For those of you who follow our LCD reviews, you've probably noticed that we haven't looked at many models within the last few months. To make up for that, we decided to look at seven 19" LCDs, just in time for the holiday season.

19" and higher LCDs are the current sweet spot for LCD substrates. Recall that 19" LCDs have roughly the same viewing area as 21" CRT monitors, and that 17" LCDs have about the same viewing area as 19" CRTs. Production costs of LCDs have dropped dramatically over the last 2 years, but CRTs still beat LCDs in the cost versus size debate in the mid-size arena. The 19" and 20" LCD categories slightly differ, however.

Although the viewing area on a 19" LCD is roughly equivalent to the viewing area on a 21" CRT, LCDs use less power, use digital signal, don't have linear convergence issues, weigh considerably less, and put less strain on your eyes in a well lit environment. The issue of cost that used to deter people away from LCDs has also disappeared. A reasonably cheap, new 21" CRT runs for about $350; a reasonably cheap, new 19" LCD runs for about $330. Granted, you get what you pay for, and buying a low end 19" LCD or a 21" CRT generally is not what we would recommend. Today, we are going to focus on LCDs that run anywhere from $400 and higher - which is generally the price that you will pay if you wanted a quality CRT monitor.

With the exception of the NuTech L921G, all of our LCDs today were store bought. We tried to bring a balanced look at LCDs from all across the spectrum - low response time AUO panels, vivid Samsung panels and every a mix of both with some of the SIPS LG.Philips LCD panels. Most of our models today are within the $400 to $500 price range.

We plan on looking at them subjectively and quantitatively measuring the performance of each monitor against our industry standard Dell 2001FP. Almost all of our reviews over the last year have used the Dell 2001FP as a benchmark comparison. So, translating some of the performance that we see today with the performance of past monitors should not be very difficult. Feel free to view our past LCD reviews here.

How to Pick a Good LCD
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  • archcommus87 - Saturday, December 4, 2004 - link

    Additionally, what are your thoughts on response time? I see that many of the monitors reviewed here are 20-25 ms monitors, however so many people claim that anything over 16 is simply unacceptable for gaming. Is this true or would 25 be plenty fine?
  • archcommus87 - Friday, December 3, 2004 - link

    So SOME out there are actually 4:3 physicall. How do you know which ones? They do list l x w x h, but I'm assuming that includes base. So you must read a review or physically measure it yourself to know this?

    Kristopher: What is your opinion on the quality of the image when it is upscaled in such a way, say trying to run a game at 10x7 on a 19" 1280x1024 monitor.
  • GOSHARKS - Friday, December 3, 2004 - link

    KristopherKubicki, that may be the case with some models - BUT you imply that ALL 17-19" LCDs that are 5:4 in resolution are in reality 4:3 physically, which is incorrect and confusing for people reading your review.

    "Most 19" and 17" LCDs have an aspect ratio of 5:4 (1280x1024). This is OK, but you're looking at a 5:4 signal crammed in a 4:3 box."
  • KristopherKubicki - Friday, December 3, 2004 - link

    archcommus87: LCDs will naturally interpolate pixels if you choose a non-native resolution. Only a few monitors will scale the image down to the correct pixel size (ie the Samsung 192T). Of course, if you do that you just turned your 19" LCD into a 17" one.

  • KristopherKubicki - Friday, December 3, 2004 - link

    GOSHARKS: As i stated above in the comment addressed to #14, there are LCDs that are not the correct aspect ratio. A few viewsonic models come to mind. That was the only thing I was addressing in the aspect ratio portion of the guide.

  • KristopherKubicki - Friday, December 3, 2004 - link

    Peter: For these LCDs you are correct, they are all the correct aspect ratio. However, we have looked at 17" and 19" pannels in the past that are 4:3 (and not surprisingly they did not get good reviews).

  • archcommus87 - Friday, December 3, 2004 - link

    Are the options presented thus far really the only options for running games at resolutions other than native? If so how could anyone want an LCD for gaming? Unless you're positive you'll always have a beefy enough computer to run games at 1280x1024 or higher. Or unless you don't mind playing the game with black around all sides.
  • vailr - Friday, December 3, 2004 - link

    No information as to "color accuracy". Maybe this device would be useful?
    Color Plus
    Manufacturer: ColorVision

    Mfg Part #: GEU104
    Product Information
    (Based on manufacturer's information)
    Produce Stunning Photos Using the Tools Pros Rely on for Color Accuracy

    ColorPlus corrects your CRT, LCD, or notebook monitors for accurate and consistent color - day-to-day and image-to image. Spend more time behind the lens or printing your photos instead of wasting time, paper, and ink. Pros correct their monitors at least once a month - now you can too in your home.

    Experts agree - the #1 tip for positively great prints - Calibrate Your Monitor. Monitors are like snowflakes, everyone is different and they change over time as they age.

    Now with ColorPlus, your colors can finally look their best and brightest. ColorPlus corrects your CRT, LCD or notebook monitor for accurate, reliable, and consistent color - day-to-day and image-to-image. It also gives you a wider range of colors, better flesh tones, and more open shadows. Now you can use the same tools the pros do and make your images studio grade.

    ColorPlus includes an award-winning, patent-protected color hardware sensor and wizard-based monitor calibration software. The color hardware sensor connects to your computer using USB and easily attaches to your CRT, LCD, or notebook monitor. In a few easy steps, the software guides through the entire process to deliver precise color in the widest range your monitor can produce. ColorPlus automatically calibrates your monitor to industry standards for color, gamma, white point, and luminance

    Recommended for all digital camera enthusiasts
    Corrects your monitor for accurate and reliable color
    Lets you trust what you see on your screen
    Produces a wider range of color, better flesh tones, & more open shadows
    Simple to use and AFFORDABLE
    High-tech and cool-looking color hardware sensor
    Save time, paper, and ink
    Includes Adobe® Photoshop® Album Starter Edition for FREE
    Free technical supportso your results are accurate and consistent from day-to-day.

    Platform: PC
    Media Format: CD-ROM
    System Requirements: Display: CRT, LCD, or notebook monitor
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP
    Free USB port

  • Peter - Friday, December 3, 2004 - link

    Or does the Anandtech high-tech lab not feature such an old fashioned tool like a wooden stick with a scale on it?
  • Peter - Friday, December 3, 2004 - link

    ... and I had said exactly that in #14 already. No correction so far? Boo...

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