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tinapa (TechnicalUser) (OP)
23 Sep 09 15:10
hi guys, can you please give me some advice of a good desktop monitor that i can use in portrait mode. their brand/model.

thanks.
kjv1611 (TechnicalUser)
24 Sep 09 8:53
I'd suggest you provide more info if you want some good advice.  What budget?  What size?  LCD/CRT desired?  What is the use?  I'm assuming photo/image work.. that sort of thing..

--

"If to err is human, then I must be some kind of human!" -Me

tinapa (TechnicalUser) (OP)
24 Sep 09 17:24
sorry kjv1611, i was not so specific.

-price should be around $200-350.

-size: 19-24"

-LCD

-yes, for photo/image thing.

tnx
ArizonaGeek (IS/IT--Management)
24 Sep 09 17:46
I don't have a specific monitor to tell you about, but do your research and you should be fine. I guess it is all about the manufacture warranty. If you buy a Dell or an Apple display or a Samsung ... you are buying a brand name and some of the cheaper ones might be ok but I am just the type that would prefer something with some force behind the name. Doesn't always work out for me but it helps.

Whatever brand you get you want to get the best contrast ratio (1,000:1 or better) and response time (5ms or better) you can find, you want DVI for doing graphics I wouldn't even consider VGA.

The biggest thing is to buy a decent calibration tool, that will help with any color calibration you'll need to do and depending on how much you use your monitor for graphics you can calibrate it every week or every month or every few months and it only takes about 10 minutes or so. For doing heavy graphics manipulation, this is a must!

Good luck!

Cheers
Rob

The answer is always "PEBKAC!"

Helpful Member!(4)  AnotherHiggins (TechnicalUser)
25 Sep 09 12:24
Hi there, tinapa. I'm a photography enthusiast who is getting more into post-processing. (I prefer to do things right when taking the shot to minimize the need, but it's really helpful to be able to do work in post.) I mention that because I'm familiar with what features you'll want in a monitor.

I'll first mention the following because I had a very similar question from a friend at work recently.... She did not realize that you can use ANY monitor in portrait. The monitor just displays what the video card tells it to. The only thing you have to worry about is whether you have a stand that allows you to rotate the monitor. I just want to make sure you know that.

And as for the stand, I bought the same after-market stand for both a 24" at home and a 22" at work. Here's the stand I use. Its very cheap (It was actually only $35 when I got mine) and handles the weight of my 24" just fine.

No one has yet pointed out the single most important thing you'll need to be aware of if you want to do image editing.... The type of LCD panel.

There are three types that you'll look at:
  • Twisted Nematic (TN)
  • In-Plane Switching (IPS)
  • Vertical alignment (VA)
    • Multi-domain Vertical Alignment (MVA)
    • Patterned Vertical Alignment (PVA)
There's plenty of information available on Wikipedia (LCD, TFT LCD), so I'll just cover a couple.

    TN
I'll say right off the bat that you do NOT want one of these. TNs are the cheapest panels, so it shouldn't be surprising that most LCDs on the market are TN panels. That's the only reason I'm going into detail about them. Again, avoid TN panels.

The biggest benefits of TN panels are their cheap price tag and their fast response time.

But I'll have to strongly disagree with ArizonaGeek on the importance of response time in your case. Unless you're a gamer or want to watch action movies on your computer, response time doesn't really matter. And if you do want to do those things, you'll need to decide which is your priority. (NOTE: Even when picking a different panel type, you'll probably still wind up with a response time around 5-6ms, so it's not as if your image editing monitor would be completely unacceptable for other activities.)

More than that, because any monitor you find with a response time of 2ms will have a TN panel, you specifically do not want to shop for the fastest response time you can find.

That's because you want to do image editing, and TN panels are terrible for image editing. Why? Because the image quality varies depending on the angle from which you're viewing the monitor in two important ways. Most importantly, you'll see color variation in images. Also, if you were to view an excel spreadsheet on a TN panel you'd notice that the lines that make up the cell borders are not entirely straight.... They bend slightly when viewed on a TN panel.

These abortions are worse vertically than horizontally (when viewing the monitor in landscape). With a monitor as big as 24", you can actually see color fluctuations without changing the viewing angle. The color-shift isn't extremely noticeable, but it's unacceptable if you want to do image editing.

So, no TN panels for you!

    IPS
Whether you know it or not, you'd love to have an IPS monitor. But I doubt you'll find one in your price range.

They have excellent viewing angles and color reproduction. They were once known to have low contrast-ratio and slow response times, but recent models have closed the gap with other panel-types.

