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Passing the screen test

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Whether you are a hardcore gamer or just a casual web surfer, there’s a good chance that you want a quality monitor staring at you. Conventional LCD screens use fluorescent tubes backlighting and usually suffer from black-level display issues. These sets suffer while displaying dark pictures in a dark ambience. On the contrary, LCD screens, driven by light-emitting diode (LED) technology, offer improved black levels and can be used in any light conditions.

These new-generation LED monitors, less than half an inch in thickness, can blow you away with their picture quality and clarity. With flat-panel makers like BenQ, Samsung, ViewSonic and LG fast rolling out LED monitors, it can be safely said that the LED revolution has truly begun.

ViewSonic LED monitor VA1601w
Price: Rs 8,500 (19 inch)

So, what’s special about the 15.6-inch ViewSonic LED monitor VA1601w, or the 19-inch LED VX1932wm monitor? With a high contrast ratio and wide colour gamut, these displays provide an excellent colour reproduction. The 19-inch monitor gives an impressive 1,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio that will help render great colour reproduction.

Since LEDs require no warm-up time, unlike cold-cathode lamps, you don’t have to wait to get the optimal image quality. If one of your resolutions of 2010 is to go green, then here’s the chance. The LED is mercury- free and much better for the environment, as the monitor consumes less than 1 Watt in standby mode and not more than 10 Watts in normal operation. A slim-bezel design and built-in stereo speakers add to the monitor. But the ViewSonic does not have any swivelling capability. What you get is an option to tilt the screen up and down.

LED backlights on a panel will always give you near-perfect colours and this monitor actually conforms with that fact. But we found a slight blurring of pictures during games and some picture quality loss (ghosting) while moving from a black screen to bright images.

At price tags of Rs 8,500 and Rs 6,300 for the 19-inch and 15.6-inch models, respectively, the ViewSonic gives you very beautiful monitors to show off. Although you can always save some money with an unbranded LCD monitor, ViewSonic helps you shop smart and get the latest monitor technology on your desktop.

BenQ V2400 Eco
Price: Rs 18,999

If you are in the mood to splurge some more, then BenQ’s latest LED monitors will surely make you pack that LCD monitor away for good. We can’t help but be impressed with the green credentials of BenQ V2400 Eco, a 24-inch LED monitor. First, it uses LED backlighting. So, in standard mode, the display consumes just 22 Watts and 15 Watts in Eco mode, and the reduction in brightness also means it can be used in dimly-lit rooms.

The recycled plastic bezel of the V2400 Eco LED monitor is very plain, with no glossy parts. Yet, it looks smart. The matte bezel doesn’t reflect light, making it ideal for an office environment, and the monitor feels solid and sturdy. A strange design inclusion is the round recess on the base, which comes with an optional business card holder that looks a little like plastic glass. Finally, the stand tilts, but there’s no height adjustment or portrait mode.

The BenQ V2400 Eco is a full high-definition monitor with a resolution of 1920x1080, so it may appeal to owners of Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 game consoles. Unfortunately, the V2400 Eco lacks a DVI connection, restricting its dual use as a PC and a gaming monitor. There’s a headphone socket but no built-in speakers or 3.5 mm audio input. It, however, includes an HDMI and VGA port. Sporting standard specifications of 1,000:1 static contrast ratio and a 5ms response time, BenQ’s monitor showed no significant motion blurring, while playing 3D action games or action flicks.

BenQ LED V2400 Eco and V2200 Eco are priced at Rs 18,999 and Rs 14,999, respectively.

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