Which 22-inch LCD Monitor to Take Home

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Not all of our readers are PC gamers, but bet all of them are reading this article on a PC. What better to see it with then a huge crystal clear 22-inch LCD monitor. ExtremeTech has a run down on seven 22-inch LCDs worthy of your consideration.

  • Samsung SyncMaster 225BW
  • ViewSonic VX2245wm ViewDock
  • Lenovo D221
  • ViewSonic VX2255wmb
  • LG Flatron L226WTQ-BF
  • Envision G22LWK
  • Acer X221W

Each of these specimens has its excellent features and possibly some minor flaws as well. For a thorough review of each monitor, Check out the review and comparison piece on ExtremeTech.

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16 Comments on Which 22-inch LCD Monitor to Take Home

Light

On October 2, 2007 at 8:08 pm

well i have the samsung monitor but its 17″. Got it for only $200

Steve

On October 2, 2007 at 8:27 pm

Avoid them all. Go out and buy an NEC 20WMGX2 before they are non-existant.

It’s el-cheapo TN Panel hell from here on out, folks.

Larry C

On October 2, 2007 at 9:23 pm

What’s special about the NEC? And what’s a TN Panel? Just curious!

Shawn Sines

On October 2, 2007 at 10:22 pm

Not having tested the NEC you’ll just have to take the author of the review’s word on it. However, I may be able to help you with the TN question.

Basically, a TN panel is a 6bit color panel that uses a dithering technique to mimic 8bit color while a S-PVA panel is a true 8bit color panel. The color is still very good on the 6bit TN panels, but if you want the highest quality, choose the more expensive S-PVA panel.

Steve

On October 3, 2007 at 3:58 am

The NEC I mentioned above (and formerly a short-lived Acer Ferrari panel) is the only AS-IPS panel in the market right now.

IPS is the better technology. It goes like this: IPS>PVA>TN

TN is the cheapest and has the worst image quality of the bunch.

PVA makes a few sacrifices (bad viewing angles) that lands it somewhere between TN and IPS in image quality.

Many of the newer panels (even the NEC above) use overdrive to give a faster reponse. That being said, speed is no longer the advantage of TN panels. They are all relatively fast. The only competing differences now are image quality (sans trivial features like PiP).

Also, keep in mine that 22″ is synonymous with TN right now. If it’s 22″, you can damn well guarantee it’s using a TN based panel.

You don’t start seeing S/M-PVA until 24″ or above (and I’m half scared TN will invade that market soon).

22″ panels also have the same number of pixels as the 20″ variants that preceded them: 1680×1050. 24″ panels are mostly 1920×1200. How does this matter? It means the 20″ and 22″ are offering the same # of pixels on screen. Thus, I wouldn’t shrugg off a slightly smaller 20” panel assuming you are getting more gaming experience. In fact, 22″ simply means larger pixels, thus larger dot pitch (you want a lower dot-pitch to some extent – and the 20″ I think had the perfect dot pitch). Lower dot-pitch = sharper image (to some extent).

Am I bashing the 22″ monitors? Not exactly. They are priced very aggressively. Probably TN’s single greatest feature is price. The problem I have with a 22” TN panel is that it’s 6+ year old technology that hasn’t gotten better. I have a 6 year old AU Optronics TN panel that when put side by side with the newer TN panels only lacks in a slight response time (16 ms) and size. All the bad things I hate are still there: backlight bleeding, poor blacks, poor color reproduction, just overall piss-poor sharpness. Granted, I paid about $500 for 17 inches of “faster” TN back then.

All I’m saying is you get what you pay for. Obviously the 22” monitors are more popular because of the pricetag, which leads me to believe people in general don’t care or don’t have a clue as what they are missing. NEC is ditching their awe-inspiring S-IPS panel for the cheaper 22”, because well… they’re eff’ing cheaper to make. Why support a niche crowd of image quality buffs when you can sell 4 times as many more dumbed downed panels? It’s backpedalling to me.

Looking at newegg, the NEC 20WMGX2 is down to $500 now. I originally paid about $750 for mine about a year ago. To me it’s worth the extra $100 investment for the gigantic leap in IQ. After they’re gone, the choices for thee sub 24” domain look grim.

Then again, once you own AS-IPS goodness w/ opticlear, you’ll get so spoiled that the mere thought of going back to TN will make you cringe. A dilemma I’m experiencing right now.

Larry C

On October 3, 2007 at 6:41 pm

Wow! Thanks so much for the VERY informative responses, guys! I’m definitely in the market for my very first lcd monitor now, and I was actually thinking 22″ or 24″, but with what you’ve said I am strongly considering the NEC.

Quick question for Steve: You wrote “After they’re gone, the choices for thee sub 24” domain look grim.” Are you aware of any 24″ AS-IPS models?

Thanks again! :mrgreen:

Lee

On October 8, 2007 at 12:10 am

I hope this discussion’s still open.

First of all, I’m not much of a monitor geek so please try not to use all these acronyms! But if you can’t avoid it, I just ask that you explain them or type out the whole thing. I know it’s asking much, but anyway…

Steve’s post really helped me sort my 22″ widescreen LCD monitor problem. Actually, let me first write down the specs of my system:

Monitor: 22″ KDS K226WDb widescreen LCD monitor, max resolution 1680×1050
(replaced a Compaq 17″ CRT FS70)
OS: Windows XP
Memory: 512MB DDR
Video Card: PNY Verto nVIDIA GeForce FX5200 256MB DDR PCI
DVD-RW Drive: 16x
Usual DVD player software used: Compaq WinDVD ver. 3.1
Resolution when playing DVD movies: 1680×1050

I have upgraded my graphics card and got a huge monitor, but still when I play DVD movies, the quality looks worse than mediocre. Does it have something to do with the graphics card, the monitor, the DVD player software or the DVD drive? It’s disappointing how the graphics card promises “film-quality effects and studio-quality color” when I don’t seem to be getting it. Colors are dull, images grainy, dark scenes washed out… the list goes on. Are there any other drivers I need to install? Do I need to have Microsoft DirectX 9.0? My graphics card also says it features 128-bit Studio-Precision color but in Display Properties I can only go up as high as 64-bit.

