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Struggling to find a decent, affordable monitor


17 replies to this topic

#1

Posted 15 April 2012 - 07:34 PM

Currently using a really horrible, blurry, off-brand LCD TV as my computer monitor and my eyes just can't take it any more. I am looking for some between 22 and 26 inches, with an LED backlight, decent performance for movies, and preferably not TN. Has anybody else come across something suitable for under, say, $400? No matter what monitor I pick out, I find reviews pointing out some horrible flaw...

#2

Posted 15 April 2012 - 09:23 PM

Hi Jolawy,

Welcome to pricespy :)

If you can spend an extra 40 bucks then definitely go for the 24" Dell U2412M. Its a really nice 16:10 e-IPS monitor with great reviews. It bridges the gap between professional grade (and very pricey) monitors and regular TN but leans towards the better monitors. It has very low input lag for its panel type. Dell usually drops the price to $349 every few months but you just missed out on the previous special. You could wait for it to be on special again, I definitely would. I intend to buy one when it is next on special as I spent a very long time researching monitors to find one that would be great for gaming, media and everyday tasks. The U2412M fits everything and seems to be a huge step above cheaper TN monitors. Hope that helps.

TFT Central review:

http://www.tftcentra...dell_u2412m.htm


Hardware Canucks review:
http://www.hardwarec...tor-review.html

Toms Hardware LCD roundup:
(Selected as 'Toms hardware approved')
http://www.tomshardw...4a550,3016.html

Edited by TomSahz, 15 April 2012 - 09:37 PM.


#3

Posted 15 April 2012 - 10:16 PM

If you strictly have to stay under $400 and need the screen right now I would choose between:
LG's newest screen the IPS235V http://pricespy.co.n...t.php?p=1005513
Dell Ultrasharp U2312HM http://pricespy.co.n...ct.php?p=955003
ASUS VS239H-P or ASUS VS239H (same thing) http://pricespy.co.n...t.php?p=1073310 http://pricespy.co.n...ct.php?e=965623

The LG is an IPS panel made by LG (obviously) and has the best picture quality out of these and fixes the input lag issues from the IPS236, input lag may still be slightly worse than Ultrasharp.
The Ultrasharp uses an e-IPS (cheaper) panel made by LG, has good features (rotates, usb support etc), good picture quality etc. Some people don't like how much anti-glare coating is on the screen and the lowest brightness level is still relatively bright.
The ASUS says it is an IPS but doesn't state which type, I suspect it probably uses the same panel as the Ultrasharp does. Has HDMI input.

So, LG best picture, ASUS best bang for buck, Dell best warrenty/support and features
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#4

Posted 15 April 2012 - 10:48 PM

IPS = Generally shit response time, kills gaming. I didn't read the thread so don't be mad if you already specified you weren't gaming

If i was to buy a monitor right now for under 400 i'd get the VE248H by Asus

#5

Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:01 AM

View PostJoshHunter, on 15 April 2012 - 10:48 PM, said:

IPS = Generally shit response time, kills gaming. I didn't read the thread so don't be mad if you already specified you weren't gaming

If i was to buy a monitor right now for under 400 i'd get the VE248H by Asus
I disagree about the response time – 8 ms is normal, and most TN panels are around 5 ms so there isn't much difference. Not to mention that the response time of an IPS panel is much more uniform over the entire range, whereas a TN panel is much less so – and the time that they report is one of the fastest as well. So most won't find it a problem. And a cheap TN panel would easily be worse in that regard than many IPS panels – and a lot of people have only had experience with cheap TN panels so they wouldn't have any problems. But I've heard it said that a 120 Hz TN is the only thing worth gaming on too, so I don't believe much in the way of peoples' claims when it comes to gaming monitors.
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I may occasionally give advice regarding (consumer) law, but it is only my opinion based on my reading – I am not a lawyer.

