LCD Monitor Reviews and Opinions

I have two monitors plugged into my system right now – a 1600×1200 SyncMaster 213T, and a 1680×1050 Gateway. I like the Gateway as a secondary monitor, “largely” because of its various input options – and the integrated USB hub is a wonderful bonus. However, there are a few windows I’d much rather rearrange on my primary screen – and so I’m thinking about one of the following, and am largely interested in everybody’s experiences with them (if you have one):

  • Dell’s 3007WFP-HC
  • HP’s LP3065
  • Samsung’s SyncMaster 305T
  • Apple’s 30″ Cinema HD

2560×1600 plus the 1680×1050 sounds nice, but (then again) I might wind up doing two Gateway FPD2485W’s (2x 1920×1200 for 3840×1200^2) for cheaper, and wind up getting more desktop real estate. It boils down to price and options, I think. I could get the HP LP3065 for ~$1,600, the Dell 3007WFP-HC for $1,699, the Samsung 305T for $1,999, or Apple’s Cinema HD for $1,999. Or, again, two Gateway monitors for $680 apiece.

I sit in front of the computer screen for a living. There’s nothing wrong with what’s here now, mind you – but I could certainly go for more vertical and horizontal playspace. The second monitor is great for IM conversations, extra windows I need open but can’t pay attention to, etc. Decisions, decisions!

21 thoughts on “LCD Monitor Reviews and Opinions”

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  4. I just recently bought a Gateway FPD2485W to go with my two Samsung 213T’s. The monitors line up nicely, as they’re all 1200px in height, and the same in physical inside screen height as well.

    I had to revert the Gateway to analog instead of digital input to get the resolution to 1920×1200, but I’m not sure if that’s a video card limitation or the monitor.

    My 3rd screen (a 213T) on the right is dedicated mostly to email and IM, it’s nice just to be able to look over and see if any of the new email is important.

  5. I’ve always been curious what the workstations of folks who live their lives “behind the screens” look like. Any chance we could get a collection going of “workstations of the geeks” ?

    Kind of off topic from what you were looking for but just ran across my thoughts while reading the post.

  6. I love the Apple monitors though you do pay a price. However–if you are considering an Apple monitor, please take note that a) it has been awhile since they were upgraded and b) a new monitor coming soon, with an integrated isight camera, has been the talk of the Apple rumor boards for the last few months.

  7. I own a 30″ cinema display and after using it, I find the relatively “small” screen real estate of a 17″ MacBook Pro to be an almost unbearable chore. I’d definitely suggest going this route… I went here from two 20″ displays and… I don’ know… two displays just never seemed to be as effective for me as one really big one. I always ended up crowding my primary screen and keeping IM windows on the second monitor, essentially wasting it anyway. I now have an identical set up as to what you proposed – one 30″ Cinema Display functioning as the primary monitor and a 20″ Cinema Display as a “toy” monitor to dump non-important things onto.

    As for which to get… Dude, You’re Getting a Dell. I understand that it’s the exact same panel used by Apple (a Samsung, ironically). I can’t comment on the other two from personal experience (though I do own three Samsung LCD tv’s that rock).

    Just remember, whatever route you chose, make sure you’re mouse speed can be raised accordingly. Tracking across a 30″ monitor can be something of a workout.

  8. Dell flat panels are awesome. I work with them at both home and work (although the largest I use are in the 20″ range). The Dell 30″ is currently on sale for under $1300, so I would recommend going for that.

    I know I would if I had the money to spend right now.

  9. I have two Dell 24″. 1920×1200 and 5 inputs including component. I find the second monitor to be a waste for most of what I do. If I were buying again I would go with a 24 and 1600×1200 19 or 20 to save deskspace.

    The 30″ Apple looks nice, but at arms length on the 24 most of the screen is out of the focus of my center of vision. That means a lot of eye wandering and head turning for the second display. Personally, I wouldn’t go with the 30 unless you are farther away than arms length.

