What size monitor should I get?
March 8, 2012 4:14 PM   Subscribe

Should I get a 24" monitor with 1920 x 1200 resolution or 22" with 1920 x 1080?

For several years I've been using 15.5" thinkpads with 1680 x 1050 resolution = 16 x 10 aspect ratio, but mainly due to aging eyes now want a larger screen running off of a desktop.

I'm interested in energy conservation which implies LED backlight, and a high quality image which I think implies an IPS panel, and I would like to have a high pixel density and the 16 x 10 ratio. There are Dell and HP monitors that satisfy the above criteria starting at 24".

But somehow 24" seems huge. Dropping down to 22" reduces the pixels to 1920 x 1080 which seems to be the standard "widescreen" dimensions.

So that's the conumdrum: 24" meeting all the requirements or 22" which lops off some on the vertical. I am interested in any impressionistic advice that would nudge the decision in one direction or the other. Has anyone found 24" to be too large and annoying to use?

posted by Kevin S to Technology (19 answers total)
If money is no object, you really want to have an IPS panel rather than a non-IPS (usually TN). They're really head-and-shoulders better. So if the choice is between a 24" IPS panel and a smaller, lower-resolution non-IPS panel, I'd say definitely the IPS.
posted by Rallon at 4:16 PM on March 8, 2012

I've got a 24" monitor, and, far from it being too large and annoying to use, I wish it were bigger.
posted by box at 4:20 PM on March 8, 2012

Love my 2005-era 24" dell. The LED-backlit Lenovo 24s are nice too.
posted by b1tr0t at 4:28 PM on March 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

I went from a 1920*1200 to a 1920*1080 about two years ago. I still miss that extra 120 lines. A lot of programs were just a whole lot easier to use that way.

I wish I could go back, but ASUS doesn't sell the larger screens any more.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 4:31 PM on March 8, 2012

I have a dell ips 1900x1200. I appreciate the extra pixels and it didn't seem huge after a week or so. I wish I could afford/justify a dual monitor setup.
posted by DarkForest at 4:40 PM on March 8, 2012

Unless money is an issue here, which you have not mentioned, how is their any question? Obviously you should get the 24" 1920x1200 panel.

Even if money is an object, I still think that's the obvious choice, unless you can't actually afford it.

FWIW, I used dual 22" monitors for a few years, and last year upgraded one of them to a 27" monitor. It's not too big, trust me -- you'll get used to it. It has the side effect of making every other monitor look puny, though.
posted by imagineerit at 4:47 PM on March 8, 2012

There is no such thing as "too much screen space".
posted by valkyryn at 5:22 PM on March 8, 2012 [3 favorites]

I currently run a pair of 22's at 1680x1050 on my everyday computer (a mac mini, if that matters). It's perfectly adequate for my day-to-day business use. Once in a while I wish I had something a bit more hi-res, but I'm happy with the price I paid and couldn't justify the $$$ for something bigger. I'd rather run a pair of 22's than a single 24. I don't know what the price difference is like, but I'd push for dual displays for any desktop computer.
posted by Wild_Eep at 6:00 PM on March 8, 2012

N-thing what has been said above: I've had monitor sizes from 13" to 28" and at no point have I ever said "this monitor is too big". Also, as has been said above, the extra pixels you get with the 1900x1200 is very much worth it as well.
posted by Geppp at 6:01 PM on March 8, 2012

Thanks everyone, the answers appear to be close to unanimous.

Rallon and imagineerit: $$$ are not an issue, within reason anyway.

My concern was (1) that more so than with a smaller panel you might have to constantly resize windows for readability; e.g., to put text into a newspaper-like column vs stretched across the screen and (2) there might be issues that I never thought of.

I considered a pair, but would use an existing ancient monitor for the rare occasions when an auxiliary view would be useful.
posted by Kevin S at 6:18 PM on March 8, 2012

I'll be specific: not only get the 24", get HP's 24" ZR24w S-IPS LCD. (I completely love mine)
posted by Auden at 6:21 PM on March 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

(1) that more so than with a smaller panel you might have to constantly resize windows for readability; e.g., to put text into a newspaper-like column vs stretched across the screen

You'll find that with lots of screen space, your habits change a bit - you won't maximize most windows, you'll have them lined up side-by-side. So you're not constantly resizing windows. (Macs are a bit more natively suited to this than Windows, last I checked, but I haven't actually used Windows significantly since XP.)
posted by spaceman_spiff at 6:26 PM on March 8, 2012

I have two HP ZR24w monitors. Love them.
posted by aloysius on the mixing boards at 6:35 PM on March 8, 2012

Auden and aloysius, the HP ZR2440w (same as zr24w presumably?) was at the top of my comparison list. So I think your recs makes things definitive. Did you get yours online/direct from HP?
posted by Kevin S at 6:49 PM on March 8, 2012

It looks pretty much the same, probably an updated version with an LED back light. I bought one from Amazon and one from buy.com through Amazon.
posted by aloysius on the mixing boards at 7:07 PM on March 8, 2012

OK - thanks everyone. I feel comfortable with the 24" decision.

spaceman_spiff - "you'll have them lined up side-by-side". That should work out easily enough with win7.
posted by Kevin S at 7:36 PM on March 8, 2012

Personally I like Dell panels much better than I like HP's. HP panels often come with some kind of video "enhancement" stuff built in that there seems to be no way to turn off, which doesn't play nice with sub-pixel text antialiasing and leads to some very rough-looking text rendering. If you can, go and work with both a Dell and an HP panel for half an hour each before plunking down your dollars.
posted by flabdablet at 10:04 PM on March 8, 2012

"aging eyes" - do you have computer glasses?
posted by at at 3:57 PM on March 9, 2012

I have two 1920x1080 monitors and two 1920x1200 monitors (in various locations) and *vastly* prefer the 1920x1200. The physical size doesn't make a huge difference; it's all about the extra 120 rows of pixels.
posted by raf at 12:02 AM on March 10, 2012

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