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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  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, May 06, 2008 - link

    But that's exactly what I did in this review. Unless you mean a high-speed video camera that can record the changes in response to external stimuli (i.e. someone clicking a mouse).

    I think way too many people are losing sight of the forest because they're obsessing over the trees. I've given relative input lag, and it's accurate to 10ms for sure (and with averaging it should be accurate to around 3ms). At some point I may find an LCD that has a negative lag relative to the HP LP3065, and that's fine. As it stands, the best LCDs equal that LCD's lag.

    Input lag as a whole is only one consideration of a display purchase, and differences of 3ms (or even 10ms) are not going to make you suddenly superior in games. 50ms? Sure, that's a potential problem, but anyone who has played online FPS games competitively knows that you have to learn to anticipate in order to compensate for network lag that may be anywhere from 50 to 150ms even with a high-speed connection.

    If you want a display that offers minimal processing lag, so far the TN panels and 30" LCDs do great. I'd assume all the 22" LCDs do reasonably well, but having none in house at present I can't say for sure. Then everyone with S-PVA panels can call you an LPB.
    Reply
  • jmunjr - Friday, May 02, 2008 - link

    Though there are reports it now uses a TN panel, I am disappointed the Soyo Topaz S was not in this review. A bare bones S-PVA monitor for as low as $250 and easily $300 with no rebates? Ring me up! I have one and for the price it cannot be beat - period. At 24" TN monitors have too many shortcomings.

    Reply
  • bupkus - Friday, May 02, 2008 - link

    I read this article this morning and then my gf calls me an tells me she has a $100 Dell credit that expires tonight.
    I thought, why not sell my Samsung SyncMaster 225BW and get this UltraSharp 2408? Starting Price... $679.00, that's why.
    However, the E248WFP is on sale for $379.00. How does that compare?
    Reply
  • Dashel - Friday, May 02, 2008 - link

    Count me among those who want to know if it's even possible a revision will address the input lag on the Dell 2408. That's all that is holding me back from buying this monitor.

    Can they even get it down to 2407 input lag levels?

    Finally BenQ G2400W, see if they wont give you one to review! That's my back up plan if the Dell doesnt pan out ;)

    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, May 02, 2008 - link

    The best S-PVA panel has a 20ms lag on average. Note also that the Gateway FPD2485W uses a Faroudja chip and ends up with 20ms while the TN FHD2400 uses a Faroudja and gets ~0ms and LaCie does the same and gets 40ms. My guess is that somehow in the interest of colors or something else the S-PVA tech is delaying what you see on the LCD. The built-in scalers may also be inducing some delay, but the TN panels have scalers as well and don't suffer from any lag. Reply
  • Dashel - Saturday, May 03, 2008 - link

    Isnt the 2407 an S-PVA as well though? You'd think they'd be able to at least match that level of input lag. That'd be enough to make me confident enough to buy one.

    As it stands, I'll have to see what revision A01 brings. I'll probably get one anyway. No 24" seems to have everything I want sadly. Good gaming non TN panel with plenty of inputs. The 2408 or that DoubleSight seems to come closest.



    Reply
  • GTVic - Friday, May 02, 2008 - link

    I would like to know if it is possible for game developers or hw manufacturers to develop controls in the games or in the driver control panel that would allow an adjustment for input lag. That way if you know you have a certain lag you can tell the game/driver to compensate. Reply
  • PPalmgren - Friday, May 02, 2008 - link

    I highly doubt this would be possible.

    When I first hooked up my NEC 2470WNX, I played some DotA in (a Warcraft 3 map) and noticed after 5 minutes that I couldn't click on anything as well as usual. The funny thing is this isn't really aim-intensive, being an FPS. I tested it out and realized my mouse's response was delayed on the screen. I then noticed the same problem playing BF2 and NS a day later. It becomes impossible to aim quickly because you aim based on where your cursor is visible. However, your cursor is not where you see it on the screen, its still moving. Its a constant fight of over-compensation ruins your gameplay. The next week, I put my old Viewsonic 19' back up and still use it for games. I STRONGY suggest buying a TN panel for games, having experienced the short end of the stick.
    Reply
  • GTVic - Friday, May 02, 2008 - link

    I think it certainly should be possible.

    There a maybe a few types of lag. One is due to an overloaded graphics card that is not able to draw enough frames per second to properly update your mouse position so you don't know what you are shooting at. There is nothing to be done about that except buy a better graphics card or reduce the resolution/quality.

    The other type of lag is when the game thinks one frame is being displayed and due to delays down the chain an older frame is being displayed. The game records your mouse click (gun fire) and calculates whether you hit the target based on the wrong frame.

    The lag is not enough to cause the audio to be out of sync but if the game knew that the display was constantly 3 frames behind then it should be possible to correct the problem. Would be nice if Jared could investigate that with ATI/nVidia/game devs.
    Reply
  • Dainas - Friday, May 02, 2008 - link

    Oh you don't have to go to TN, I have two 24" P-MVAs that suffer from none of the blatant lag in the aforementioned panels. Both are verifiably faster than the 20ms 2407wfp and coming from a CRT I had none of the loose feeling in fast FPS like CS:Source and CoD4. All these slow panels are more in the realm of 40ms.

    need only look at this to know TNs do not have an unavoidable technical advantage over VA panels and its likely the manufactures putting IQ over response in most cases ;

    http://www.digitalversus.com/article-357-3215-303....">http://www.digitalversus.com/article-357-3215-303....

    But then again considering these panels are dissapearing from the market one might have to go TN afterall for gaming.
    Reply

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