Software and hardware annotations 2011 May

This document contains only my personal opinions and calls of judgement, and where any comment is made as to the quality of anybody's work, the comment is an opinion, in my judgement.

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110528 Sun Review of some low cost IPS or VA 23" monitors

I have tried over some months a few recent low cost but better-quality LCD monitors, all based on IPS or PVA/MVA panels for better viewing angles and color than achievable with TN ones. All of them 1920×1080, with at least both DVI and VGA, VESA mount, builtin PSU, nice stand (column with height, tilt and rotate, even if plastic). They are all very suitable for an office environment. Some quick impressions:

ViewSonic VP2365wb
  • Around £210 inc. VAT, 23", e-IPS panel.
  • Good stand, builtin USB hub, comes in a huge box.
  • Good VGA digitization. Image quality quite excellent, awesome viewing angles, slightly less deep blacks.
Samsung F2380
  • Around £220 inc. VAT, 23", cPVA panel.
  • Pretty good stand, overall better build quality than most, extra HDMI, comes in a very small box.
  • Image quality very good, pretty good viewing angles, deep blacks, dark tones a bit too dark.
BenQ BL2400PT
  • Around £185 inc. VAT, 24", A-MVA panel.
  • Nice stand, LED backlight is good, very difficult to see adjustment buttons, extra DisplayPort, speakers (tinny).
  • Image quality good, a bit washed because default settings wrong (sharpening by default excessive, gamma needs reducing, color temperature needs tweaking), good but not exceptional viewing angles, deep black, nice contrast. VGA input digitalization decent. Slightly shiny screen, and it does improve viewing a bit without being distracting.

The F2380 is very similar to the Dell U2311H, and the VP2365wb is similar to the Dell 2209WA (but bigger) or the NEC EA231WMi. Note that unlike more expensive panels all three only have 18 bit color natively, and use dithering to achieve 24 bit color. All three however seem to do this fairly well. All three have non-extended gamut.

Overall I like all three, with a preference for the VP2365wb (the builtin USB hub, the colour quality) but perhaps for pure text work the two VA panels are a bit better, and here the F2380 has better image and build quality but the BL2400PT is a bit larger and rather cheaper.