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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  • MAME - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    thank god the dell 2001fp is the (2nd) best one here. I got it for $650 a few days ago on a whim. The reviews are kinda mixed but there's a 21 day return policy. Problem is, it's 21 days from the invoice and the expected shipping date would put the LCD in my hands AFTER that time. Thus, I couldn't return it even .1 seconds after receiving it :-/

    Alas, it seems the monitor is a good choice nonetheless and I should have decent product on my hands soon. My eyes can't wait!
  • Peter - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    Because that's a barenaked LCD Panel, not a finished product?
  • Azsen - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    Hi, why does no-one have any information on this monitor:

    19" 8ms response, 600:1 ratio
  • Peter - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    Regarding the aspect ratio: If someone had taken the time to actually MEASURE, they would have found that all those LCD panels that sport a 1280x1024 resolution actually do measure 5:4, thus having correct aspect ratio at that resolution. Moot point, actually.

    (Running a CRT at 1280x1024 is wrongwrongwrong, though.)

  • ceefka - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    #4 Jeff7181: LCD's use less power, take up less space (especially from 19" on) and produce less interference and heat. That times 2 if you are working with 2 screens. If a CRT works for you, then fine. It's not so much ignorance as it is choice.
  • KristopherKubicki - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    D0rkIRL: Thanks for the catch. Fixed.

    bookem dano: We know of the problem and we should have it fixed soon.

    klah: I was only aware of Xbitlabs doing so. We feel that the methods for measuring reponse time thus far are OK, but not represent gray to gray response time measurements well. Its something we are working on and we will probably have a better methodology before the next roundup.

  • bookem dano - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    For some reason while looking at this article, my cpu was pegged at 100%.

    I tried IE, Net, FIre, all same thing. Quite annoying.
  • carlivar - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    OK so the tips at the beginning say to get a monitor with the correct aspect ratio such as 1280x960 resolution. I agree. Then all of the monitors reviewed (other than the Dell) have 1280x1024, which they specifically warn against.

    I know that most 19" LCDs are 1280x1024 but couldn't they at least have explained why this is?

    And actually, why is this?! I don't understand the popularity of 1280x1024 instead of 1280x960! IT DOES NOT MAKE ANY SENSE.
  • Googer - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    You will have to pry MY CRT from my cold dead hands before I let an LCD connect to my Graphics Card.
  • klah - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    "The TrTf response time is normally a pretty useless measurement - but it makes for an easy specification in which to market LCDs. "

    Why not provide us with a graphs of response times across the entire spectrum? There are at least 2 sites that do so now: X-bit and Tom's.

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