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#6

Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:17 AM

Yes but a cheap TN panel would also cost half of what an IPS monitor would. 2MS is also becoming more standard in gaming monitors, which makes a decent gap to 12MS.

I think IPS should be given a miss until they've closed the other performance gaps with TN panels, in order to justify the often high prices. I personally would rather have a 75HZ 2MS TN 24" monitor than a 22" 60HZ 12MS IPS

#7

Posted 16 April 2012 - 10:14 AM

As far as I know, the only ways IPS panels are behind TN panels are response time (IPS panels are typically 8 ms), price (but it isn't actually that much higher, especially if it is on special) – not to mention that a cheap IPS will be comparable in performance in everything except response time to a similarly-priced TN, not a cheap one – and their perception for gaming (which is not an issue with the monitors themselves, but rather with the gamers). I would suggest you try a modern IPS and a equivalent TN (or better still, one half the price) for gaming, and compare them sometime. By the way, the refresh rate makes very little difference with LCDs, and 60 Hz to 75 Hz won't make any real difference at all.

And I haven't even mentioned the advantages of IPS over TN yet. But to give you a quick idea, try viewing angle and colour – and remember, a TN will be even worse in the colour department if viewed from anywhere other than directly in front of it (and I've seen TN's where you could see a difference in colour at the two edges from the centre [22"]).
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I may occasionally give advice regarding (consumer) law, but it is only my opinion based on my reading – I am not a lawyer.

Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9-10,13

#8

Posted 16 April 2012 - 11:51 AM

I've been having exactly the same problem with choosing a monitor. Seems the 24" Dell U2412M is a really good monitor (or so says all the reviews and most people that own them). From what I can tell, its a gamble to get a cheap e-IPS monitor, in all reality they are crap compared to the proper more expensive S-IPS and H-IPS monitors, and arent even true 8-bit (rather 6-bit with something that makes them closer to 8-bit). Although that won't mean much difference if you aren't using it for hard-out graphics. I've decided to stick clear of an IPS monitor for now, as I plan on using it for at least some gaming (although I would get the Dell U2412M if it was on special again!!). Most likely I will get the Viewsonic VX-2453, only has HDMI, but has lots of reviews which show it be a very good monitor for gaming. Even though an IPS monitor has advantages, like viewing angle and colour reproduction, still seems TN-panels are much better for gaming and movies. If you really want a IPS monitor, wait for the Dell to go on special, the others from what I have read all seem to have problems, and some are worse than others, the main problem been the backlight bleed (the Achilles' heel of IPS monitors). If you do want to wait and save some money get the ViewSonic VX2336s-LED (http://pricespy.co.n...t.php?p=1054444), I found this one this week and it is only $250, and the reviews say it has fixed the backlight bleed the more expensive (~$400) model has. According to Pricespy, the retailers have run out of them, but I would love to know how the monitor really is! This will probably make it more confusing, but from what I have read, if you do want a cheap e-IPS monitor go and see it in person before getting it (the amount of reviews that say they sent them back is just crazy!!)

#9

Posted 16 April 2012 - 12:13 PM

View Postsammylg, on 16 April 2012 - 11:51 AM, said:

