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Monitor Matters - part 1 of 1 2 3

by Mike McNamee Published 01/10/2008

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The most frequently asked question we receive is, 'which monitor should I buy?' Like computers, they continue to fall in price and rise in performance. Sadly the performance, as measured by an increase in luminance, is of no help at all for graphics use! We looked for mid-price LCDs with more than 22 inch screens, and tested to see if they were capable of meeting professional graphics requirements.

Three monitors were tested, a 22" Samsung 223BW and two of the new Dell 2408WFP-A00, 24" models. In the Dell, the A00 is important because it has already been superceded and it is intended to swap out for the newer variant as soon as it is available (that was the deal!). With prices of 230 for the Samsung and 562 for the Dell (including VAT and delivery) they are in the mid-range of prices for graphics monitors and towards the higher end for general purpose use.

Our main criteria when testing were:

1. Colour Accuracy, as based upon auditing with Monaco Profiler, usingthe Macbeth swatch set.
2. The ability to operate at the required luminance level of around100cd/m2.
3. Sharpness.
4. Consistency across the monitor.
5. Viewing Angle.


The Samsung 223BW

Let's get this one out of the way first. In a nutshell it is suitable only for doing spreadsheets, typing letters and perhaps as a second screen to hold you Photoshop palettes (although there are cheaper ways of doing that). For serious work you can discard it. The gamut volume was well under sRGB, the error was high at 2.6?E Lab and the only way we could get the luminance low enough was by turning the individual RGB settings down which compromised the smoothness of the Granger Chart.

For the price, quite frankly you are entitled to more, so steer clear of this one!


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