Apple Cinema displays and some high-end Dells have this type of panel, so you're not always just paying for the brand name.... though I'm sure the 'Apple tax' makes up part of their high price. Unfortunately they cost several hundred dollars.

    VA
Here's what you really want to look for
. This seems to be the 'sweet spot' balancing price and performance. Good viewing angles, good color-reproduction, good black-depth and decent response times (about 5ms).

I have a 24" SOYO Topaz S that I got from Office Max over 1.5 years ago for about $275 that has a VA panel and I've been very happy with it. It's a 'no-name' brand, but the price was definitely right. Unfortunately, Soyo has gone out of business. But I've seen some of their monitors for good prices just recently (example)

But beware - the same company later released a version of the same model that has a TN panel....

    Wrap up
....which is the real problem - You'll very, very rarely see the panel-type listed anywhere in the specs of a monitor.

It's really aggravating when you're shopping for a good monitor for graphics work.

Here are a couple of tips:
  • Avoid anything with a 2ms response time - they're sure to be TN panels
  • When you find a model you're interested in, research online to see if others who are way-into this stuff have figured out the panel type based on specs
  • Watch 'deal-sites'* for well-rated deals on monitors and read replies in those threads. Someone will usually post the panel type


  • *I like SlickDeals.net and FatWallet.com. On either site, just go to the search at the top right and try searches such as "lcd monitor" or "24 lcd".  

    -John
        The plural of anecdote is not data

    Help us help you. Please read FAQ 181-2886 before posting.

    JimInKS (MIS)
    25 Sep 09 12:57
    I have to agree with John on monitor type, you do not want a TN panel. The one spec that is normally published that is a good clue as to the panel type is viewing angle (besides the price).  If it is 178 deg (or close to that) it is probably not a TN panel.

    Also, if you get a large enough monitor you will probably not want to use it in portrait mode.  This HP is well built and I really like it:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824176104

    A lot cheaper, these look pretty interesting. I don't have any experience with this particular monitor, but I do like Samsung's:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824001332
    or
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824001333



     
    tinapa (TechnicalUser) (OP)
    25 Sep 09 15:35
    thanks to ArizonaGeek and to kjv1611.

    and most especially to JimInKS for some sample and anotherhiggins for such a comprehensive explanation.

    guys, have a nice weekend!
    ArizonaGeek (IS/IT--Management)
    25 Sep 09 16:35
    Well I was speaking from a general point of view but John you hit the ball out of the park. I love it when I can learn something new. And I am just getting into photography and there is just so much to learn.

    Another star for ya!

    Cheers
    Rob

    The answer is always "PEBKAC!"

    BionicJohn (TechnicalUser)
    25 Sep 09 18:55
    FWIW: I use a cheap and cheerful 17" HP LCD (HP1740?) everyday in portrait mode. It's just make more sense when reading pages of portrait A4 for a living, as the pages fit neatly on the screen and reduce scrolling.

    Outlook is easily personalised to fit, though webpages don;t always appear as the designers intended.

    The screen rotates easily through 90° and a hotkey combination changes the display accordingly.   

    The HP's not top notch but it's fine for factory use, and been faultless for over 3 years.

    Liverpool: Capital of Culture 2008
    Anfield: Capital of Football since 1892
    Iechyd da! John
    Glannau Mersi, Lloegr.

    kjv1611 (TechnicalUser)
    28 Sep 09 8:05
    I definitely agree with John on the very specific details he gives for a photo monitor.  We recently had a person in here ask for advice, and walked through his whole PC rebuilding process, and listed what monitor he went with.  However, his monitor was well outside your budget if I recall.  :0)

    My younger brother now works in the Video Games industry, specifically in the graphics portion for some of the latest high-end 3d FPS computer games.  Pretty exciting for a computer geek, I have to say!

    Anyhow, he told me about all of this stuff, just as John mentioned.  One thing as well to keep in mind is that if you have to give up a little bit of refresh rate for color quality/correctness, then it's worth it if your primary use is photography.  Generally - or at least it WAS this way - the panels John is mentioning for photography have been pretty slow on refresh times.  I think it's just been in the past couple years at most, that they've gotten as fast as the 5ms rates.

    Of course, I don't personally claim any expertise on monitors in that area, since my main concern is - "does it look good to me", and "can I afford it?"  WINK  And generally speaking, the "can I afford it" puts the more photo-centered monitors out of my reach.... for now.

    --

    "If to err is human, then I must be some kind of human!" -Me

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