I've been having exactly the same problem with choosing a monitor. Seems the 24" Dell U2412M is a really good monitor (or so says all the reviews and most people that own them). From what I can tell, its a gamble to get a cheap e-IPS monitor, in all reality they are crap compared to the proper more expensive S-IPS and H-IPS monitors, and arent even true 8-bit (rather 6-bit with something that makes them closer to 8-bit). Although that won't mean much difference if you aren't using it for hard-out graphics. I've decided to stick clear of an IPS monitor for now, as I plan on using it for at least some gaming (although I would get the Dell U2412M if it was on special again!!). Most likely I will get the Viewsonic VX-2453, only has HDMI, but has lots of reviews which show it be a very good monitor for gaming. Even though an IPS monitor has advantages, like viewing angle and colour reproduction, still seems TN-panels are much better for gaming and movies. If you really want a IPS monitor, wait for the Dell to go on special, the others from what I have read all seem to have problems, and some are worse than others, the main problem been the backlight bleed(the Achilles' heel of IPS monitors). If you do want to wait and save some money get the ViewSonic VX2336s-LED (http://pricespy.co.n...t.php?p=1054444), I found this one this week and it is only $250, and the reviews say it has fixed the backlight bleed the more expensive (~$400) model has. According to Pricespy, the retailers have run out of them, but I would love to know how the monitor really is! This will probably make it more confusing, but from what I have read, if you do want a cheap e-IPS monitor go and see it in person before getting it (the amount of reviews that say they sent them back is just crazy!!)
They definitely not as good, but not that bad compared – they have almost all the advantages, and are far closer to a proper IPS than to a TN.

Same with almost all TN monitors.

Hardly specific to IPS monitors, almost all monitors have the same problem just as bad.

I don't know where you get that from, because I couldn't find any on PriceSpy. Not to mention that a lot of those could well be for other reasons completely unrelated to them being e-IPS.

I've got an e-IPS monitor myself, and it is far better than a TN panel in every way graphically, although I will admit that I don't really play many games – and I don't have any problems with all the games that I do play. I think an IPS monitor would actually be much better for movies and similar than a TN, as it has much better viewing angles, surely?
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I may occasionally give advice regarding (consumer) law, but it is only my opinion based on my reading – I am not a lawyer.

Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9-10,13

#10

Posted 16 April 2012 - 12:41 PM

View PostJoshHunter, on 16 April 2012 - 09:17 AM, said:

Yes but a cheap TN panel would also cost half of what an IPS monitor would. 2MS is also becoming more standard in gaming monitors, which makes a decent gap to 12MS.

I think IPS should be given a miss until they've closed the other performance gaps with TN panels, in order to justify the often high prices. I personally would rather have a 75HZ 2MS TN 24" monitor than a 22" 60HZ 12MS IPS
While it has 3-4ms higher response time (barely noticable if at all?), the U2412M has lower absolute input lag measured with a high speed camera than all the other monitors tested, 2 of which are TN panels. So if its 3-4ms slower in terms of response time, but 10-15ms faster in terms of absolute input lag then wouldnt it be a better choice?

http://www.tomshardw...50,3016-14.html

As Linux pointed out - monitors advertised as having '2ms' response times are often quoting the best case scenario rarely achieved in real world tests. For example, in the Toms test one of the TN competitors is the Samsung T24A550 24" monitor which is quoted on the manufacter site (http://www.samsung.c...A550ND/ZA-specs) as having a "5ms grey to grey" response time. In the test it was 16ms compared to the U2412M at 21ms. Doesnt seem like a significant margin between them. But what is significant is the discrepency between advertised 'best case scenario' response time and real world measured performance. I just dont think that there is a performance gap between them that is significant enough to warrant choosing a TN over an IPS variant. I'd rather have a superior colour reproduction in a beautiful game with an extra 4-5ms of response time.

Is having an extra 4-5ms response time on your monitor the equivalent of having a ping which is 4-5ms higher than everyone else? Or is that comparing two separate issues.

Edited by TomSahz, 16 April 2012 - 12:54 PM.


#11

Posted 16 April 2012 - 01:36 PM

Response time is how long the subpixel takes to change from one shade to another. Generally response time compensation is used to improve the response time for grey to grey transitions, but it doesn't do anything for black to white or the other direction.
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I may occasionally give advice regarding (consumer) law, but it is only my opinion based on my reading – I am not a lawyer.

Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9-10,13

#12

Posted 16 April 2012 - 03:46 PM

Hmm, I need to learn a lot more about monitors and such. I don't have the money to compare monitors side by side myself, and I think if you did placebo would have a massive effect anyway.

