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Best Flat Panel for reading - stats to look for.

Posted on 2006-11-17
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
Needing to upgrade my flat panel monitor and would like more 'square footage' so I can see more windows.  I can't fit 'dual' monitors so would rather go with one large FP.
 
My biggest concern is having a good picture for 'reading'.  Basically, the best characteristics for the eyes.  I'm be doing a lot of CBT & PDF reading, so need the best.  I've already got a good video card "nvidia 256" that has given me good improvement in video quality, so I don't want to tank it with a poor selection in FP.

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Sample:

    Contrast Ratio    700:1
 
 
    Brightness    300 cd/m²
 
 
    Response Time    8 ms
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   **  Which of these 'stats' above is the most important for me to consider to get the highest quality "easy on the eyes" picture??
   
                  Personal experience most appreciated and I DO NOT have room for a CRT.

   TIA,
     ME
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Question by:MindEddy
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by:The_Professional
The_Professional earned 20 total points
ID: 17970401
I would highly recommend one of these.

http://www.i-tech.com.au/products/11807_Chi_Mei_CMV_221D_22__Widescreen_LCD.asp

Don't be fooled by the cheap price as they are an excellent monitor.

I have been using one for about 3 months and absolutely love it.
It's big enough that you can have 2  A4 documents open side by side and colors are excellent.

It comes in 2 versions 221D & 221A.

The D version has DVI ad the A Version is VGA only but if you don't need DVI the A version is cheaper.
If your card has DVI capability I would suggest the D version as the picture is slightly more crisp using DVI.

Shop around and see what price you can get from a local store, you will not be dissapointed.
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rid earned 200 total points
ID: 17970810
I think you need to try out different sizes and resolutions to be able to do a good buy. Generally, no FP will be good for reading unless operated at its native resolution. This resolution may cause objects to be too small in some cases, depending on the viewer's eyesight and preferences; you really need to have a look at how things turn out in the resolution and window sizes you are planning to work.

Intensity is important, but I find that max intensity is almost never used in normal indoors use. What is important is that you should be able to LOWER the intensity to a comfortable level while reading on-screen text.

The contrast ratio is supposed to be as high as possible, but reading comfortably for an extended time may force you to turn down the contrast and/or the intensity; those controls must be present and easily adjusted as the requirements change as room lighting changes.

Response time is a purely game-related factor; I'd be willing to bet that almost any normal, modern FP will show a normal video in a satisfactory way.

/RID
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by:yessirnosir
yessirnosir earned 130 total points
ID: 17981510
echoing rid's comments, if readability is the key attribute, you really do need to focus on the way the native resolution impacts the text size.  I learned this the hard way by supplying a laptop for an older client with a "Super XGA+" resolution of 1400×1050.  It is a fantastic screen for video or photos, but the normal text size was way too small for old eyes.  I ended up spending a lot of time compensating for that by increasing font sizes and messing with Windows DPI settings, but when you do that you inevitably run into some software and websites that don't display properly with the customized setings, so in the end, ironically, the user may find they are happier with a lower resolution screen.  Same thing may happen to you if you go from a 19" screen that has good text size with 1280x1024 resolution to a 20" with 1600x1200; the larger screen will have smaller text at it's default settings so it may not be as good a choice.   So I'd say go to a big retailer where they have the different monitors all lined up and you can see for yourself.   Oh, and don't forget about height adjustment -- many monitors do NOT have vertical adjustment, so if you buy one of those make sure you're happy with the fixed height, because "easy on the eyes" and "easy on the neck" are both important after many hours.  
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by:MindEddy
ID: 17984056
Thanks.

   All good ideas and considerations.
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