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Shopping for an LCD Monitor


Pyro_Monty
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Hey, I'm looking for a new monitor for use with a "word processing" machine that I'll use in my flat at uni this year. Desk space is at a real premium, so I won't be able to take either my 17" or 19" CRT gaming monitors. I've got no more than £300 ($540) to spend on the monitor, so I'm looking for either a 15" or maybe 17" screen.

To be honest, I'd rather get a nice-looking, high-quality 15" monitor than a cheap 17" because, as I say, I'm not worried about the size, more about my eyesight (and saving a bit of money would be nice :P ).

What sorts of features should I be looking for on an LCD? I'm seeing things like "Contrast Ratio 400 : 1" and "16ms Response Time", though I don't know how good/bad any of that is.

If someone could point out basic minimum requirements or offer model suggestions that would be great.

Thanks in advance.

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This one is the king of LCD screens:

banner_lcd_fp767-v2.jpg

The first of our next-generation LCD monitors to offer a blazing 12ms response time, the BenQ FP767-12 was developed with the most demanding users in mind. With a 500:1 Ultra-High contrast ratio and a maximum resolution of 1280x1024, the FP767-12 delivers incredible clarity and lifelike color reproduction under the most demanding applications.

Only draw back is that it doesnt have a DVI socket which gives a kick a.rse picture, not that there is anything wrong with the normal one.

Just with the response times, 12MS is the best on the market, nearest is 16, but anything slower can create some annoying Ghosting in games etc.

I was to buy a new PC today, it would have that thing attached to it!

Blurb from BenQ

IS HERE

Aussie retailer HERE

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Yeah, cool, that is definitely an option. I see it on a UK site for £245 -- that's very good. However, like I say, this is not intended for gaming. I'll be using it on an offline mid-spec PC that I just want to look decent.

Edit -- Hang on, I was looking at the wrong model. So that one there's £328... that's still not bad, as far as I can tell.

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Since you don't care about response time or size you should be looking for viewing angle. Some LCDs you can't read unless you're at 90 degrees, there are some good ones that have a 170 degree viewing angle. Also you want a high contrast ratio, and high brightness. The Samsung SyncMaster 172T would be great for what you're looking for, I use them at work and have he complaints. I don't know the UK purchasing sites so I can't point you to any specific price.

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Alright, I think I'm ready to order.

I found that BenQ monitor on another of my preferred sites for about £40 less than that shown above. I had initially ruled it out, actually, because I'm trying to stick quite closely to my budget of £300, but at this new price it's a whole different story.

Unfortunately I couldn't find the Samsung at any decent UK sites (not for a good price, anyway), but thanks for the suggestion.

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My friend just bought a BenQ monitor with the exact design (except it had 16ms response time) here in Canada on sale for Cdn$450 and he's pretty happy with it. We tried watching some movies and played a few games and it looked good.

Only prob is that it had one half-dead pixel in the bottom right corner, that would show up red against a blue background or something like that.

But it's hard to find a larger LCD screen these days completely free of dead pixels.

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