Reviewing LCD screens isnâ€™t as cut and dry as reviewing CRT displays. With CRT technology thereâ€™s a lot more that can go wrong with a screen, especially when it comes to geometry and colour convergence problems. However, an LCD screen has no electron gun to keep in check, so there arenâ€™t any such issues to look out for.
The differences between LCD screens are far more subtle and you might not even notice them at first. With many LCD converts, theyâ€™re so happy with the fact that they have a slim screen on their desk, that they wonâ€™t even notice the below par image quality or limited adjustability.
Some people will tell you that thereâ€™s no such thing as a bad TFT screen, and in some respects this is true. But, even if you believe that, you have to also believe that some screens are still much better than others, and that is what a group test like this sets out to prove. So, without further ado, letâ€™s take a look at the winners.
Editorâ€™s Choice â€“ Samsung SyncMaster 213T
The Samsung was always a step ahead of the competition with itâ€™s 21.3in panel, but we imagined that this would equate to a higher price â€“ how wrong we were. Despite the larger panel size the SyncMaster 213Tâ€™s price of Â£781.98 is still lower than three of the other screens on test.
But it wasnâ€™t just the price and physical dimensions that impressed us about the Samsung, the image quality was also superb. Add to this a base thatâ€™s highly adjustable and pivoting functionality and youâ€™ve got a clear Editorâ€™s Choice.
Recommended - Iiyama ProLite E511S-B
We were somewhat surprised when Iiyama chose to send the ProLite E511S-B in for this group test since itâ€™s the companyâ€™s value oriented product, but this turned out to be a very shrewd move. Despite being at the lower end of Iiyamaâ€™s large screen TFT range, the ProLite E511S-B performed superbly, but still managed to be cheaper than every other screen on test.
The image quality produced by the E511S-B was excellent and belied its budget pricing. The stand may be far from perfect and canâ€™t compare with the ViewSonic VP201s, but Iiyama had to make compromises somewhere to achieve such an aggressive price point. Ultimately, if design and adjustability arenâ€™t paramount and youâ€™re looking for a good value display with great image quality, the ProLite E511S-B should be top of your list.
Recommended â€“ ViewSonic VP201s
The final award goes to the ViewSonic VP201s. This screen may not have exhibited the best image quality in the group, but every other aspect of this monitor is close to perfect. Weâ€™ve long been fans of the ViewSonicâ€™s VP range, mainly because it utilises the best stand that weâ€™ve ever seen on an LCD display. With silky smooth vertical movement, panning, tilting and pivoting, you really can position this screen exactly where you want it.
The bezel surrounding the screen is very thin making the image look even larger than it is, while the panel itself is quite shallow, making it look stylish even in profile. Thereâ€™s a built-in USB 2.0 hub so you can connect your peripherals via the monitor and maintain high-speed transfer rates, and the desktop footprint is very unobtrusive. And, it must be said that ViewSonicâ€™s attention to detail is second to none, with touches like the rotating OSD when you pivot the screen.
Despite the superb design and features, the ViewSonic is the third cheapest monitor on test, making it quite a bargain. Ultimately, if you want a slim and stylish screen with the best designed stand available, check out the VP201s.