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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Summer 2012 Buyer's Guide: Computer Displays

A PC monitor is arguably one of the most important, and literally the most visible of component of a computer, and hence it needs to be chosen carefully. Over the years, the technology has advanced from bulky and power-hungry CRTs, to the slim and energy-efficient LCD displays that are available today. Monitors are available in a wide range of prices, with various features that may or may not suit your needs. We step in here to resolve the situation, and provide you with the monitor that is just right. The guide provides you recommendations for LED-backlit LCD monitors across four price ranges.
Up to Rs 5000
This price range is for the most basic, and usually first-time computer users. School students and coaching classes fall into this segment, as the screen size of 16" can suffice their needs. These obviously tend to be more compact and occupy less desktop real estate, making them useful even for offices. The screen pixel dimensions are limited to 1366x768, while the aspect ratio is 16:9.

ViewSonic VA1601w
Street Price (As On 17-05-2012): Rs 4000 (; Rs 4550 (
The ViewSonic VA1601w sports 15.6" screen with pixel dimensions of 1366x768. Its anti-glare screen claims to be good to view, even when a light source is right behind the viewer. The 8 ms (on/off) response time is good enough for viewing movies, while you can connect it to a computer via VGA connector. The specified power consumption is 10 W at the most, while it is typically stated to be 8 W, thus giving you good energy saving.

AOC e1620Swb
Street Price (As On 17-05-2012): Rs 4000 (; Rs 4100 (; Rs 4300 (
With a screen measuring diagonally at 16", the AOC e1620Swb boasts of an extraordinary contrast ratio of 2,000,000:1. Its 8 ms response time makes it easy for watching movies. The monitor sports a VGA port to connect to computers and has a maximum power consumption of 12 W. Along with a base stand that supports tilt adjustment, it also supports standard VESA wall mount. It comes with all the necessary cables and manuals.

Rs 5000 To Rs 8000
This category is for those who have graduated from the earlier category. Such users include college students and places such as colleges and even homes. The monitors come in sizes ranging from 18.5" to 22", while they can also feature Full-HD resolutions.
Philips 202EL2SB/94
Street Price (As On 17-05-2012): Rs 6300 (
The Philips 202EL2SB/94 boasts of a 20" 16:9 display with pixel dimensions 1600x900. While that makes it suitable to natively play 720p movies, it can also display 1920x1080 videos, although in interlaced mode of 1080i at 50 Hz and 60 Hz. It claims to produce rich black levels with a specified SmartContrast ratio of 20,000,000:1 and its 5 ms response time is suitable for even gaming. It supports VGA analogue as well as DVI digital connection with HDCP. At its price, this product is unmatch.

BenQ G222HDL
Street Price (As On 17-05-2012): Rs 7500 (
This 21.5" monitor with a 16:9 aspect ratio boasts of 1920x1080 Full HD display dimensions, while the specifications state an impressive colour gamut of 68%. While the normal power consumption is stated to be 28 W (max), it has an Eco mode that cuts it down to just 16 W. It also features the Senseye Human Vision Technology that claims to optimise the display for best viewing experience. It comes with a DVI-D and D-sub connector, but no HDMI. The base stand allows it to be tilted backwards for optimised viewing angle.

Above Rs 8000
Monitors in this category are for those who want to really enjoy watching everything on larger screens. These start at 23", sporting Full-HD panels and usually come with all types of inputs. Needless to say, they are suitable for movies as well as fast-paced gaming, with some of them even featuring inbuilt speakers.

Dell ST2320L
Street Price (As On 17-05-2012): Rs 9,500 (; Rs 10,000 (
This is a Full-HD monitor with 16:9 aspect ratio, sporting TN panel. The non-glare finish makes it easy to view, even in a brightly lit room. It features VGA, DVI, and HDMI ports, allowing you to connect just about every device from your computer, media player, or even gaming console. With slim and stylish looks, this monitor boasts of 5 ms response time and Energy Star 5.0 compliance. At 10k, this is a good buy.

AOC e2795Vh
Street Price (As On 17-05-2012): Rs 17,000 (; Rs 17,200 (; Rs 17,500 (
The AOC e2795Vh is a monster of a monitor, with its 27" panel that will appear to stretch across your desk. Sporting no-nonsense looks, this monitor can obviously display Full-HD, and the specs mention a 2 ms (G2G) response time as well. It sports all types of connectors and there is also a pair of speakers, built into its body. A 4-port USB 2.0 hub has also been thrown in, to provide additional ports located conveniently within reach. At 17k, you cannot look elsewhere for a 27" monitor of its kind.

3D Monitors
The recent surge in popularity of 3D stereoscopic movies has been seen to make an impact on display devices such as TVs, PC monitors, and projectors. While there are people who tend to shrug it off as a gimmick that will die, we don't see signs of any such thing happening anytime soon. PC monitors capable of displaying 3D visuals have been available for quite some time, but it is now that the prices have been reduced to such an extent that it is within reach of us mortals. Let us take a look at what we have in this category.

AOC e2352PHz
Street Price (As On 17-05-2012): Rs 14,000 (
The AOC e2352PHz appears to be a normal 23" Full-HD monitor at first glance. However, the panel has row interlaced polarisation, allowing passive polarised glasses, such as ones you usually find in 3D movie cinemas, to be used with it. Not to mention, it comes with a pair of such polarised glasses. Although not compatible with NVIDIA 3D Vision, which requires a 120 Hz refresh rate, this monitor can be used with newer ATI graphics cards supporting stereoscopic 3D. If you don't have one, it is still possible to watch 3D content using the bundled media player that can also convert 2D to 3D, or using a third-party 3D media player supporting row interlaced panel. The advantage of this 3D technology is that there is no flicker, usually associated with causing eye-strain. However, you are limited to watching half HD in 3D mode, rather than Full-HD, which is possible in the next recommended 3D monitor. The low response time makes it good to play games and watch movies. At its price point, this is definitely a poor man's 3D display dream come true.

BenQ XL2410T
Street Price (As On 17-05-2012): Rs 21,000 (; Rs 22,100 (
The BenQ XL2410T is a 23.6" LED-backlit display supporting a refresh rate of 120 Hz. That makes it compatible with 3D display sources such as Blu-ray 3D players and NVIDIA 3D Vision-compatible graphics cards. The advantage of this 3D display technology over the AOC model, is that this is capable of displaying 3D in Full-HD, while the former can do it in half HD, thus losing out on picture quality. 3D glasses and wireless transmitter are not included with the monitor, and you will need to purchase them separately. BenQ has developed this monitor in collaboration with gamers HeatoN and SpawN, to make sure that this delivers the right gaming experience, with a 2 ms (G2G) response time and an Instant Mode to reduce input lag. The height and orientation adjustment increase its versatility. At Rs 21,000, this is worth a buy, if pure unadulterated 3D entertainment is what you want.


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