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New trends in Multimedia monitors - Wide is beautiful

Last year, my NEC MT80 projector gave up on me after 8 years of faithful service. Now, another great friend, that I have been eye-to-eye with for nearly six years, is giving up on me. This time it's my NEC LCD 2010, once called the "Mother of all LCDs", with a 1280 x 1024 resolution and an initial price tag of over 8000 dollars. As I'm looking for somewhat more space on my desktop, my focus is on the new generation of widescreen monitors, and I came across some marvels that I will share with you here...
I have been looking at the currently available monitors (or those just waiting around the corner) in the 19 to 21 inch class. Here you will find widescreen monitors with a 16:10 image ratio. In the 19” class the resolution is 1440 x 900, in the 20” and 21" class you’ll find a resolution of 1680 x 1050. Each monitor class will have different pixel sizes, varying from 0.258mm to 0.294mm, an important property to consider when your eyesight is not 20/20.

If you're not into gaming and you deem a clean desk important, features like integrated speakers and USB hubs can be a great help. Of course, “brightness” and “contrast” are two important items to consider, although higher does not always mean better. For some background reading on these properties, you might have a look at the EIZO white paper "Are Higher Brightness and Contrast Ratio Better?". (PDF - 160K)

A class in its own for digital photography enthusiasts is the 20” LG M203WX, announced at CES 2006, which comes with a 4-in-2 memory card slot. The memory cards can be inserted directly into the monitor to view images, eliminating the need to download images to the computer before viewing. Its sister model, the LG L203WT, offers the same amenities, except for the multimedia features, but it offers an impressive contrast ratio.

Up until now, the absolute winner is the ASUS PW201, announced at the CEBIT 2006 show. It not only has a beautiful design with its black frame and aluminum stand, but it comes with every feature you can dream of. It even comes with an integrated 1.3 Megapixel digital camera for video conferencing and a swivel stand that allows you to turn the monitor to your neighbor without ruining your desk. As my eyesight is not 20/20, my only regret is its pixel size of 0.258mm. Sadly, the same goes for my favorite NEC MultiSync 20WMGX, so I'll have a closer look at the new 21" Samsung SyncMaster 215TW.

Please note that my search has only been through the available documentation and information on the Internet. Judging the quality of the displays will be a separate exercise in my next field trips.

The table below shows most 19” to 21” widescreen monitors available on the market today, but you can expect many more to come this year. The first entry shows my NEC LCD 2010 for comparison only, just to illustrate how LCD technology has evolved over the last six years.

