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LCD, David vs. Goliath: Iolair vs. Dell
by Vincent Alzieu
Published on April 28, 2008

Contrast measurements
PVA panels are historically good in contrast thanks to black levels that are normally very deep. This was the case for the second Dell 2408 tested. The first was disappointing with a contrast ratio measured at "only" 750:1 (and therefore below average for PVAs). On the second model, we found more standard values.

Likewise, results from the Iolair MB24W were not surprising even if they were significantly less impressive than those from the second Dell. This is only normal as MVA panels do not have the same depth in black.

PVA 6 ms : Dell 2408WFP

MVA 6 ms : Iolair MB24W
This test usually enables us to see differences in colors and how measurements translate into practice. Here, the two screens have rather correct grays, while other parts of the color scale are less accurate. Nevertheless, this will show you:
1 : the potential color dominances in grays
2 : the consequences of an unstable gamma

PVA 6 ms : Dell 2408WFP

MVA 6 ms : Iolair MB24W
Panel homogeneity
We rarely show you panel homogeneity test results because this can mislead readers more than anything else. Already, the results from two screens in the same series can vary depending on transport. Beyond that, the measured differences may seem large and they should be put into perspective.

A monitor with a very low deviation in color, a pro screen (and very very expensive), will have a variation of 10 to 15 % between the brightest and darkest point. A classic screen can go as high as 30% without this usually causing a problem.

Therefore, these two screens are above average.

The Dell gave us a 22% max difference with an average 4.6% variation per measurement point.

PVA 6 ms : Dell 2408WFP

The Iolair has a 21% maximum with an average variation of 3.5 %.

MVA 6 ms : Iolair MB24W

One word of caution on the Iolair: the MB24W (actually available under numerous brands varying depending on the country) is based on an older generation MVA panel that is supposed to no longer be produced. So expect stronger variations in its behavior than with monitors equipped with more recent components. In particular, this concerns the Mura effect and therefore homogeneity.

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