Introduction

Let's be honest: we like big displays. Given the choice between any two computer LCDs, we would almost invariably take the larger display - provided that price isn't an overriding concern, naturally. That being the case, and looking at the current prices of LCDs, we have a serious problem even considering anything smaller than a 20" LCD. The difference in price between a 17" LCD and a 22" LCD can be as little as $75, and by the time you're looking at reasonable quality displays, the price difference can narrow even more. Widescreen displays are the trend these days, which is all the more reason to get something a bit larger if possible - note that in terms of screen surface area, a 19" widescreen is actually slightly smaller than a standard 19" 5:4 aspect ratio LCD.

It wasn't all that long ago that a typical 20" LCD could cost well over $500. After watching 20-22" CRTs bottom out at around $500 for more than five years, you certainly won't find us complaining about LCD prices dropping by 30% or more per year! There is a point of diminishing returns, however, and it's quite difficult to find any size LCD for under $150. Should you go out and purchase the least expensive (and probably lowest quality) LCD you can find for $150, or is it better to spend a bit more money to get one of the larger displays? Considering that the display is what you're actually spending all of your time looking at when you use a computer, we continue to recommend that you spend more rather than less money on that particular component, and the fact that a good quality display can last through several computer upgrades is merely one more reason to do so.


We're looking at HP's 22" w2207 display today, which at $360 costs quite a bit more than the entry level 22" LCDs on the market. We previously looked at one such monitor, the Acer AL2216W that currently sells for $230, so one of the first questions we need to answer is what exactly the w2207 provides that the Acer lacks. Other than a few extra features, we also need to look at performance, but for less demanding users we feel pretty confident in stating that you'll be hard-pressed to find an extra $130 of value in the HP offering. What about those of you who aren't so easy to please - is there a case to be made for the HP w2207? Let's find out....

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  • Bjoern77 - Thursday, August 02, 2007 - link

    You'll find that Monitor to be very popular in Europe, specially Germany due to it's low price.
    Well - low price compared to other monitors.

    EG, the Dell 2407 WFP HC is supposed to cost around 1000$ here, the older version is on "sale" for about 850$. If i see the US-Prices for tfts...ouch. Same goes for a lot of other monitors. The HP is the first i noticed on the us markt which seem to be on a European price level, which, i assume, is at least 25% higher.
    Reply
  • trajan - Wednesday, August 01, 2007 - link

    The one thing I immediately noticed from the review was the difference between the Gateway 24" and the Dell 24". I've never seen these ratings before -- it looks like in most catagories the Gateway is superior. Am I reading this right? I thought the Dell was the hands down 24" champion! Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, August 01, 2007 - link

    The Gateway has a brighter backlight, but in most other areas I felt the 2407WFP and the FPD2485W were about the same. I prefer the appearance of the Dell LCD over the Gateway LCD, and the extremely bright backlight on the Gateway means that you usually have to spend more time tuning things if you don't want to be blinded. If you had them both set to the same intensity, however, I don't think most people would be able to tell the difference between the panels. Reply
  • nilepez - Wednesday, August 01, 2007 - link

    I'm still using an old CRT, and I don't know why one would compare at a monitor with a max resolution of 1600x1050 to a CRT that was likely capable at least 1800x1440 and 1920x1440 was fairly common. Mine goes higher, but the refresh rate is too slow at that point.

    I personally think that the 24" displays are the first ones that are comparable to 21" monitors. The 22" monitors are more comparable to some of the better 19" monitors (though I suppose there may have been crappy 21" monitors with a max usable res of 16x12.

    I personally wish I could justify the 30" monitors, but at current prices, I'd be better off going dual monitor with 2 24" models (desktop space is king :) )
    Reply
  • Jodiuh - Wednesday, August 01, 2007 - link

    Have you seen a nice 20in S-IPS next to your old CRT? I have an older 19in CRT and it pales in comparison to the NEC or Dell panels. Reply
  • yyrkoon - Thursday, August 02, 2007 - link

    I had a professional grade 21" CRT next to my 19" WS LCD, and I have to say that the LCD is much, MUCH better for vibrance/image sharpness. The LCD to boot was also 1/5th-1/6th the cost of the 21" CRT . . . Reply
  • nilepez - Wednesday, August 01, 2007 - link

    Probably not, given that most stores carry crappy monitors, but I'm really not willing give up real estate to move to a flat screen.

    even at 1920x1440, I feel cramped if I'm I've got more than 2 instances of jedit open (and I'd really like to have 4, and occasionally more, in most cases).

    24" monitors are the smallest monitors with sufficient resolution, although even then, my desktop shrink by almost 20%.
    Reply
  • Great Googly Moogly - Thursday, August 02, 2007 - link

    Well, it seems you're forgetting about pixel pitch. Those 1920x1200 24" have quite a high pixel pitch. Certainly a 20.1" LCD with a 1600x1200 resolution is better for you?

    The only LCDs with a decent pixel pitch not stuck in 1991 (seriously) are the 1280x1024 17" (too small, physically, though), 1600x1200 20.1" and the 2560x1600 30".

    The new 1920x1200 26-27" are really atrocious, and the most popular 1680x1050 22" is not up to my standards either--hence the main reason (out of many) why I'm still on an iiyama CRT. And if this trend is still going in a few years, we'll have 720p 40" computer monitors. And everyone will love them.

    So sick and tired of computer display tech going steady backwards since the 90s.
    Reply
  • jc44 - Thursday, August 02, 2007 - link

    To be fair 2001 was a good year for displays - IBM built the first T221s (24" 3840x2400) :-) 2006 was not such a good year - IBM ceased production of T221s with nothing even vaguely equivalent in sight from anybody :-(
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, August 02, 2007 - link

    Didn't they cost somewhere around $30,000? no wonder they disappeared. Reply

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