I only have six more days to return the monitor without being charged – if the monitor’s the problem. Should I opt for a 20″?

Thanks for reading, and I hope I could get a response from you good people out there.

fairweather

On October 11, 2007 at 2:18 am

Steve >

Unfortunately, you can stop being “half” scared, and start being “fully” scared ;-)
I don’t know what the situation is like in the US, but here, in Japan, the TN era has started in the 24 inch market.
24 inch TN panels first appeared something like 1 month ago, and have since popped up everywhere.

Not only that, but makers have found ways to make it even more difficult to spot them just by looking at specs :
in recent monitor spec sheets, every single TN panel is stated as able to display “16,7 Millions of colors”. Which is not true, as you probably already know : most TN panels are 6 bits capable, which means they are only able to display 262k colors. Or 16,2 millions – not 16,7 – with dithering.

Worse : in spec sheets, most TN panel monitors are now boasting… 176 degrees viewing angles !!
As often in good scams, the trick is simple : makers are now giving measures that refer ONLY to contrast. It’s written as follows :
Viewing anlges : 176d (5:1 contrast)
Of course, the screen will turn black and be completely unwatchable at certain angles – it’s TN after all – but as long as its contrast range doesn’t drop more than 20%, makers aren’t legally considered to be lying…

So, basically, not only is it TN hell, but it is also becoming a hell to determine what monitor is TN…

Heru-Ur

On October 11, 2007 at 5:49 am

Acer pwnz all. game over. end of story. :mrgreen:

spoot-smeg

On October 11, 2007 at 6:53 am

the cheapest one that is and always will be my answer unless I get rich :mrgreen:

Motorbreath

On October 11, 2007 at 7:10 am

My 19″ Samsung SyceMaster 193v is awsome and from experience I would definetely get the SyncMaster 225BW if Im going to upgrade to widescreen.

Thurman

On November 3, 2007 at 9:01 pm

I have a 22″ Hanns-G and can attest to the TN panel image quality let down when I first fired it up,… :-( ….
Are there any S-IPS class paneled 24″ inch monitors out there that are worth a e?
I am in the market for a good 24″ but I hear that they all come with the Input Lag and many even the Ghosting woes.
Please advise,…. I am in the ?????????? for sure….
T121

Steven

On November 22, 2007 at 11:49 am

I can fully recommend the DELL 2407WFP-HC for £417 here: http://www.pcbuyit.co.uk/dept.asp?dept%5Fid=6&dept%5Fname=Dell+Offers

Superb colour/quality and great viewing angles

They have also just released a 22″ Ultrasharp version too

Markus S

On December 23, 2007 at 2:32 am

I recently bought an HP w2408h monitor and I was very dissapointed by the vertical viewing angle. Horizontal is fine, but the colors seem to get darker from bottom too top, even when sitting straight in front of it. I live in norway and we have a 14 days return policy on stuff you buy on the internet, so I’m planning on using that right and return it.

But how do I find out what type of panel this monitor (TN Panel?) has and how do I avoid getting the same kind in the future?

Thurman Totten

On December 24, 2007 at 5:15 pm

I am finding within the buzz on the net that a new technology for backlighting LCDs using LEDs is going to arise possibly late next year,… This new tech should yeild better color reprocuction than the current tech.
As I would like to see what this new tech is all about, I went ahead and purchased a new BenQ 22″ Model(FP222WH) and I am verrrry pleased.
With no input lag, ghosting, or dead pixels I can safely say I can wait till I see what the new tech. offers before the want for more screen space overtakes me again,…LOL…
I prefer the “Dynamic” setting on the BenQ as the standard setting left colors a little washed out. Anyone looking for a 22″ should take a lood at the 222.

Cheers,
T121

Chris

On May 16, 2008 at 1:02 pm

I would have bought the NEC 20″ if it was still available.

I ended up buying the Mac 20″ Cinema and I love it. Granted, it wasn’t cheap, but I’ve got a $1700 system; so, the monitor wasn’t incredibly out of proportion. It uses an *IPS panel and it is _so_ much better than my old TN panel that I wouldn’t want to go back to TN either. I do a mix of work, video editing, and game playing; so, I wanted a monitor that didn’t suck at any, but I wasn’t willing to spring for the 24″ IPS panels by NEC (in their *90i line). It works just great on my Dell XPS 630 system.

My only trouble now is kicking my kid off my system when he’s playing CoD4. He doesn’t seem to have a problem with how the monitor performs for games; he says it rocks compared to his own system. His system has a lesser graphics card and a TN panel monitor; it isn’t all the monitor. But, this monitor does just fine.

20″ is big enough for me.

Beware, Dell Ultrasharp 22″ is not the same panel type (TN I believe) as their 20″, and maybe 24″ Ultrasharps, and, at that, it is a lottery whether you get a PVA or IPS panel on the 20″ Ultrasharp.

Lenovo has a 22″ PVA monitor at 1920x___, but I haven’t seen one yet.