Introduction

Most people like to get as much information as possible when it's time to purchase and new, relatively expensive item. Unless you have money to throw around, you typically don't want to overpay for something that underperforms. That's where roundups of a product category can be particularly useful; unfortunately, it's not always easy to get all of the products in one place in order to put together such a roundup. What started as a review of a couple new 24" LCDs eventually grew into what you see here: a comparison of five of the most recent 24" LCDs to hit the market... that we were able to acquire. Note the qualification at the end of that sentence; there are still plenty of 24" LCDs that we have not yet reviewed, but for now we'll take what we can get. Besides, trying to put together all of the information for this article took enough time as it is.

We've discussed LCD panel technologies in the past, and we've often had negative comments for TN panels in particular. The biggest problem with TN panels is that they have far more limited viewing angles, often to the point where a minor adjustment in where you're sitting can affect what you see on the display. However, it just may be that there are benefits to TN panels as well. Look at most specifications and you will find lower response times advertised for TN panels than for competing PVA and IPS panels. Perhaps the biggest advantage for TN panels, however, is price. As the original LCD technology, TN panels have had a long time to mature and manufacturers are far more comfortable with them. Thus, it's little surprise that the prices are usually lower than what we find on S-PVA panels.

It used to be that all 24" LCDs used S-PVA panels, but that has begun to change during the past year. Cost has certainly been an important factor, but regardless we're beginning to see more and more 24" TN-based LCDs. Of the five new LCDs we're reviewing today, three use TN panels while two continue to use S-PVA panels. The latter do indeed cost more, but they also target a different market. Where the TN-based LCDs are intended for the consumer market, the S-PVA LCDs generally target the professional market.

We have a ton of information to cover in this article, so let's get to it. We're going to let the images do the talking for a lot of the areas we normally dwell on, and focus primarily on any noteworthy items that may not be immediately apparent. Also, feel free to consult our short glossary of terms that we use in our display reviews before continuing.

ASUS MK241H Specifications and Appearance
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  • Rasterman - Friday, May 09, 2008 - link

    Yeah the figures reported are meaningless, if they were actually useful we wouldn't even need reviews :) I can't believe that a company as big as Viewsonic doesn't send a review site as big as Anandtech a review model, that is just ridiculous, they should be sending you guys a new model of every new monitor without even asking, maybe you aren't emailing the right person. BTW its awesome to see a reviewer actually answer questions and critics to a review, awesome job Jarred! Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, May 09, 2008 - link

    I'm sure I'm not getting the right person at Viewsonic (and other companies as well), but that's the trick: *finding* the right person. Without an inside contact, it can be tough to get started.

    Generic PR Person: "AnandTech? What kind of a name is that? http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail50.html">Baleeted!" I'll try to meet with them next CES or something....

    PS - Anyone from Viewsonic read this? If so, email me! :-)
    Reply
  • 10e - Tuesday, May 06, 2008 - link

    Great review. This is what multifunction fans are looking for. I had this issue a year ago trying to find "THE" multifunction.

    You may want to mention that in terms of 720p and 1080p the Samsung stretches both to 16:10 with A/V mode off. I tested this and found that problem recently, which was unfortunate due to the fact that I liked it as a high quality TN.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, May 06, 2008 - link

    I mentioned this on page 11, but I have highlighted (italicized) the pertinent text. I also clarified by indicating that 16:9 modes will always have the wrong AR. Thanks for reading and commenting! Reply
  • xerces8 - Monday, May 05, 2008 - link

    A picture says more than 1000 words :
    http://www.digitalversus.com/duels.php?ty=6&ma...">http://www.digitalversus.com/duels.php?...2=49&...

    (I can't create a link, seems the post javascript is broken, I cant make bold or italics text either, tried FF and IE7)
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, May 05, 2008 - link

    You mean, http://www.digitalversus.com/duels.php?ty=6&ma...">pictures like this one? I don't see any large blowups of their comparisons available for download, so I have no idea exactly how they're testing. What I do know is that I provided images showing LaCie 324 and Dell 2408WFP clearly displaying a 40ms delay relative to an HP LP3065, and I've also provided a picture of the ASUS MK241H with a relative delay of 0ms relative to the same LCD.

