12 June 2007

Looking for a new LCD monitor in Canberra.

| Tack
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Been on the hunt for an LCD monitor recently.I’ve had a 19 inch crt since – well – forever 🙂 Need to reclaim my desk space. Keen Photographer with occasional warcraft fantasies!

Looking at all the reviews, I initially decided that a wide screen would be nice – looked at 22 inch screens (still measured in inches for some reason…)

The one that seemed to win a lot of reviews was the Samsung 226BW . Great looking specs and very fast.

Then I discovered the S vs C vs A vs W Panel debate! It seems that the actual screen (panel) has been through various permutations and combinations and there is a gestalt (!) on the net that suggest that the ‘S’ Panel is MUCH better than the “C” panel (the A and W seem to have faded). Better from the point of colour balance , ghosting etc etc.

Looking in Canberra I saw that the Samsung was available in Domayne (Fyshwyick) at $799, Harris Technology – $649 and at Harvey Norman (Fyshwick) – at – well – between $659 and $799 (and that’s a quote from the HN guy I got on the phone!).

Interestingly, www.Staticice.com has it as cheap as $500.

Anyway, decided IF I was gonna’ get one, I would ideally want a “S” panel. No guarantee over net, so I rang around.
Harris Tech. were great. “Paul” understood what I was after regarding an “S” panel. He took my number, and rang me back about 4 hours later – he had opened all 16 in stock and found all were “C” panels 🙁 .

HN also had a look ‘over the phone’ and told me they were all “C” panels as well –

Domayne? – well – I must admit I had given up at that time. They seemed a little to snowed under given their current sale – but all indications from Whirpool are that we ain’t gonna’ get an S panel soon.

By this stage I had also learnt more. The Samsung is – in fact – a 6 bit panel – it has limited colour display capabilities and has to rely on dithering for the others. Probably NOT ideal for a keen photographer – although HUGELY popular with the gaming fraternity because of its speed and price.

FWIW IF I was to get the Samsung, it looks like the C panel is probably ok – see this site – it has custom colour profiles that correct the factory defaults…

However, I decided I wanted an 8 bit panel and also that I would REALLY like a 24 inch one 🙂

Looking around I am about to Buy a Dell 2407WFP 24 inch wide screen. It is 8 bit and has good reviews – also pricey compared to the others – BUT I hope it will do for several years.

Need to buy it direct of course – ce ‘est la vie.

Summary – Samsung widely available in Canberra – seem all are C panels. Looks best for keen gamers ( or rather – NOT for keen photographers). Getting a 24 inch dell :-).

By the way – anyone HERE got a monitor calibration tool – like the Spyder2 or similar? Would love to borrow it when the new monitor arrives 🙂

I gotta get a life lol.

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Oh, I just realised el, I thought you were saying Mac OS demands wide screen. You were asking.

Personally, I think Mac OS works best with wide screen. Given that iMac, Cinema displays and Mactops (mac laptops), Apple would seem to agree. But I haven’t seen MacOS run on a normal display so I wouldn’t really say MacOS demands it. More that MacOS works best with it.

I agree el. And if your one of the 2% of people who use Vista, then that also requires it.

I am a little disappointed with the Apple Cinema Displays. I wouldn’t use them for digital imaging. They seem to lack sharpness, contrast and adjust-ability compared to the Dells and Samsungs. Especially since my iMac has such a brilliant display.

Soulman, cintique? I know about those and would not recommend them. For one, they cost heaps, well over two thousand. They are comparatively small for the price, lack the specs of a dedicated tablet and have an appalling contrast ratio of 400:1.
Quattos though are good. I used several when I was working at the National Library. Very accurate, but very expensive. Certainly out of my reach.

MacOS demands widescreen?

i looked and shopped around for weeks before finding 7 Star, upstairs, ANU Refectory.
Great prices – Great Service

Ahem! NOT dated – experienced :-} (and I’m stickin’ to that story!!)

Bonfire & Tack – you guys have just severely dated yourselves with that talk of vaxes. Punch cards!?! ROFL!

-The current top picks for good quality LCDS at a good price are (based on PC User, APC Mag and my own testing): Samsung, HP and Dell.
-Dell offer a lot of bang for your buck but can be expensive. Dell’s are not very good quality though with dead pixels a problem and poor warranty support.
-Samsung, my favourites, make good quality screens. Stay away from the sub$350 displays, poor colour quality. Anything above this will typically have great colour and contrast with a fast responce time that is ideal for gaming.
-HP make some good displays, but limited availability in Canberra.

