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  #1 (permalink)  
Old January 24, 2011, 07:38 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 4
Default Yet another "Which Monitor Should I Buy?" Thread

Hey there folks,

I'm a n00b to the world of displays. I freely admit this. I've used laptops exclusively for the last 9 years (when I started college) and haven't had a monitor until a month or so ago when I dug up an old CRT from a closet at my parent's house because the display on my Thinkpad gave out.

I also am in the United States, not Canada, but I figure quality of monitors is going to be the same even if we pay in different money, eh? ;)

I've done a lot of reading lately on what I want to buy and I've come to the conclusion that for most things IPS > VA > TN, but that TN shines in the world of online gaming. I'm open to anything (and I've posted this in a few places hoping to get a good vision of what I should do).

My monitor will be used for various things. Most notably a lot of work in Microsoft Office and Web Surfing, but I do also play games (SC2, WoW, Oblivion). I do not consider myself to be a hardcore gamer but a monitor that has bad "ghosting" or whatever would hardly be ideal given that I do play games often enough to want a good monitor for it. I'm building a new computer soon-ish and figure it's finally time to buy a monitor.

I've been looking primarily at the Dell U2211h, the Dell U2311h, and Dell 2209WA. These are all IPS panels (I think) that have great reviews and apparently reasonably good performance in games. However a few things have come up and I wanted to get the advice of the awesome people here.

(1) Can you really tell a difference in how an IPS vs. a TN panel looks just using the naked eye? I don't do serious photo work or anything, but if it's noticable in more than just viewing angles for games/movies/whatever then I will continue considering them. Otherwise I might be able to find a Dell P-series for cheaper.

(2) If I get a refurbished unit I can get a Dell U2311h for $200 it looks like -- but what kinds of risks are you likely to be taking going that route instead of new?

(3) I've been told twice now that a high resolution (1920x1080) in a monitor <24" is going to be a pain in the butt b/c things will be too small to see properly. That's why I was considering the 2209WA -- it has 1680x1050 instead, but I think I might regret not having HD in the future? Anyway I am looking in the 21.5"-24" range but is 1080p going to strain a normal person's eyes?

(4) I want to keep this under $250 if possible.

(5) If I go the TN route to save money what do you all think about LED backlighting? I tend to think it looks better but I don't really know about the pros and cons, and the internet is a hotbed of conflicting information.

(6) I've been looking at Dell because I like all the swivel options the monitors have as well as the matte display and bezel. I am open to other options but would slightly prefer Dell (they have so many "series" of monitors, from ST to SX, S, E, U, P, and whatever else, and I can't find a good comparison tool to tell me the difference, so if anyone can give me a rundown there of specs that'd be amazing).

(7) Help me pick a monitor? I know that most folks aren't going to want to go through all of those questions and help me out, but anything anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated.

I hope that was everything I needed to ask, hah!

Thanks in advance guys,
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old January 25, 2011, 08:56 AM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 304

My System Specs


I got a Hannspree 25" widescreen and I have been very happy with the display, the size, and the price. High Def, HDMI connector. Watched my first blue ray on it. Looked good to me for $200. Sorry don't know the diff between IPS and TN displays.

Newegg.com - Hannspree By Hanns-G HF-259HPB Black 25&#34; Full HD HDMI WideScreen LCD Monitor w&#47;Speakers 400 cd&#47;m2 3000&#58;1
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old January 25, 2011, 12:45 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 4

Thanks man. Monitor at 25" might be slightly large for me, but glad you are liking it.

Sorry for writing a book about this everyone. I have tried to figure most of this out via google (and I can't find any IPS monitors to physically go look at -- in stores or with friends) but with limited success and was looking for some first-hand info.

Haha, I realize it might have been a bit too long to read though, hah.

Cheers! And thanks again!
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old January 25, 2011, 02:08 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Kitchener/Stoney Creek
Posts: 43

buying a new monitor now, personally id never buy one that is less then 1080p. there is a difference between TN and IPS, i have one of each side by side, and there is an image quality difference in the IPS. hard to explain, but the colours on an IPS panel are just awesome. id get one of the dells you listed to be honest, you cant really go wrong. you can always wait for the monitor you want to go on sale as dell always has great sales. i picked up my u2711 from dell.ca for 780 bucks, it was 600 off so they do put some things up for awesome savings

i think of the 3 dells you listed, id get the u2311h
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old January 25, 2011, 02:26 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 13

Yes, you can really truly tell the difference between a TN and S-IPS panel, especially when you move your head and get no colour shift. Even though the refresh rate isn't up to TN-panel speed, I'd never give mine up! I got one of the HP 2065s two years ago....played the panel roulette and did end up with the S-IPS version. Lol, I have the thing 20 inches from my face, and sometimes find myself leaning in even closer (about 14 inches away) and it's still perfect. I do alot of photo editing so the size of this monitor is perfect for me, it's only a 20.5" monitor (4:3 1600x1200 resolution).

Was funny, I got it just after the panel makers were fined millions of dollars for price fixing panels. There was starting to be a big divide at that time, to all TN for the 'consumer' monitors because everyone wanted very fast refresh rates even though that doesn't add up to picture quality. It was heading to the point of all TN for reasonably priced monitors and $1000+ for anything S-IPS. Fortunately it didn't quite shake out that way, but S-IPS is still expensive. This 20.5 inch monitor was a little over $500.00 two years ago.

Last edited by ToxicStorm; January 25, 2011 at 02:30 PM. Reason: typo hell
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old January 25, 2011, 10:11 PM
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 140

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Keep in mind that the 2209wa is now discontinued, but I typically see them used for ~$200CAD. A high resolution panel in a small size may or may not strain your eyes, it still depends on how far you sit from the monitor and how your eyes work. I sit typically 1m away from my three 2209wa monitors and my eyes feel fine. LED backlit monitors will use less power than ccfl monitors and will typically produce less heat, if that's a concern to you.
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old January 25, 2011, 11:22 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Burnaby, BC
Posts: 167

Having swapped panels over nine thousand times, I can certainly tell you there is a difference between TN and IPS. Not going to go through that though. You probably want to swing for the 2311H for full 1080p support. I personally despise 16:9 but that's the unfortunate way the industry is going. Since the 2209WA is discontinued, it will be difficult to source. There's that drawback in addition to the lower resolution. Going from a 1920/1200 panel to a 1680/1050 is quite weird. You don't realize how useful the extra virtual real estate is till you don't have it (vice versa). The more information you can shove onto your panel, the more productive you (likely) are.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old January 26, 2011, 02:58 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 4

Thanks much guys.

You're probably right about the smaller resolution being disconcerting if one is used to the larger one. I'm tempted to just go with the U2211h deal on Dell's eBay store for $200 and call it good.

I can always magnify the text or something on the screen if it's too small to see clearly.

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  #9 (permalink)  
Old January 26, 2011, 11:28 AM
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i have the 2311u and love it to bits. I have also had lots of different lcd's (everything from my 17" philips to a monsterous 30" dell. ) and yes you do see a difference with IPS. Basically.

Better IMage quality, Nicer colors = IPS
Not as visually nice, but blazing quick response time = TN

Also i haven't had any issue with gaming on my IPS panel. Not to mention the 2x11 series are probably one of the more affordable IPS based panels available currently.
and now for something completely different

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