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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  • rodf - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    Actually that url is the shops not viewsonics but what the hey.
  • rodf - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    I've just ordered a Viewsonic VX912 and the idea of oval circles for graphic work hadn't occured to me.
    I checked the viewsonic website -
    The pixels are square and the screen measures 5:4 not 4:3 so the problem doesn't always arise.
  • AtaStrumf - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    I have come up with the perfect price/performance CRT/LCD solution, I just don't know why it took me so long to realize it.

    Keep in mind that I'm talking EU prices here! You US residents live in PRICE PARADISE, you just don't know it!

    Since I bought my 19" Samsung 959NF 2,5 years ago for $450 and I could MAYBE get $200 for it now, I'm not too keen on selling it for what is less than half of what I paid for it. Additionally a new HIGH quality 17" LCD would cost me upwards of $550 so I'd be looking at AT LEAST $350 new cash for ONE display that may not be AS GOOD as the old one at the most demanding tasks - games, movies. Not too appealing at all.

    On the other hand I could get a standard 17" LCD for that same $350, but now I have 2 DISPLAYS, and I get the best of both worlds. They can both run at 1280x1024 so I won't have any problem switching between them, or even running them in clone or spanned desktop mode.

    Two times desktop area, best of both worlds, same price! Additional display. since it's LCD, would be no problem as far as desk space/ cable clutter/ power consumption is concerned.

  • robg1701 - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    " Although the viewing area on a 19" LCD is roughly equivalent to the viewing area on a 21" CRT "

    And yet in terms of pixel real estate is woefully outclassed. In reality it is not a 19" LCD but a 20" LCD display that offers the same viewing and pixel real estate as a 21" - whilst costing approx 75% more.

    " 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 "

    Again based on the poor size comparison used above I feel this is isnt the case. The price divide is definataly diminishing but is still quite present in the 17-19" range, and remains quite huge in the 20" area. Still some way to go on price.
  • mldeveloper - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    so how do lcds look when you run a game at a non-native resolution? I'm assuming there's alot of blur do to the pixel interpolation, but is it bad. If I buy a 16x12 native lcd, will i always need to buy new graphics cards to keep up with a 16x12 resolution.
  • bigpow - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    From the subjective test result (sorted):
    Samsung 193P
    Dell 2001FP
    ViewSonic Q190MB
    NuTech L921G
    Planar PE191M
    BenQ FP931
    Sony SDM-S94
    Samsung 910V
  • MadAd - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    error: P14. "The blue bar represents the advertised luminance and the red bar indicates the measured"

    Your chart only shows blue bars.

    What about reviewing some of the 23" 16-25ms range sometime? The L2335 has been out for a while and looks fantastic all around, the apple case looks garish but is supposed to be a good panel, theres the benq 23" with the same panel as the 2335 (i think), a new samsung 23" has just been released plus more.

    I take it if you cant get smaples that they are too expensive to just buy and review? Im trying to hold out with this iiyama tft till i can afford a 2335 myself (hence why I would like to see a comparitive review of all the 23's now theres a few more to choose from price and panel wise)
  • bldckstark - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    Give me CRT or give me fraggin' death! A new desk with more space costs less than 2 LCD monitors that takes up less space. With greater quality at that.

    Energy consumption? I put pedals and a dynamo under my desk. Now I really run when I play FPS!
  • Cat - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    It's in the millisecond range, but it's very tangible. I notice it the most playing RTS games, and normal Windows point and clicking. It's really not noticeable bad in FPS games. Basically interface stuff. It feels like the mouse is slow, so it drives me nuts. I get used it after maybe 10 minutes.

    The easiest way for me to notice it is to clone my display to my CRT, and just move a window around. It doesn't ghost, but there's a large delay between when I move the mouse, and when the pixels actually change. On other LCDs, there's ghosting, but at least the transition starts very quickly.
  • sharkAttakk - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    By the same token, why no info in the AG neovo F-419?

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