#13

Posted 16 April 2012 - 04:19 PM

View PostJoshHunter, on 16 April 2012 - 03:46 PM, said:

Hmm, I need to learn a lot more about monitors and such. I don't have the money to compare monitors side by side myself, and I think if you did placebo would have a massive effect anyway.

Yeah agreed which is why its good that places like Toms Hardware spend the dollars on hardware and high speed cameras so we dont have to :D

I think you're right about placebo too, which kind of makes the whole IPS response time thing a moot point. We're talking about single thousandths of a second. I wouldnt notice the difference between a 16ms TN panel and a 21ms e-IPS panel like the U2412M. I was worried at first because I was getting caught up on all the high tech methods being used to measure response time and how they would show that IPS monitors were slower, but the numbers are so minute.

A couple of really good guides:
"Gamers graphics and display setings" (http://www.tweakguid...Graphics_1.html)

AND

"A guide to buying an HDTV" (http://www.tweakguides.com/HDTV_1.html)

Between them they cover everything you need to know about monitor specs and how they relate to gaming such as input lag, panel types, response time, FPS, Refresh rate, Vsync, triple buffering, anisotropic filtering, antialiasing etc.

Oh and for the OP if you need it now I would second guitar_mans recommendation for the U2312HM at ~$350.

Edited by TomSahz, 16 April 2012 - 04:49 PM.


#14

Posted 16 April 2012 - 04:40 PM

Although I have never seen one myself I agree with the Dell U2412M as the best choice, if you can, although the Dell U2312HM looks as if it is just as good (but haven't figured out if it is or not). But from what I have been reading these monitors are a lot better than some of the other cheap IPS offerings out there! But at that's from what I've read anyway. As far as I can tell with gaming, it does seem what the manufacturers say response times are isn't exactly true. But I have seen enough complaints about the other IPS monitors (i.e. LG and Asus) about ghosting and lag to put me off them for the time been. I think I will get a cheap TN panel for now, and save my pennies for a Dell U2412M next time they go on special!

#15

Posted 16 April 2012 - 04:46 PM

I think you'll find that the U2312HM is basically a 23" version of the U2412M, and other than size has very little difference. I could be wrong though, but I doubt it.
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I may occasionally give advice regarding (consumer) law, but it is only my opinion based on my reading – I am not a lawyer.

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#16

Posted 16 April 2012 - 07:27 PM

Posted Image

Dell Ultrasharp u2312HM:

Quote

From a performance point of view I was impressed in a couple of areas particularly. The input lag was incredibly low and basically this screen had no lag at all. Panel uniformity from our retail stock sample was also very good which was a positive sign considering there have been mixed reports and issues in the past with lower cost e-IPS screens.

http://www.tftcentra...ell_u2312hm.htm

Looking at that review it seems that the newer IPS displays have less input lag than the old ones.

LG IPS235V:

Quote

With its 8ms response time, we found that games were smooth and didn't suffer from any noticeable problems, such as ghosting.

http://www.expertrev...7670/lg-ips235v

I think that the problem is some people notice motion blur, input lag and frame rate much more than other people. Like that claim about the human eye not being able to see past 60FPS, interesting because I can. I think if I was going to buy a new monitor I would probably get a 120Hz one, but it is definitely down to personal choice.
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#17

Posted 16 April 2012 - 07:40 PM

I have a suspicion that a lot of people blame response time for a number of completely unrelated problems, including input lag.
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I may occasionally give advice regarding (consumer) law, but it is only my opinion based on my reading – I am not a lawyer.

Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9-10,13

#18

Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:05 PM

View PostLinuxUser, on 16 April 2012 - 07:40 PM, said:

I have a suspicion that a lot of people blame response time for a number of completely unrelated problems, including input lag.

I think so too. I have a new computer connected to a 46 inch LCD tv, they are supposed to have bad response times but I don't notice it. However I can definitely feel the input lag when I have vsync turned on (hence why I use frame-rate limiters).
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