SOLVED Need Inexpensive Monitor


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I currently have a Hanns-G HZ201 Monitor (1600x900@60Hz) running off of a Radeon HD 5570 video card that I'd like to upgrade. I tried upgrading the video card and it made things worse, so now its the monitor's turn.

Any suggestions for an inexpensive monitor (sub $140) to get rid of grainy text and window backgrounds would be greatly appreciated.
 
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TrainableMan

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Before you go buying new hardware there are a few things I suggest you try.

#1 Make sure the cable from the computer to the monitor is securely attached. If you have access to an alternate cable you might even consider trying that. And if you have any little adapters on the end of the cable you might try a different one of those. Why? In my experience, I have had a defective cable give everything a blue hue and I have had an HDMI adapter give everything a yellow hue.

... if you don't have spare parts then it is something to consider but I would still go ahead and try the following ideas:

- Open Windows Media Center. Go to Tasks ... settings, General ... Windows Media Center Setup ... Configure your TV or Monitor. Run through the settings until you get to "Adjust Display Controls". Run through the videos adjusting your monitor settings as explained till your picture is optimal.

- In the Orb search box type Cleartype then from the list run Adjust Cleartype text. Turn on cleartype text and then run through the settings picking the options that seem best for you.

If you set the last two things then I would test it out a day or so and see if that fixes it, but then if you still aren't satisfied you could look at the ease of access settings:
- Go to Control Panel > Ease of Access Center, Make the computer easier to see. You could try the high contrast setting (personally I hate it but it may be beneficial to you). But what really might help you is the section "make things on the screen easier to see". I suggest you try Remove Background Images and possibly Turn off all unnecessary animations.

As for suggesting a new monitor if you still aren't happy, personally I like 22inches or larger, and I like a resolution of 2048x1152 but many people don't like everything that small and could be happy with 1920x1080.
 
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Thanks for responding. I've been through all the settings you suggest, and the settings that come with the video card as well. Everything is setup for optimal display (including taking off anti-aliasing and video scaling).

All of these things help, but the graininess is still a problem. Yesterday, doing nothing but text work, I was straining to see the text after a few hours of work. As for size, I have a 20" monitor currently, and I'm thinking of going to around 23" with a display resolution of 1920x1080. What I'm looking for is specific recommendations for monitor brand / model.
 
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Core, Thank you for responding. I take it you have this monitor, or at least have used it (your Specs show an Acer G245H Monitor!). Tell me about the text and windows backgrounds... are they very sharp and clear?

Also, please tell me more about the IPS monitors....I've read they're prone to color bleeding, your experience is what?

Lastly, any concerns that the warranty is only 1 year, everybody else is 3 years?

Let me hear back from you, and again, my thanks for responding.
 

TrainableMan

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I could tell you my Samsung Syncmaster 2343BWX is an excellent monitor, clear and crisp, but the problem is that it is about 4 years old and they are hard to come by now. I read the reviews of a newer Samsung model more in your price range but in checking the reviews people were not happy that it cannot be mounted on a wall bracket and the stand is completely stationary, no tilt at all. The problem with LED monitors is the need to have the proper angle, I constantly tilt mine depending on if I am sitting up or lying down watching a movie.

I think you need to find models currently available and then seek out reviews, especially the criticisms. No personal experience but checking the reviews this HP 2311x, currently for $90 shipped to your nearest Best buy seems pretty good for the price. Maybe for your budget set up dual-monitors with 2 of these.

Also know that for the best monitor pricing in the USA is Thanksgiving & Black Friday, if you can wait that long.
 
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Core

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I don't have the monitor I linked to, I just chose it from NewEgg because it was within your price range, is an IPS, is FullHD, has a great review score, and is not an Acer.

The monitor I have now is an IPS panel, an Asus PA238Q. I love it. I still have the Acer G245H as a secondary monitor.

IPS are relatively prone to it, and mine is not an exception. I don't mind it though, personally; I only see the bleed if the background is all black and I look at it from an angle. It might bother some people, has not bothered me. The reason I bought this IPS panel was because the Acer, which is just an old TN, was hard on my eyes. I spend maybe 8-12 hours a day looking at the monitor, and the Acer would make my eyes very tired. I have none of that with the Asus. I also found it very annoying that leaning in any angle would cause parts of the monitor to darken. Also, color inaccuracy was a problem.

I'd have recommended the Asus, but it wasn't in the range you specified.
 
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Thank you TrainableMan. Unfortunately my eyes and head can't wait the 7+ months till the holidays. So.... What do you think of Core's enthusiasm for IPS monitors? Worth the 'premium' price?

And I agree with your 'method' of shopping, I always go to the 1 egg (or star) ratings first, and I'm searching for reviews as well as recommendations.
 
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@Core: I hear you're big on the IPS panel. An HP panel describes the difference this way: " IPS technology delivers higher color fidelity than conventional TN (Twisted Nematic) panels. That means image and color consistency from almost any angle."

So my question is this: am I better off with the IPS or with a TN panel with a much higher contrast? I'm a wheelchair user, so there isn't much movement when I'm sitting, and I don't share the screen with anyone, so would I get much benefit from the IPS panel? As opposed to something that would give me sharper text and less 'grainy-sparkled' window backgrounds (the LG is 5M:1, others are 50M or 100M:1 contrast ratios)?


