I'm looking for a flat-panel monitor...

For a while now, I’ve been thinking about getting a flat-panel monitor for my computer. I’ve noticed that there’s quite a range in price, and some of the brands (like Mag) seem suspiciously cheap, while others (like NG) seem rather expensive. I’d like to know what people’s experiences are, good and bad, with the various brands of LCD monitors. I want a good quality monitor, and I’m willing to pay for it, but my budget is not unlimited. Any brands that are top-notch? Any that I should run away from screaming?

A few specific issues: How big of a problem is faulty pixels? The guy at the computer store mentioned some sort of extra warranty I could buy in case I get one. Is this sort of insurance worth it? Also, I’ve heard that some LCD monitors have problems with fast-moving graphics (like some games). Should a new monitor be OK with this, or is it still a concern?

BTW, I’m thinking that a 19" monitor is the size I want. My video card is a Radeon 9800, and it can accept that new style of plug that flat panel monitors use, so hopefully I’m OK with my video card.

Personally, I hate them. We use them at work (I forget the brands, but I do know they cost $500 apiece. Why TPTB think management needs to know the equipment costs I don’t know. We don’t request or order equipment…) and until we started using them a little over a year ago, I never had eye-strain. Since then I’ve had it twice. Granted, it has to do with the poor quality scans of handwriting that one of the imaging programs utilizes, but the same quality image on a CRT monitor the previous two years we used those images didn’t harm my eyes as much. If it was just me I’d shrug it off thinking that my eyes are getting weaker, but when it’s a couple dozen people making the same complaint…we all find the websites touting flat screens as a way to reduce eye-strain to be very funny.

When I bought a computer last summer, it took a long time to find a package that met my specs - and didn’t come with a flat screen monitor. I’ll stick with CRT, thanks.

I almost started an identitical thread . . . now I’ll just subscribe to this one. :slight_smile: I’m pretty sure that my current monitor is a 17" – they’re measured on the diagonal, right? – so I’ll be looking to replace it with either a 17" or 19" LCD.

I’m not terribly concerned about eye strain, because it’ll be at home and I won’t be spending 8 hours a day looking at it. I’m not sure whether to be concerned about the potential fast-moving-graphics issue, though: I’m not a gamer, but would that possibly affect the quality of video files?

Tell me more about this new plug . . . short of calling Dell, is there a way for me to tell whether I’ll be able to use a flat-panel monitor with my existing system? I have an NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 440 with AGP8X, if that helps.

I have a GEM 19" flat panel, Model GL1920B. I bought it in January of 2003, and it works great. I have played EQ and WoW on it, and although it’s not as nice as my $1000 21" CRT, I never saw anything that made me think it was unsuitable.

I paid about $260 for it, and I think the price is still right around there.

I’d give the thing 5/5 stars and would get another from GEM in a heartbeat.

I love my Samsung 213T monitor. 1600x1200 is a lot of pixels! The swivel feature is especially nice - portrait mode is great for web surfing and word processing (you can fill up the monitor with one entire page of a document). I haven’t noticed any dead pixels. I think I paid over $1000 a year ago, and now it sells for $740.

One very important thing about LCD monitors: choose one that has a DVI input. That’s the “new type of plug” you mentioned - not all LCD monitors have them, but it makes a huge difference in image quality.

Another thing I noticed - some LCD monitors have a very narrow range of angles from which the screen looks good. Move your head just a little to the side and the screen gets much darker and/or lower contrast. My new laptop (Dell Inspiron 9300) is like that. The Samsung is much more pleasent to use.

I’m not a gamer so I’m not sure about response time for gaming. I do notice some blur when I play DVD movies, but it’s not bad enough to be distracting. YMMV.

I just got a Samsung SyncMaster 213T when it had a nice rebate going on. It’s a real beauty; display is super sharp with great colors.

Another vote for the Samsung 213T.
FTR my was $650 less a $100 rebate.

I just bought a Samsung SyncMaster 730B monitor this past weekend at Best Buy for $249 after rebates. So far I’m liking it a lot. It has both analog and DVI inputs and an 8 millisecond response time, so ghosting of moving images is almost non-existent. If you’re in the market for a 17" LCD monitor for under $250, I think that you could do a lot worse than this baby.

Samsung SyncMaster 715v. Got it for a little bit over $300 CND. It ghosts a bit with a 24ms response time, but overall I’m very happy with it. Speaking from experience, I used to get headaches a lot with my CRT. Weekly depending on time spent infront of my computer. With the LCD, both eyestrain and migraine headaches have been reduced by at least 80%. I won’t ever go back to CRT for that reason alone.

As for gaming, I play half-life 2 and unreal on my machine (ATI 9800 all in wonder card) and really the difference between LCD and CRT doesn’t bother me. CRT is better for hardcore gamers, but for regualr folk, LCD is more than fine.

I bought Dell’s “UltraSharp” 1905FP 19" LCD monitor because I needed more desk space, and at my last job, we used the same model at work and got an employee discount. I liked it so much that I bought a second one so that I can use Mac & PC at the same time without using a switch.

They work great, look great, and I’m really happy with them. No dead pixels, bright, crisp picture, no eye strain, and 4 extra USB ports on each. Every game that I’ve thrown at it has worked fine (most demanding are probably Half-Life 2, World of Warcraft, and FarCry) – you can see a little bit of the tearing/refresh problems that you hear about, but only if I’m looking for it, and it’s not enough to concern me.