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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  • KristopherKubicki - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    Interesting, let me look into this. My 2001FP is A00 as well and i've had mine for over a year now. (No problems though).

    Do you know how much of a delay there is?

  • Cat - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    My boss's is A00. I'm assuming mine is as well, since I bought it a few days after he did. This was about a month and a half ago.
  • KristopherKubicki - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    Angry Kid: We couldnt get a VP912B in time for the roundup. I am working on doing an individual review on that one though.

    Cat: On the back of your monitor near the serial it should say the REV number, like A01 or A00. Can you tell me which number it says on all those monitors?

  • blackmetalegg - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    And what's the color depth for the VP912b? It's not mentioned anywhere on Viewsonic's website and google didn't turn up anything. I'm torn between VP912b(supposed 8-bit panel) and FP937S(6-bit)...
  • KristopherKubicki - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    Ensign: Fixed.

  • KingofFah - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    #19, I have no clue when it comes to LCDs, so thanks for giving me that information. How many images are drawn on an LCD in a second (if they even do that at a fixed rate, i dont know)?

    If there is no refresh rate given, I assume that the response time could be equated to the gaming performance of the monitor. In that case I'd want the fastest possible response times, and I do not think that the price would justify it. I think image quality, speed, and clarity go to a CRT. Size, power usage, and eye care seem to be the concern for LCDs. I've got plenty of space, don't use the computer that often, and don't care about power usage.
  • Araemo - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    Is the NuTech L921G an 8 bit or 6 bit panel? it doesn't say in the specs.

    How about the Planar PE191M? or the Samsung SyncMaster 193P?

    I'm not trying to nitpick guys, but I've been burnt by missing specs before ("Well, the review didn't mention it, so it must not be a problem..."), so I don't want to simply assume they're 8-bit when you didn't mention them(Since that wasn't stated in the intro)
  • Angry Kid - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    Agree with many of the others - why were none of the more recent, more high-end 19" LCDs tested?

    It would've been nice to see the ViewSonic VP912B FEATURED IN THE NOVEMBER GAMER BUYER'S GUIDE included.

  • garfieldonline - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    I have been working with order people, and I can say many of them prefer their resolution around 1024x768. I may be wrong, but as for LCD monitors, if they are not running at their optimal resolution, the screen tends to look a bit blur. This is not a problem with CRT monitor, things are sharp as long as the resolution is within the limit.
  • Araemo - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    "It's the same friggin reason why people buy a 50" TV instead of a small 20""

    I doubt it, since most people I know buy a 50" so they can sit 20 feet away and still pick out the super-model's pimples. But not many computer users sit 20 feet back from their monitors(Or even signifigantly further back with bigger screens)

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