Sub-$200 Options

There are plenty of options under $200 these days, but we tend to have a philosophy of "go big or go home" when it comes to LCDs. Do you really want to get a slightly better quality 19" LCD when $20 more will get you a 22" LCD? We certainly don't, and thus our recommendation ends up going to one of the many 22" LCDs currently priced under $200. Acer is more of a value brand in the LCD market, but that doesn't mean the LCDs aren't good. In fact, other than flimsy base stands we've never had a complaint with any of the Acer LCDs we've used. Specifications are pretty much meaningless at this price point -- all of the 22" LCDs that cost under $200 will be very similar, i.e. TN panel, 1680x1050, 5ms response times, HDMI and/or DVI -- so it really comes down to price and availability. Acer is a global company so their products are available around the world, and their prices are also very good. The Acer X223Wbd won't be the best LCD around, but for only $170 it's hard to complain. It is missing HDMI support, however, so if that's important we would recommend the ASUS VH226H, which also happens to bump up the resolution to 1920x1080 and only costs $40 more.

$200-$400 Recommendations

Not surprisingly, this is by far the largest category in terms of the available options. You can get everything from good quality 22" LCDs (or 20" S-IPS LCDs) up to and including 28" monsters of somewhat dubious quality. If the latter catches your fancy, check out the Hanns•G HG-281DPB at Newegg, currently going for only $380. Yes, that's less than most 24" LCDs, so we wouldn't expect best in class performance. What would we actually recommend? 22" offerings are going to be slightly better in terms of features and quality, but we would recommend going for a 24" LCD. Our overall recommendation goes to the Gateway FHD2401, a slight update to our Bronze Editors' Choice FHD2400 that uses a matte panel instead of a glossy panel. You still get a plethora of input options, and one of the best base stands that we've ever used.

If you're still looking for other alternatives, Dell has recently launched their 23" SP2309W that has a native resolution of 2048x1152 -- yes, higher than 1080P. We actually think 1080P movies will look best on 1080P displays, but for Windows work a slightly higher resolution might be useful. You still get a TN panel, and the price is quite a bit higher than 22" 1080P LCDs at $380. Acer once again shows up with the X243Wbd for $290, and we also have the BenQ E2400HD that we recently reviewed, now at $330. We wouldn't call the BenQ E2400HD perfect, but honestly for the price it's very good, especially if you never intend on using it at anything other than the native 1920x1080 resolution -- and we always recommend using native resolution on any LCD. Its "younger brother" E2200HD should also be available shortly, with a price in the low to mid $200 range.

Index Forget Price - I want the Best!


View All Comments

  • Contech - Thursday, December 18, 2008 - link

    I'm wondering how soon the below review will be. Quote from the from the E2200HD review comments:

    RE: Lets have lots more 24" panel reviews by JarredWalton, 43 days ago
    I have a BenQ MVA panel up next for review, along with a couple other 24" LCDs. I'm going to be very interested to see if the MVA panel can offer colors and viewing angles equal to S-PVA but with processing lag equal to S-IPS/TN. Stay tuned....

  • JarredWalton - Thursday, December 18, 2008 - link

    If you read the third page, I say as much about the BenQ MVA panel, but the product is apparently no longer in production. If you don't mind the stand, it does quite well. As for the rest, a nasty cold/bronchitis laid me out for a couple weeks. Reply
  • HollyDOL - Thursday, December 18, 2008 - link

    Honestly I am disappointed how very few screens got to be tested.

    Having side job in computer store many various screens pass through my hands and honestly from what I had in hand it's Eizo, ....... [long nothing]... other manufacturers. They are faery tale expensive, but worth every cent - picture quality, ending, warranty service. After getting one home I doubt I would ever buy any other brand. Also at least those I worked with (S-PVAs) didn't show any imput lags at all.
  • Griswold - Thursday, December 18, 2008 - link

    Agreed. Talking about "ultra highend" without mentioning Eizo gives this a sour taste. Reply
  • SpaceRanger - Thursday, December 18, 2008 - link

    But.. Look at all the great camera reviews they've posted over the past couple of months! Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, December 18, 2008 - link

    I asked about getting a review of an Eizo or one of the high-end NECs last year when they started doing a bunch of monitor reviews, but at the time the manufacturers were not interested in sending any out for review and they were not interested in buying them to test. Too bad, would be nice to see how much you get for the investment over a Dell. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, December 18, 2008 - link

    Honestly, I'm not sure there's a lot to improve on with the 2408WFP other than processing lag. Well, there's always consistency; I don't know if every 2408WFP is as good as the one I tested or not, but if they are the major differences are going to be price. The LaCie 324 is a high-end monitor targeting users that want consistent quality as well, and yet overall quality in the test units went to the Dell. Probably better support on LaCie, but I've owned quite a few LCDs so far (many Dell models) and have yet to replace one. Reply
  • Deadtrees - Thursday, December 18, 2008 - link

    My friend just bought this brand new monitor for $320.

    24" IPS,
    Built-in HDTV tuner,
    Built-in speakers,
    RF Antenna,
    SP-DIF 5.1 Ch,
    Remote Control
    HDMI Input range Limit support,
    16:10, 16:9, 4:3 Scaling.
    PIP(Picture in Picture)

    Now, that's 'the' dream monitor.
    Also, 26" monitor with same spec. costs the pretty much the same.
    Before you ask me, no, this is not U.S.A.
  • Griswold - Thursday, December 18, 2008 - link

    Horsecrap until you give us a brand and model number. Reply
  • MadMan007 - Thursday, December 18, 2008 - link

    Way to include the model number! Reply

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