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Monitor recommendation needed--for sharp video in NON-native resolution

Posted on 2012-08-28
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I need to buy a monitor that will look sharp, clear, and readable at a non-native resolution.  Most everything out there these days appears to be set to perform best at 1920x1080.  They typically list other supported resolutions, but most or all look fuzzy and blurry if I try them (with the few monitors I've been able to try).  Ideally I'd like to run something around 1600x1000 and have it look clear and sharp--like my very old Dell 2405FPW does now--even though ITS 'optimal resolution' was documented to be 1920x1200.  

How can I find such a monitor without having to buy them first and then find out the bad news--as I've done with the Planar PL2410Ws I just bought?  In case it makes a difference...the monitors will be running on the DVI connections from the Lenovo dock where I dock my new Lenovo laptop, which has Nvidia graphics, and is running Win7 Pro.  Just like my previous XP laptop, it runs the old Dell at 1600x1000 just great, but these new Planar monitors look awful at anything less than their native 1920x1080.

Does anyone know for sure of a monitor that will display clearly at lower resolutions?  TIA
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Question by:sasllc
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Mike earned 600 total points
ID: 38342012
I've always had good luck with Acer running at non-native resolutions.  I run my 2 Acer LEDs I use in the office @ 1600x900 with no problem, and I also run the 2 acer LCDs I have at home on non-native resolutions.
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by:sasllc
ID: 38342023
Sounds promising.  If you have access to the model numbers, I would greatly appreciate it!
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by:Carlisle_Agent
Carlisle_Agent earned 600 total points
ID: 38342029
The type of DVI would determine the quality of the picture, explained here under connector guide.
http://www.datapro.net/techinfo/dvi_info.html
If the connector off the dock or the monitor is not digital, there would be your problem. Some monitors have DVI analog which is the same as VGA (poor quality). It's like saying you are running a blue-ray player off your tube t.v and vice versa; you are limited on the quality.
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by:Callandor
Callandor earned 600 total points
ID: 38342164
>The type of DVI would determine the quality of the picture

This is not completely true - on displays smaller than 27", you would be hard pressed to see a difference between a good VGA image and a good DVI image.  When you use a big display, such as for projectors, the difference is more apparent, but for desktops, there's not much difference.  Even on my 100" screen, full HD still looks pretty good with a VGA cable - I use well-shielded cables from a good manufacturer.

I have 1920x1200 native resolution on my Samsung 245BW (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824001234, but it's been discontinued).

How about
Dell U2412M http://www.amazon.com/Dell-UltraSharp-U2412M-LED-Monitor/dp/B005JN9310
HP ZR2440W http://www.amazon.com/HP-XW477A8-ABA-Promo-ZR2440W/dp/B005O9RPQE
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by:sasllc
ID: 38342195
Callandor:

Does your Samsung look real good at lower 16:10 resolutions--such as 1600x1000?  If so, it may well be worth me finding one, even if it's used.

Do you have reason to believe the Dell and HP would do well at lower resolutions?  I'd like to have assurances before buying another monitor--so I don't up wasting money like I did with these Planars I bought.
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by:Callandor
ID: 38342239
I have run the Samsung 245BW monitor in lower resolutions and thought they were ok, but my preference was to use the highest resolution possible, which it does well at, so my memories of those resolutions is not that good.

The Dell got very good reviews; the HP doesn't have enough responses to make a definitive statement.

I had a Planar in the past and wasn't impressed with it - their high-end models are supposed to be good.
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by:Carlisle_Agent
ID: 38342439
@ Callandor respectfully:
Digital signal at low resolution is optimal here as asked per author. Sure the VGA has decent picture at higher resolutions as per your 100," but he/she is asking for lower than native, stretching the pixels.

Digital signal would provide optimal pixels per inch at any resolution.
Looks like that Dell is a pretty good deal. Shame the Samsung is discontinued. I would recommend Samsung over any brand, personally. Lower the refresh rate, the better in my opinion.

I have: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824001575
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by:Mike
ID: 38342480
sasllc - At the office it's dual Acer S211HL and at home I use an Acer D24hbmi and I don't remember the model of the other one, it's kind of old (had it since Q1 2007).
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by:grahamnonweiler
grahamnonweiler earned 200 total points
ID: 38342741
Have you considered using the "scaling" option that is now available in Windows 7?

This would effectively allow you to use the monitor you have just bought at its "native" resolution  (and thus the resolution it was designed for) yet have the impression you were viewing it at a size of say 1600 x 1000.

The scaling option is new, and is part of the control panel "display" options:

Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Display

Select the 125% option - which on a 1920 x 1080 screen would result in dimensions roughly equivalent to those you are seeking. The difference is quite significant - but the important part is that the quality of the resulting text (and images) is far greater than trying to run your monitor at a non-native resolution.
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by:Callandor
ID: 38343512
@Carlisle_Agent,

You missed my comment - "for desktops, there's not much difference".  I was not making the point that VGA was good at large images but not on small; rather that VGA is good at both but the differences only show up on large images.  If the digital connection is available and doesn't cost more than the VGA, I would say go for it.
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Author Comment

by:sasllc
ID: 38348324
I decided to take a chance and try a more expensive, 16:10 monitor--a Dell U2412M--and the good news is that looks great at 1680x1050, just like I was hoping for.
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