  10. Dell monitors give you the best bang for the buck. The better ones, the Ultrasharp line, are said to use the same panels as Apple’s monitors, but are cheaper.

    Consumersearch collates reviews from multiple sources to provide metareviews — look here:

    http://www.consumersearch.com/www/computers/lcd-monitors/index.html
    http://www.consumersearch.com/www/computers/lcd-monitors/review.html
    http://www.consumersearch.com/www/computers/lcd-monitors/reviews.html

  11. I don’t have any info about the monitors but I strongly reccomend Ultramon (www.ultramon.com) to tame multiple displays.

    -Marc

  12. I recently got a 24 inch Dell. I suppose I would like a 30 inch but the 24 inch is so much cheaper it didn’t seem to me I would benefit enough, given the extra cost. The funny thing is, I thought I would use all the new space I have (moving from a 19″ to a 24″) and on occasions I have worked with two windows side by side, but in general I find myself sizing my application windows to half the screen width and leaving the other half blank and unused. Even with a 24″ I worry that I’m burning up a lot of electricity. How much does a 30″ use?

  13. The Dell is now just a little over $1000 on the Dell Outlet site.
    Unless you are doing sophisticated color correction or high=end retouching, the Dell is the way to go.

  14. I have the dell 3007WFP. I’ve been really happy with it.

    I’m just intested in buying another one but Samsung have the 305T now.

    Want to know which way to go.

  15. I just bought the 305t. I agonised over whether to get the 3007WFP-HC or this one and wasn’t sure. I took it to my brothers and set it up side-on to his 3007WFP-HC. You could definately notice more depth of colour on the 305T. Whether the new HC Dell is better or worse than the 305t it is hard to say without any reviews. To be honest though, the 3007WFP-HC and the 305t both look amazing. The only people who could noticably benifit from the richer colours are designers. I’m happy with my new screen, but can’t help but think I also wasted a lot of time fussing about which one to get (obviously for $2150 AUD it wasn’t pocket change). It’s apples with apples in the end. Maybe when samsung release their LED backlit 30″ in August this year their will be a real contrast for comparision.

  16. Very interesting comments about the 305t, John.
    There is not so many information about this display.
    I am concerned about the viewing angles on this monitor, I wonder how does it looks?

  17. Dont any of you guys play games? I need a nice 24 in LCD monitor for gaming which doesn’t sacrifice picture quality or color.

  18. John,
    You wrote “I just bought the 305t… I took it to my brothers and set it up side-on to his 3007WFP-HC”

    Question: Does text look the same on the both monitors? Usually PVA panels (305T) displays text better.

  19. I have a Viewsonic VP2030b and I am very impressed with it. Photos and video look great on it, though I don’t play games, so I don’t know how well it works for that.

  20. After some agonizing, I bought the Dell 3008, mostly because of the choice of inputs offered, the built-in scaling, and because the Samsung 25.5″ display was delayed coming into the country.
    -The good: the scaling on this screen is awesome. The real-estate is wonderful. Running the display at 1920×1200 and the desktop again scaled to 120% using the “eyerelief” utility my ageing eyes have no difficulty reading text or graphics. I’ve moved the display back 18″ or so from where the old 19″ monitor used to sit, and this works really well.
    -The bad: after a few days it’s developing a fault: the top right corner of the screen is noticably darker and greener, and the bottom left corner noticably warmer and brighter than the rest of the screen. It’s going to have to go back to Dell.
    -The ugly: The colours and brightness and contrast settings on this display out of the box are garish enough to make your eyes bleed. Seriously bad.
    I do NOT own calibration equipment, and I don’t have the know how of a digital photo professional. It took me two days to find settings that don’t hurt to look at, managing to somewhat subdue the eye-cancer-inducing reds but the screen still displays greens that are ‘punchy’ as a photographer friend described them with some understatement.
    -Conclusion: I think I will ask for my money back. I’d love to have this display if properly calibrated and without the fault, but I have doubts as to what will be in the box next time if I get a replacement sent.

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