I ask this as I too am in front of my monitor for hours on end, but I usually have windows open, as opposed to my photos
(wallpaper).

 

TrainableMan

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Well I haven't kept up with monitor tech so I had to look it up. Apparently the benefit of IPS monitors is better viewing at angles which is why, years ago, I put a plasma TV in the living room rather than an LED but for my desk I'm fine with tilting and turning an LED to my needs.

For me price is a big consideration so I would have to at least try the $90 HP I linked above before I paid twice that. For me a Bestbuy isn't that far away so it would be easy to return if it didn't meet my needs.
 

Core

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So my question is this: am I better off with the IPS or with a TN panel with a much higher contrast? I'm a wheelchair user, so there isn't much movement when I'm sitting, and I don't share the screen with anyone, so would I get much benefit from the IPS panel? As opposed to something that would give me sharper text and less 'grainy-sparkled' window backgrounds (the LG is 5M:1, others are 50M or 100M:1 contrast ratios)?
Those are dynamic contrast ratios which are an advertising gimmick and provide zero actual benefit in terms of the contrast or clarity of the display. Very rarely do manufacturers report the static contrast ratio because it's an unimpressive number, and certainly max 1200:1 for TN panels.

The problem with cheap monitors is that they are just that: cheap. They may have a nice glossy image or the response time is so fast they games look smooth on them. The problem is that almost invariably it is the old-fashioned black text on white background that does not look at all good on them when you write a lot or deal with a lot of documents. Although I do play some games, and knew that they might not look as fluid on an IPS as they would on a high quality TN panel, I bought an IPS anyway because I deal with text documents, code, and spreadsheets more than I do with image processing or games, and the one display I had used by then that did not make my eyes tired was an iMac with an IPS panel. It was the only reason I shopped for a new monitor.

This worked for me. Doesn't mean it's the best thing for you. Everyone's needs are different. I realize that you are on a budget, so I've tried to have my answers and my suggestion reflect that. I would rather not recommend any product at all than one which might be too much of a gamble in terms of whether or not it would be an improvement over what you already have. You specifically mentioned grainy text in your original post, which is why I thought your needs were similar to mine.
 
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@TrainableMan: I agree with you that price is a big consideration, but not the only one. The HP monitor you linked to is great except in one respect - its contrast ratio is only 3M:1, the higher price monitors have contrast ratios from 5M up to 100M:1. And as I asked Core, I'm concerned that my contrast ratio be as high as I can afford, even if I have to spend the extra $50 to do so.
 
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@Core: Thank you for your response. Please don't hear my questions as doubting you, they are asked merely as they occur to me, solely to get information.

I too have seen the different contrast numbers and wish they'd stick to one or the other. My current Hanns-G has a contrast rating of 1000:1, and I still have trouble.
 

TrainableMan

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Well for me that store is close enough that I could go check it out and see if it meets my needs (assuming they have them in stock). Especially for something that is so clearly important to you, reviews are good but actually seeing it for real is better. Of course even the neon lighting of the store will be different then how it looks at home.

Off-topic and specifically for the store I mentioned, I would note that I have had the experience where they had an item I wanted in-stock but the online price was cheaper and they could not match it. But they were more than willing to let me log in to their website right there inside the store, pay for it by credit card, and pick it up at the counter about 2 minutes later.
 
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@Core: Bad news. I found this review on the newegg for that "nice find" monitor I thought I had -
"Cons: Text is HORRIBLE on anything: browser, email, and programs (Excel, Word). [T]his monitor is horrible for anyone who has to do any kind of 'productivity' work (that is, text based) on it.".

Another comment read -
"Cons: As another reviewer mentioned, there's what appears to be a haze over the screen. Looks like the screen is dirty all the time. Pixels seem to bleed together. Not what I expected at all. Very distracting and very annoying.
Luckily I didn't get one with backlight bleed like others have complained about.
Stand is so wobbly it's a joke. As I sit here typing the screen is bouncing back and forth.".

Back to thinking about the LG monitor you found to begin with. Big Sigh.
 
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What do people think about a refurbished IPS monitor? For the price of a new 21.5" monitor, I can get a 23" one, same "everything", just the size increase (all other specs identical).

Do I trust a refurbished monitor? Some things I'd trust no question (like my refurbished hard drive and system clone drive), the question is whether a monitor is also one of those.

Any opinions appreciated.
 
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Core

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I don't have a problem buying refurbished, so long as there is some warranty of some kind as there is with a new product.

And 23" certainly is very nice.
 
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@Core: Well, I bit the bullet and ordered the new (smaller) monitor, for two reasons.

1) Primarily because the refurbished monitor was return for replacement only, no refund possible. And while I certainly hope I don't want to return it, I'm unwilling to risk that amount of money with no refund possible.

2) The dot pitch size on the new monitor was decidedly smaller - .246 vs .267.

So for those two reasons, I went with the new (smaller) monitor. Here's hoping I made the 'right' choice! It'll be here early next week, and I'll keep people posted and how it all works (out!).

And my thanks again for all the input.
 
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