Help me pick an LCD monitor
February 24, 2010 9:59 PM   Subscribe

I've never had an LCD monitor and need help choosing one. Confused by information overload and conflicting information.

I am looking for an LCD monitor around 22" (from 20-24" would be acceptable) and under $250, though honestly I'd be more comfortable closer to $200. DVI is fine and I don't care about built-in speakers, cameras, etc. The most intensive games I'll be playing (that are out as of right now) are The Sims 3 and Tomb Raider Underworld, but I'll be using it for work and web browsing as well. Energy Star certification or an equivalent is appreciated.

I've read so much conflicting and confusing information. I'm swimming in terms like IPS and TN. (I looked up what these mean, of course, but most monitor spec pages don't indicate TN and the like.) I won't be doing any serious color work so I guess TN is okay. I've read that I should get a TFT LCD. I've read varying things about how important (and conversely useless-in-judging-motion-blur) response time is, especially for gaming (5ms or better seems to be desirable). I've read that I should get a monitor with 96 dots per inch or more.

I've read that Samsung and LG are great monitors but then when I look up these monitors, for any given one, about 75% of the reviews are great, while the remaining 25% are awful. I've also seen Acer and Viewsonic recommended, but those tend towards an equal mix of positive and negative reviews. I realize there are always faulty products, but I can't seem to find any outstanding monitors in the mid-price range.

In past AskMe threads, a lot of people recommend Dell, but don't say why. I've never owned a Dell product; can someone tell me why their monitors are recommended?

Please help with the information overload, and recommend a great monitor?
posted by IndigoRain to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
One of the reasons I buy Dell is decent quality for the money, but most importantly, *cheap* extended warranties and no-hassle replacement if something goes bad. You call them, they ship you a replacement monitor, you ship yours back in the prepaid box.

Give me a shout on IM tomorrow during the day and I'll help you pick one out.
posted by mrbill at 10:11 PM on February 24, 2010

Samsung makes a great monitor. I recommend them. NEC is also good.

There are no non-TFT LCD monitors anymore.

If possible, get one with LED backlighting. This may not be possible at your price point, but in ordinary LCDs, the backlights dim with age and eventually go out. LEDs don't do that.
posted by kindall at 10:14 PM on February 24, 2010

Our Russian friends at Xbitlabs have just come out with a guide.

Usually, when I see people recommend Dell, they're talking about the UltraSharp IPS model: the $699 U2410 would be your 24" option.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 10:14 PM on February 24, 2010

I've been using a Samsung LCD for a couple of years now and have had no complaints. I got it at Staples where they have a very simple easy extended warranty deal.

Something to bear in mind when reading product reviews is that most of the time satisfied customers don't write a product review. Not saying it doesn't happen but alot of reviews are initiated because the product in question didn't perform as expected and the customer is peeved.

I've seen 22" Samsung monitors recently for as little as $180. I keep an eye on sites like DealNews and Woot has been posting monitors with some regularity lately.
posted by fenriq at 10:18 PM on February 24, 2010

Here's what's on sale right now according to DealMac, looks like some pretty excellent deals to me.

Dell LCDs. Of particular note is the 24" 1080p LCD from Dell for an excellent $189 and free shipping. And some listed models have an extra 10% off.
posted by fenriq at 10:29 PM on February 24, 2010

I currently have both a ViewSonic VX922 19" 2ms and a ASUS VW224U 22" 2ms both from Newegg. My boyfriend has a HannsĀ·G JW-197DPB 19" 5ms also from Newegg. We've been satisfied with all of these monitors, and I don't think I ever paid more than $250 for either of mine. The ASUS is well under $200.

As much as I like reviews, you must keep in mind that with reviews that there is some self-selection going on -- people are more likely to review when they've had a bad experience.
posted by asciident at 11:06 PM on February 24, 2010

TFT Central may be of some use: their reviews are very thorough.
posted by pharm at 1:44 AM on February 25, 2010

I have a couple of Hanns.G LCDs. I've had them about three years and they've been excellent. I think they're a German company, quite well-known in Europe, probably not so well-known in the US.

Here's a review of one of their newer 25" models. Looks like they're only $199, which is a bargain.

I found their support service to be very very good. When one of my monitors developed a fault (within the first week) they delivered a replacement the next day.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 1:56 AM on February 25, 2010

I just bought this Samsung 24" display. It arrived yesterday. I am already HEAD-OVER-HEELS.

My only problem was turning the damn thing on (*grumblesabouttouchsensorsinsteadofbuttons*)

It's in your price range and looks spectacular.
posted by citywolf at 6:07 AM on February 25, 2010

The differences between the panel technologies don't matter all that much if it's of the size you're talking about, your use is going to be sitting straight in front of it, and you're not a photographer or graphic artist who cares about how to configure colors so they'll reproduce truly. Kindall's right that LED has advantages over fluorescent backlights, but as for TN vs. IPS, etc., don't worry about it. I've never had anything but TN, and I have no complaints.

(One thing that does differ is how well the picture holds up when viewed at an angle, which is why it matters with a really huge screen, when you're automatically looking at the edges of the picture at an angle, or if you're not sitting right in front of it.)
posted by Zed at 7:38 AM on February 25, 2010

You can get a Dell 24" LED backlit LCD screen for $209. I got one yesterday from their outlet store. The item description is:

"Dell Refurbished G2410 24-inch Full HD LED Widescreen Flat Panel Monitor"

At work, I have used Dell LCD monitors for the past 7 years. The Ultrasharp models are fantastic. But I am not a big fan of their "economic" models, i.e., those that have a "E" prefix to their model numbers. They don't look as good and we have one that broke.

I recommend getting a LED backlit model. They are energy efficient, and I think that they look better too.

Good luck! :)
posted by jchaw at 8:45 AM on February 25, 2010

I'm on a borrowed ViewSonic TN until I can replace it with something I do like after my CRT died. I hate it with every fibre of my being. I feel like a Luddite in acronym hell as I try and figure it all out. I can't help with a choice, I'm leaning heavily toward a IPS panel for photo editing, but I can suggest another site that has really good reviews of monitors which may or, may not be helpful when making a choice.
posted by squeak at 9:52 AM on February 25, 2010

I've been very pleased with my Samsung Syncmaster 226BW (widescreen). While that model is probably defunct, I have high regard for Samsung's screens.
posted by seventyfour at 9:55 AM on February 25, 2010

« Older How should I send my job application via email?   |   Can you think of a good title for a weekly... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.