NEC MultiSync LCD 2010 20" 1280 x 1024 Click for more info on the NEC MultiSync LCD 2010
Pixel size 0.31 Connections VGA / RGB
Brightness 150 Speakers No
Contrast 150:1 USB Hub No
Viewing angle 160° / 160° Pivot / Swivel Yes / No
Response time ? ms W x H X D (mm) 498 x 501 x 262
Acer AL1916Ws 19" 1440 x 900 Click for more info on the Acer AL1916W
Pixel size 0.285 Connections VGA
Brightness 300 Speakers 2x 2W
Contrast 500:1 USB Hub No
Viewing angle 150° / 130° Pivot / Swivel No / No
Response time 8 ms W x H X D (mm) 462 x 385 x 180
Asus PW191 19" 1440 x 900 Click for more info on the Asus PW191
Pixel size 0.285 Connections VGA / DVI
Brightness 300 Speakers 2x 2W
Contrast 500:1 USB Hub No
Viewing angle 150° / 130° Pivot / Swivel Yes / Yes
Response time 8 ms W x H X D (mm) 520 x 490 x 285
Fujitsu-Siemens W19-1 19" 1440 x 900 Click for more info on the Scaleoview W19-1
Pixel size 0.285 Connections VGA / DVI
Brightness 300 Speakers 2x 1W
Contrast 500:1 USB Hub No
Viewing angle 150° / 130° Pivot / Swivel No / No
Response time 8 ms W x H X D (mm) 446 x 375 x 178
Mirai DML-519W100 19" 1440 x 900 Click for more info on the Mirai DML-519W100
Pixel size 0.285 Connections VGA / DVI
Brightness 300 Speakers 2x 2W
Contrast 500:1 USB Hub No
Viewing angle 150° / 130° Pivot / Swivel No / No
Response time 8 ms W x H X D (mm) 464 x 377 x 192
Samsung 940MW (+TV Tuner) 19" 1440 x 900 Click for more info on the Samsung 940MW
Pixel size 0.294 Connections VGA / DVI
Brightness 300 Speakers 2x 3W
Contrast 700:1 USB Hub No
Viewing angle 160° / 160° Pivot / Swivel No / No
Response time 8 ms W x H X D (mm) 466 x 406 x 217
VideoSeven L19WA 19" 1440 x 900 Click for more info on the VideoSeven L19WA
Pixel size 0.285 Connections VGA
Brightness 300 Speakers 2x
Contrast 500:1 USB Hub No
Viewing angle 150° / 130° Pivot / Swivel No / No
Response time 8 ms W x H X D (mm) 469 x 369 x 190
ViewSonic VA1912w 19" 1440 x 900 Click for more info on the ViewSonic VA1912w
Pixel size 0.285 Connections VGA
Brightness 300 Speakers 2x
Contrast 500:1 USB Hub No
Viewing angle 150° / 130° Pivot / Swivel No / No
Response time 8 ms W x H X D (mm) 451 x 391 x 197
Acer AL2032WA 20" 1680 x1050 Click for more info on the Acer AL2032wa
Pixel size 0.258 Connections VGA / DVI
Brightness 300 Speakers 2x 5W
Contrast 800:1 USB Hub No
Viewing angle 176° / 176° Pivot / Swivel No / No
Response time 8 ms W x H X D (mm) 510 x 444 x 207
Acer AL2051W 20" 1680 x1050 Click for more info on the Acer AL2051w
Pixel size 0.258 Connections VGA / DVI
Brightness 300 Speakers No
Contrast 800:1 USB Hub No
Viewing angle 176° / 176° Pivot / Swivel No / No
Response time 8 ms W x H X D (mm) 480 x 408 x 212
Apple Cinema Display 20" 1680 x1050 Click for more info on the Apple Cinema Display
Pixel size 0.258 Connections DVI
Brightness 250 Speakers 2x 2W
Contrast 400:1 USB Hub 1/2 - USB 2.0
Viewing angle 178° / 178° Pivot / Swivel No / No
Response time 14 ms W x H X D (mm) 471 x 410 x 174
Asus PW201 20" 1680 x1050 Click for more info on the ASUS PW201
Pixel size 0.258 Connections VGA / DVI
Brightness 300 Speakers 2x 2W
Contrast 800:1 USB Hub 1/3
Viewing angle 176° / 176° Pivot / Swivel Yes / Yes
Response time 8 ms W x H X D (mm) 560 x 496 x 280
BenQ FP202W 20" 1680 x1050 Click for more info on the BenQ FP202w
Pixel size 0.258 Connections VGA / DVI
Brightness 300 Speakers No
Contrast 600:1 USB Hub No
Viewing angle 170° / 170° Pivot / Swivel No / No
Response time 8 ms W x H X D (mm) 480 x 397 x 170
Fujitsu-Siemens S20-1W 20" 1680 x1050 Click for more info on the Scaleoview S20-1W
Pixel size 0.258 Connections VGA / DVI
Brightness 300 Speakers 2x 2W
Contrast 800:1 USB Hub No
Viewing angle 176° / 176° Pivot / Swivel No / No
Response time 8 ms W x H X D (mm) 480 x 400 x 207
LG M203WX 20" 1680 x1050 Click for more info on the LG M203WX
Pixel size 0.258 Connections VGA / DVI
Brightness 300 Speakers 2x 5W
Contrast 600:1 USB Hub 1/2 - USB 2.0
Viewing angle 178° / 178° Pivot / Swivel No / No
Response time 16 ms W x H X D (mm) 496 x 424 x 241
NEC MultiSync 20WMGX 20" 1680 x1050 Click for more info on the NEC MultiSync 20WMGX
Pixel size 0.258 Connections VGA / DVI
Brightness 470 Speakers 2x 5W
Contrast 1600:1 USB Hub 1/4 - USB 2.0
Viewing angle 178° / 178° Pivot / Swivel No / Yes
Response time 6 ms W x H X D (mm) 471 x 392 x 203
Philips 200W6CS 20" 1680 x1050 Click for more info on the Philips 200W6CS
Pixel size 0.258 Connections VGA / DVI
Brightness 300 Speakers 2x 2W
Contrast 800:1 USB Hub 1/1 - USB 2.0
Viewing angle 176° / 176° Pivot / Swivel No / Yes
Response time 8ms W x H X D (mm) 478 x 424 x 235
ViewSonic VA2012w 20" 1680 x 1050 Click for more info on the ViewSonic VA2012w
Pixel size 0.258 Connections VGA
Brightness 300 Speakers 2x
Contrast 600:1 USB Hub No
Viewing angle 140° / 125° Pivot / Swivel No / No
Response time 8 ms W x H X D (mm) 479 x 423 x 216
ViewSonic VA2025wm 20" 1680 x 1050 Click for more info on the ViewSonic VA2025wm
Pixel size 0.258 Connections VGA / DVI
Brightness 300 Speakers 2x
Contrast 600:1 USB Hub No
Viewing angle 176° / 176° Pivot / Swivel No / No
Response time 16 ms W x H X D (mm) 485 x 441 x 201
Eizo FlexScan S2110W 21" 1680 x 1050 Click for more info on the Eizo Flexscan S2110W
Pixel size 0.27 Connections 2x DVI-I
Brightness 450 Speakers No
Contrast 1000:1 USB Hub 1/2 - USB 2.0
Viewing angle 178° / 178° Pivot / Swivel No / No
Response time 16 ms W x H X D (mm) 501 x 341 x 230
Hewlett-Packard F2105 21" 1680 x 1050
Pixel size 0.27 Connections VGA / DVI
Brightness 300 Speakers 2x 5W
Contrast 500:1 USB Hub 1/2 - USB 2.0
Viewing angle 178° / 178° Pivot / Swivel No / No
Response time 16 ms W x H X D (mm) 588 x 465 x 287
Samsung SyncMaster 215TW 21" 1680 x 1050 Click for more info on the Samsung SyncMaster 215TW
Pixel size 0.27 Connections VGA / DVI
Brightness 300 Speakers 2x
Contrast 1000:1 USB Hub No
Viewing angle 178° / 178° Pivot / Swivel Yes / Yes
Response time 8 ms W x H X D (mm) 490 x 377 x 220
April 17, 2006
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