    I've got nine other sample images from each of the tested monitors showing the evidence for my "input lag" conclusions. That's about as close to full disclosure as you'll get. All I get on that comparison you linked is a chart that apparently "proves" the ASUS MK241H has a 54ms average delay compared to a CRT, but then the same site lists the Dell 2408WFP as 69ms, the 2407WFP as 24ms, the LaCie as 41ms, and the Samsung 245T at 59ms. I got more or less the same result on the Dell 2407WFP and the LaCie 324, but nowhere near the same result on the MK241H, 2408WFP, and the 2493HM.

    Again, you've got at least one clear sample of my results for each LCD. Sorry, but I have to question their results without better evidence.
    Reply
  • Dashel - Monday, May 05, 2008 - link

    Hi Jarred,

    Not sure if this is based on the same test or what but there is this:

    http://www.behardware.com/art/imprimer/712/">http://www.behardware.com/art/imprimer/712/

    Which looks to be the same graph and results. To me your results seem to make the most sense if the 2408 is very similar to the 2407WFP-HC, then the input lag should be close too I would guess. I'm hardly an expert just tryint to be logical.

    The thing is I also see anecdotal claims of lag and people who have tested it getting in the 60ms range as well which leads me to wonder if there isnt some sort of defect or difference in some of the panels vrs others.

    Example of a test by an owner:

    http://www.hardforum.com/showpost.php?p=1032124531...">http://www.hardforum.com/showpost.php?p=1032124531...

    I'd love to hear Dells thoughts on it as well as what and when their revision is due to hit.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, May 05, 2008 - link

    I'd like to know what software people are using as timers. I tried about 10 different "timers" and discovered that a bunch are limited to the Windows default timing resolution - about 54ms. So they either scored "0ms" or "54ms" on the delay. I know this because I had screen refreshes where the timer was split in half; the top half would show for example 40.067 and the bottom would show 50.121.

    3DMark03 at least looks to be accurate down to 10ms - there are again pictures where the timer is cut in half, only in such cases I would see 20.23 and 20.24, so I can be sure that the timer is updated in .01s increments rather than in something larger.

    Without a lot more details about what software people use and large images showing the results, I must say that I'm very skeptical. I feel "input lag" testing needs several things to be even remotely acceptable:

    1) Run at native LCD resolution in clone mode (because built-in scalers could have an impact)
    2) Disclosure of the test software that manages better than 54ms accuracy.
    3) You need a high-end camera with a fast shutter speed to capture the results. Simply choosing "Auto" mode and snapping a picture doesn't tell the whole story.
    4) Provide at least one sample image at a high resolution that clearly shows what the camera captured.

    I met all of those criteria I think. In looking around at other reviews, I have not been able to clearly answer any of those questions. Perhaps that's why some of the other results are so different. I also tested at 2560x1600 to verify that I wasn't hurting the HP LP3065 by running at a lower resolution; since the scaling is handled by the GPU rather than the LCD (the LP3065 doesn't have a scaler), there was no penalty.
    Reply
  • DangerousQ - Monday, May 05, 2008 - link

    I cant believe this set of reviews is so one sided, why no P-MVA panels, I bought a BenQ FP241W about 3 monyths ago and the 6ms response time plus unbelievable colours make this panel really hard to beat, but you try finding any reviews on it. The one review I did find, a long time ago and have lost it now compared it to the 2407 dell and found it a better panel for less money! I know this cos I was going to buy the dell before I saw the review. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, May 05, 2008 - link

    Send me an MVA panel - or get one of the manufacturers to send me one - and I will be more than happy to review it. I don't have the means to go out and purchase $500+ test LCDs, so I review what I get sent. Dell, Gateway, Samsung, ASUS, and other major companies are great about working with review sites like ours. Other companies are not. Thus, I take what I can get. Reply

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