the monitor itself aren't an issue, I want to spend my money on the picture quality, not the frame!

    So what I'm trying to identify is whether there are any stand-out monitors in terms of picture quality at this price range, either in terms of some good offers, or because maybe the Misco value screen is actually a debadged top brand screen, etc.

    So, does anything on that list stand out, or am I missing a real bargain?
     
  6. EndlessWaves

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    LCDs look terrible at non-native resolutions - this can be ameliorated by a good scaler chip like the one your TV had but none of those monitors are likely to do that so you'll probably end up using the monitor at it's maximum (native) resolution most of the time. If you're using a 17" CRT at 1280x1024 for desktop work and find the text size fine then any of the smaller dot pitch LCD monitors should be fine so go for 20" as it's cheaper.

    It didn't have any major problems yes - I would happily use it for desktop work and probably gaming (though I didn't try it).

    Your plasma cost significantly more than the LCD?

    The biggest outstanding issues with LCD monitors in general seem to be:

    1. Black depth. LCDs have flourecent tube lights behind the pixels to illuminate them which means when the pixels are black they're essentially trying to block the light - this means that black on some LCDs can look grey.

    2. Viewing angles. Monitors that use TN panels have very poor vertical viewing angles resulting in noticible colour shift on the pixels at the top and bottom of the screen. If you run this test on your CRT the purple will be a solid block of colour but it will be a nice gradient if you display the same image on the samsung. Once you know the effect exists you can see it on web page backgrounds, window borders and most other things that should be solid blocks of colour with a good vertical extent (or horizontal when in portrait mode). Likewise the taskbar looks different if you move it from the bottom of the screen to the top. The effect is much less noticible in circumstances where you've not got a single area of colour though.

    TN panels with this large deficiency are used because they're so cheap so at the price you're looking at I don't think you'll be able to get a 20-22" monitor without one. You might be able to find a 19" widescreen with one - I don't know that state of that market.

    When you said that I thought of the Yuraku 24" that's very popular at the moment. Poor quality casing and electronics with an excellent panel for a bargain price for a 24" - the electronics do have some negative impact on image quality (notably black depth) but it's reportedly still better than other similaly priced screens for image quality. It is around £200-210 though so while it's an excellent price for a 24" it is a lot over your budget.
     
  7. theo cupier

    theo cupier
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    Thanks again for the indepth response.

    To summarise:
    1. 20" probably represents better PQ per £ at this size, so go 20" not 22".
    2. It'll be a fairly mediocre selection in terms of PQ whatever I choose because they'll be TN screens
    3. No real standouts at the moment in this price range, so go for value, like the Dabs / Misco own brands...

    Is that a reasonable summation?
     

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