01 Nov 2010, 00:00

What do I look for in a monitor? : hardware

From my experience, anything over 1000:1 for contrast ratio is marketing speak. over 1000:1 is great. Anything under a 5msGTG is fine for movies. 3msGTG is fine for gaming. This one is 2msGTG. Anything over 250 cd/m2 is great for brightness. This monitor has a 400 cd/m2. Resolution is perfect. 1900×1080 allows you to watch 1080p movies with no problem. Viewing angle is actually where you want to start to be for multiple people watching. a 170H allows for people to be as much as 85 degrees off the center, but you still can not see it from the sides, nor from too low or standing up looking down on it with the 160V. For a model this large, the dot pitch is ok, but if you are <3ft in front of it, you would look for something closer to a .260. this measures the distance from one red pixel to another red pixel.The one thing I look for that this does not have is the LED backlighting. It seems to be hard to get monitors this large with it and at least 1900×1080, but it is possible.The other things you have to have is HDCP support if you ever want to legally watch a HD movie on it, and a comprehensive warranty. Bear in mind that for some companies, a few dead pixels are enough to trigger a warranty, while some require quite a lot.The final thing to bear in mind is what you are going to be using the monitor for. For gaming and movies, a TN twisted nematic panel is ideal because of the low response times. If you are using it for spreadsheet and database work, you are looking for a VA vertical alignment panel. These include MVA multi-domain and PVA patterned, which may also come in higher-contrast AMVA advanced MVA and S-PVA super PVA versions. All these VA types reduce eyestrain.If you do professional photo editing or video editing, a monitor with an in-plane switching IPS panel is what you want. These monitors have the best LCD color accuracy plus wide viewing angles. Super-IPS S-IPS, premium-IPS P-IPS and horizontal-IPS H-IPS are the best-quality IPS panels. Eventually, we will have OLED displays that will rival the LCD for size and price, but this is where we are now.I generally try to stick with Samsung, LG, BenQ, Dell, Some HP monitors, Apple, and Viewsonic. I did have a 27.5 Hanns·G I got for real cheap, but I prefer my 2x 23″ LG W2486L s.The Hanns·G HZ281HPB was a pretty good monitor, but I like multiple monitors for the way I work better than one large monitor. It was less than $350, and it is less than $300 now. ViewSonic also makes the VA2702w for less than the Hanns·G, and their warranty is generally better, as is their customer service, however, dealing with Newegg, you should not have to deal with either, because if it is not DOA, it should be fine.

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