Is a 24" 1080p monitor a good purchase?
June 15, 2012 4:10 AM   Subscribe

I'm going to buy a 24" 1080p monitor at the weekend to replace my ageing 17" (1280x1024) one. Given a number of factors, is this a bad decision?

I'm looking to replace my current 17" (non-widescreen) monitor and have seen a 22" and 24" 1080p widescreen replacement. I'm currently leaning towards the 24" because the difference in height between my old 17" and the new 22" is only 0.5cm - which would seem to be a fairly minimal upgrade.

However I have a couple of concerns about the 24" one:

1. It's only 1920x1080.
2. The PPI is only 91.79 (compared to 102.45 of my old monitor).
3. I'm only going to be sitting 50-55cm away from the thing.

Given a combination of the three concerns, would you recommend getting this size monitor, at this resolution and sitting this close to it?

Side note: I don't use the monitor for work, so I don't use it every single day. As such, I cannot really justify paying almost double for 1920x1200.
posted by mr_silver to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
Monitor quality is about more than just DPI and size. What are you expecting to use this monitor for?
posted by pharm at 4:34 AM on June 15, 2012

Some background on why the 1920x1200 is so expensive: The price difference between 1920x1080 (16x9) and 1920x1200 (16x10) is driven by the fact that 16x9 has become the ubiquitous ratio thanks to HDTVs, driving up the price of anything 16x10. Apple's MacBook Pros are some of the last computers using 16x10, and it was widely speculated that they were going to move to 16x9 in the last revision, so it shocked a number of people that the new MBPs are still 16x10.

Given that, 1920x1080 is fine, especially compared to 1920x1200; you won't really miss the extra 120 vertical pixels. More is always better, of course, but 1920x1080 is pretty normal for a 23-24" display. And the size will be fine at that distance: I use a 27" iMac as my primary desktop at about the same distance as you and it's, if anything, a little too big.
posted by The Michael The at 4:41 AM on June 15, 2012

Regarding 1080p resolution (sorry this is a little of a rant :) ):
Hopefully, now that Apple is releasing "Retina Display" screens on their devices, the industry will start to get their heads out of the sand and remember that 1920x1080 (or even 1920x1200) shouldn't be some arbitrary limiters on resolution. My 19" CRT from the late 90s could do higher (4:3) resolutions than that just fine.

So if you are concerned about the resoution, and if you're not in a rush, you might want to wait a little while until other monitor manufacturers start releasing higher-than-1080p-capable LCD monitors again...
It will, at least, lower the prices of current monitors.

That being said, you probably aren't going to notice the resolution difference between 1080 and 1200 lines, except when watching content that's specifically 16:9 or 16:10 with the associated black bars or stretching.
posted by jozxyqk at 4:42 AM on June 15, 2012

I have a 24" monitor on one computer and a 22" monitor on another. There's no advantage to the bigger monitor. The resolution is the same, and the big one is actually a little *too* big, so I have to put it a bit farther away from my face, in which case might as well have a 22". Unless you plan to use it to watch movies on the couch.
posted by PercussivePaul at 5:08 AM on June 15, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks for your comments so far.

I'm only going to be using it for general day to day use - some web browsing, email, photographs and music. If I get any time, possibly a little bit of (very light) coding to scratch an itch and some game playing.

I suppose my concern is will I be sitting a little bit too close to a screen which is so big?
posted by mr_silver at 5:19 AM on June 15, 2012

Best answer: That seems a little close for such a large screen. But that's a kind of subjective thing; you might want to head to a store and check the distance.

I like widescreen monitors, because you can put your "secondary" windows off the the side, like the video you are watching, or a chat window. I also like to put the taskbar on the side to use some of that real estate and gain back some vertical space.
posted by gjc at 6:32 AM on June 15, 2012

If it was me, I would get the 22" 1080P monitor, and not bother with the 24", since, you're not getting any extra pixels. You're right in that it won't be much higher than your current 17", don't forget 1080 is only 56 rows more than 1024. The higher dpi on the 22" will make it easier to sit close to the screen.
If you're planning on using it as a TV substitute for further away viewing, then you could consider the 24".

At work I have dual 23" 1080P screens, I only sit 2'-3' away at most, and the size hasn't bothered me.
posted by defcom1 at 6:48 AM on June 15, 2012

Best answer: I don't think you'll have a problem with the size of a 24" monitor at that distance. It's close, but as you've noticed, most of the increase in size moving from a 4:3 to 16:9/10 monitor is in width, which as long as you have normal stereo vision won't be problematic, and I agree with the above poster that the worst case is that you put some windows off to the side.

Also, you may not have to give up on 1920x1200. Dell makes an reasonably inexpensive, high quality IPS-panel 1920x1200 monitor that is more expensive than a standard 24" but not double.
posted by eschatfische at 6:52 AM on June 15, 2012

You might also consider the HP ZR24W. FWIW, I do find that the ZR24W (24" @ 1920x1200) is more comfortable as a primary display than the HP 2159m (22" @ 1920x1080). So now I run a ZR24w in middle, with a 2159m on either side (in portrait.)
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:22 AM on June 15, 2012

Personally, I look for the smallest physical monitor at the resolution I seek. At 1920x1080, I don't see a reason to buy a 24 inch one when there are certainly 23 inch ones, and some 21-22 inch ones. For example; Dell Ultrasharp U2212HM.
posted by fief at 10:45 AM on June 15, 2012

A little over a year ago, I went from a 17" 4:3 aspect ratio monitor to an Acer P235H 23" 16:9 1920 x 1080 monitor. I'll never even think about going back. I sit 20" from it, which is fine. I don't play games (unless you count Spider and Hearts), but I do watch lots of videos at full screen.

It has a HDMI port, so setup is dead easy.

It's no longer a new model, so the price is at Amazon is $119.99.
posted by KRS at 12:33 PM on June 15, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks for all your advice! In the end I bought the 24" model on the assumption that I'd probably complain about the size of the 22".

It's fantastic, if a little big (it's amazing how much smaller things look in a huge store with high ceilings), but even only after a couple uses I'm getting very used to it.
posted by mr_silver at 5:16 AM on June 19, 2012

« Older poke, scratch, sniff, tap, shuffle   |   Arabic for Reading? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.