Which monitor has the best picture quality?
July 31, 2007 7:12 AM   Subscribe

Could you please help me decide on a new monitor? I have it narrowed down to three.

I'd like to run something 20' or more (widescreen) off a new Macbook Pro. My main concern is picture quality. I'll be doing video editing, photoshopping, and watching the odd DVD. I don't play video games. I'm willing to spend $500-600. Here are the 3 I've narrowed it down to:

HP 22' W2207

Dell UltraSharp 2007WFP

Samsung SyncMaster 24" 245BW

I've learned what all of the stats mean on each, but it seems like colour quality is a bit more subjective, and cnet hasn't done a review yet of the Samsung 245BW. Any thoughts?

posted by Idiot Mittens to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have an older model of the Dell. It is the best monitor I've ever owned. I use it with the DVI input out of my Mac G5, and it is fast, sharp, and bright. Great colour.
posted by mrmcsurly at 7:45 AM on July 31, 2007

I haven't tried any of them, but my Dell 2005FPW is great. My only complaint is that I can't dim it enough.
posted by cmiller at 8:01 AM on July 31, 2007

The SyncMaster has the best contrast ratio (3000:1) and Max Resolution. I'd think the color would be the same on all of them. Do fast LCDs still only do 6 bits per color instead of 8?
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:42 AM on July 31, 2007

I have the Dell 2005FPW, which is nearly identical except for a few years' worth of advancements. I upgraded to it from a 2000FP which is still going strong at my folks' place.

Both are absolutely top-notch monitors. I'm not a color accuracy connoisseur or anything, but I've done web design, gaming, photo editing, and 3d modelling on both monitors with wonderful results.

I can only assume that the 2007WFP is similar in quality. For all of Dell's faults, it's developed a great reputation for LCD monitors.
posted by Riki tiki at 8:46 AM on July 31, 2007

The Dell and Samsung LCDs are fine and of great quality. You're kind of comparing apples and oranges because the Dell is only 20" and $100 less than the 24" Samsung.

Regardless, if you're really concerned about color accuracy, you should get a color calibrator like this LaCie Blue Eye Pro. Out of the box, any LCD is going to look worse than a properly calibrated LCD. Start with your budget, subtract the amount for a color calibrator, and then go shopping with the remaining amount.
posted by junesix at 9:53 AM on July 31, 2007

I still get excited when I look at my Dell 2007WFP, which is running off my MacBook Pro. The thing is gorgeous. I recommend it.

If you want a bigger one, get the next model up. I think they have a 24".
posted by jeffxl at 9:58 AM on July 31, 2007

I'd say go with the Samsung—I've had nothing but good experiences with their monitors, whereas I've been disappointed with most Dell monitors I've used. In addition, the Samsung monitors don't look cheap like the Dell ones do.
posted by limeonaire at 11:23 AM on July 31, 2007

Here's the Anandtech Forum's LCD Buyer's Guide thread. There are several different kinds of panels for LCD displays; the cheapest ones all use TN panels, which generally have worse color than the others. Of your list, only the Dell isn't a TN. With photo editing and color as a primary concern, it's probably the best choice. (if you can stretch that $600 budget, the 24" Dell lists for $679.)

I don't have personal experience with non-TN panels, but there seems to be wide agreement that their color quality is quantifiably better.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 12:10 PM on July 31, 2007

I run dual 2007WFPs on Windows and they are great.
posted by indyz at 12:30 PM on July 31, 2007

Note that you can get refurbished 2007WFPs for a ridiculous price. Guaranteed returned within 30 days of original purchase, and they have a same-as-new warranty which I think, and you should verify this, includes dead pixels. This is what I have, and I love it.
posted by autojack at 1:18 PM on July 31, 2007

I adore my Dell 2007WFP - I have two at work and one at home.

My (pretty sharp) eyes find them as good as good as Apple' cinema displays (which I have in the same room at work).
posted by dmd at 2:28 PM on July 31, 2007

Thanks for the advice. I went with the Samsung, and for anyone using this in the future for research, it is a wicked, wicked monitor.
posted by Idiot Mittens at 10:21 AM on August 1, 2007

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