19” LCD monitor survey: 4, 8 ms, TN, IPS, VA…
by Vincent Alzieu
Published on June 9, 2005
Fujitsu-Siemens P19-2First of all thanks to three reader to made me discover this monitor Gaillots, Lazar and Newbie-Geek.
Ladies and Gentleman, this is the first monitor available on the market with the Samsung PVA 8 ms panel, the same as the Samsung 193P+ to be released this summer.
This is a very intense moment. This survey includes the three VA technologies capable of wiping out TN monitors. AU Optronics MVA 8 ms –Fujitsu-Siemens C19-4 and ViewSonic VP191b monitors, Fujitsu MVA 8 ms –Iiyama H1900 and Sony SDM-HS95P monitors
Samsung PVA 8 ms – this P19-2
However, we learned from previous test that we have to be careful on several points. To begin with, never believe the monitor characteristics! Two, check that the panel in the monitor is the one we were looking for. With a screwdriver in one hand, a hammer and saw in the other one, we made a small trip in the P19-2 to find the LTM190E4 panel. This is indeed the Samsung PVA 8ms panel with a 1000:1 contrast ratio.
So the monitor’s objective is to have a better or equivalent reaction time, than the ViewSonic VP191b, and surpass it thanks to its record contrast ratio. One good point for this monitor, we tested the previous 20 ms version of this panel with the Samsung 193P which also featured a 1000:1 contrast ratio. Our measures also led us to this result.
ErgonomicsThe monitor bezel is white and in plastic. We tend to prefer metal, but the quality of materials used here is good. The P19-2 is a well thought out and nicely designed product. The monitor is vertically adjustable with a maximum height of 13.5 (distance between the bottom of the monitor and the desk). It is really possible to find the perfect height. It also has a pivot mode.
In the back of the monitor are an integrated power supply, one analog and one numeric input. Nothing too fancy, but just everything you need. For example, it doesn’t automatically change the display mode when the pivot is used, integrated speakers aren’t better than usual, there is no YUV, S-Video inputs, no USB, memory card player…
Color qualityThe first selling points of this monitor are the record contrast ratio, ergonomics and the last one, according to Fujitsu-Siemens, is its fast response time. If color quality is the best argument for you, we advise you to buy a colorimeter. They are right: this monitor is capable of the best, but you have to be equipped for that!
This is the result with standard factory adjustments:
How to interpret the graph
On the left is the gamut: this is the monitor colorimetric range compared to the sRGB range (the one usually used for digital cameras). We are not here talking of its accuracy, but of the range of reproducible colors.
For accuracy, you have to refer to the right graph, the DeltaE. This is a measure between the color requested and the one really displayed on the monitor. The result obtained is also counter-balanced by human color sensitivity.
With Delta E > 3 the desired colors is noticeably different from the one on the screen.
With 1 < Delta E < 2 colors are accurate. With Delta E < 1, the result is perfect.
And this is the result after calibration:
Before and after calibration, the brightness level was 271 cd/m² and the black was very deep at 0.28 cd/m². The contrast ratio measured was 968:1. Well done Fujitsu-Siemens, and well done Samsung for the quality of the panel.
This is a VA monitor. From whatever direction, the image doesn’t completely turn to black or white. The angle where the image is good and accurate is much more reduced that usual. It is only very good on 60°: 30° from above, below, left or right. This is much lower than what the ViewSonic VP191b or even the Fujitsu-Siemens C19-4 are capable of.
Colors are still very nice but it is also as blurred as the competition as soon as we leave the native mode, 1280 x 1024. Our new request is: "We wand decent scalers!"
I’m sure that some of you haven’t read any of the paragraph above, in order to jump directly here and see how the P19-2 behaves with games…
We are going to disappoint a lot of you guys. This panel was much awaited as Samsung clearly pushed it during the last CeBit. We could try to find the words, but we feel that it is best to be direct: this panel sucks for games. There is no improvement compared to previous 25ms MVA panels. The result is so bad that we even asked ourselves if it wasn’t better before…the characters are all followed by a trail of light comparable to comet tails. There is something like a white fog behind them. It isn’t aesthetically pleasing and is tiring for our eyes as the monitor has some difficulties and gets blurred.
Because games aren’t all FPS, and that some will be pleased to spend hours with the next Civilization IV, we can’t give 0 to this monitor for games but it isn’t far from this grade.
Films : DVD, HDFor this part it is useful to remind you that we tested a Dell monitor, also with a fast MVA panel a few months ago (the 1704FPV). This wasn’t an 8ms yet, but according to Samsung – the panel manufacturer – a 16 ms with overdrive derived from previous generations. This 1704FPV was already disappointing for games and was the first VA monitor with strong twinkling effect in movies. Our conclusion was that we didn’t like the Samsung version of the Overdrive. It gave great results for measures but not for the real quality displayed.
You have probably guessed what we are going to say: exactly the same thing. The twinkling effect isn’t constant, it can be very discreet or absolutely unbearable with some of the scenes. It all depends on the game colors for example. For example, sunsets are very nice but some of our favorite scenes in the Matrix movie are awful. It is unfortunate, because colors are very nice once calibrated (a lot better than average). If you watch a movie with this monitor, step back at least one meter or more if you can. You can even buy a couch to force you to stay far from the monitor and not see pixels in motion. From this distance you will enjoy the movie. But you will still experience this viewing angle limitation. You have to find a way to keep your eyes on the same level as the monitor. Don’t look from above or below as colors tends to change quickly. The sound level isn’t excessive even at full level. It is also quite metallic. We would have preferred a version without speaker for this monitor.
VerdictEve if Fujitsu-Siemens mainly push the ergonomics and color quality (to calibrate imperatively!) it is difficult for us not to be disappointed. All users waiting for this monitor, the next Samsung 193P+ or the new BenQ FP91E to buy a really polyvalent monitor will also be disappointed or even angry. Angry, because it is unbearable to see monitors introduced as fast, sold as fast monitors and with this type of results. Even if measures are established according to some norms (and what a norm! when will ISO finally wake up?) and that it is indeed possible to find them with an oscilloscope, what are their real value when we see finally the result? Zero. It isn’t possible to say that they are lying about the product characteristics because they are following the rules. What we can say here, though, is that the response time is less and less a good indicator. This notion was already questionable before, but the introduction of the overdrive has definitively and irreparably disfigured it.
We already said this in the past, and we repeat it: response time is now just an indication for the panel generation. If the response time is > 20 ms, the panel is very old. If it is only just higher than 12ms, it is 1 to 3 years old. And, if it is recent, it is under 10 ms. This is the only information you can get.
Take a look at this manufacture’s dead pixel policy by clicking here!
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