-If you buy an LCD, seriously consider buying a screen calibration kit. Lite versions start at $99 and will ensure accurate colour on your display.

-For a riveting experience, consider buying twin 19 or 22″ displays and using a special dual display stand from Harris Technology. It is much cheaper than getting a single 30″ display.

-Apple Cinema displays are not worth the extra cash. The best one requires a graphics card worth over a thousand dollars.

– If you have spare dosh, consider a specialist graphics display such as those from Quato or Wacom’s CINTIQUE touch sensitive displays. 22″ cintique’s allow you to touch the screen to edit photos, no mouse and very accurate.

– BUY WIDESCREEN OR TWO DISPLAYS, don’t restrict yourself to the old 4×3. Windows Vista and Mac OS demand widescreen and you’ll enjoy it for watching DVDs and gaming.

-If buying above 19″, watch the resolution. While it may costs more, try to get a display with full 1920×1080 resolution. Large displays with smaller resolutions look poor, blurred and lack detail. IF you can’t stretch for a large high res display, go for two 19″ high res displays instead.

– If you want to run two displays, get a graphics card with dual DVI.

Hi Bonfire – I know what your team means about using CRTs for photo work – thats why I have been avoiding LCDs for so long – My take on it is that they are now advanced enough to display a good and accurate colour palate. Perhaps NOT as good as CRT (there are hundreds – if not thousands of opinions on the web about this!) but certainly adequate for my need 🙂

As for the Vaxes – lol – remember the PDP 11-10’s? Mark sense or punch cards and hard copy printout !! 🙂

the publishing people here insist on a crt for their photo work.

most of us have dual 19inch lcd’s on our desks.

many years ago i worked at a place where i had 9 screens in front and above me. all crt. two keyboards, two mice.

running off vaxes.

ahhh the good old days.

Computer Fair can’t be beat.

Yep, I agree – if you don’t want to buy Dell (or one of the others who only sell direct), then do your homework (which you appear to have done), and get yourself to a computer fair.

For future reference, I can recommend Stonebridge Computing http://www.stonebridgecomputing.com.au. Although based in Sydney they are fast, reliable and have a good range of products. They don’t have a shopfront – you browse, order and pay online – so the prices are really good as they have few overheads. Sure its not for everyone but if you know what you are after its worth checking them out.

Sometimes there are coupon codes for the dell on the net.. You save about 5% if you choose the dell

LOL – thanks team – as far as not knowing what I want – Guess you HAD a point there.
I knew I wanted an LCD, I wanted good colour. Wasn’t sure on size. Photography mainly – and I couldn’t justify an EIZO!
Guess the difference between panel types ( 6 v 8 bit, S-ips, P-mva etc etc) was a steep learning curve. Have spent around 24 hours (real time – over 5 days) trawling every board and site I could find looking for information and recommendations.
I DO look in the computer fairs often enough – BUT you need to know before you get there what you want/price/etc. AND I doubt they will let you open and inspect THERE AND THEN the panel stickers to determine panel types before you commit!
My point in all this – the Samsung is very popular (for good reason) and as I have done the local legwork (in the shops admittedly) thought the info may help other obsessives – I have committed to the Dell at a good price 🙂 Tyre kicker/Cheapest price – OUCH! No – although all things being equal I will pay less than more – HOWEVER I do factor in things like convenience and service.
For example – Harris Tech were great and they will get my custom in the future.

adeptacheese11:46 am 12 Jun 07

you need to stop looking in shops and get yourself off to the computer fair.

If you are serious about photography then trawl the photography sites and find a monitor that meets your needs based on reviews there.

If you are serious about gaming then trawl the gaming sites and find a monitor that meets your needs based on reviews there.

However as you appear to be a typical IT tyre kicker that doesn’t seem to know exactly what you really want but whatever it is you want for the cheapest price then try the local Computer Markets 😛

2407WPF has a few bonuses…
PIP or PBP if you need it..
Which means it has different inputs, like s-vid component, composite, vga, dvi. So you can use it as a tv too.. if you have something for sound.
Big difference over a CRT and you better make sure you have the room. As the usb and card reader is on the left side..

Try Bruce at Home Computer Centre in Mawson. He is competitively priced for anything he’s got and is one of the most honest business people I have dealt with.

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