Review of LCDs

With prices dropping, it's a great time to shop for a high-end LCD.
Magazine Contributor
4 min read

This story appears in the November 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

There's a big, affordable world of LCD monitors out there. Whether you're finally dumping your CRT or looking for more display real estate than your 15-inch LCD can provide, you have options. We're going to browse a selection of high-end 19-inch LCDs that offer plenty of room to handle your applications and also offer some extras. What make these monitors high-end are features like USB hubs, super-fast response times and a high level of adjustability, and the inclusion of both digital and analog connections.

We had the chance to try a few monitors in person. All featured fast setups and user-friendly on-screen control menus. The Dell UltraSharp 1905FP takes up a little more desk space than most; that's the trade-off for having so much height, swivel, tilt and pivot control. A locking mechanism keeps everything in place. The 20-millisecond response time isn't as fast as some more expensive options, but for $379 (all prices street) you get a lot of features. The pivot feature, in particular, is a boon for entrepreneurs working with spreadsheets or legal-size documents. The $480 Planar PX-1910M and $499 Hewlett-Packard L1940 are two other options that pivot.

The $490 NEC MultiSync LCD-1970NX features plenty of height and tilt adjustment. The cable management system is a little difficult to use, but a wide viewing angle and handy USB hub add flexibility. The $550 Samsung SyncMaster 193P+ doesn't offer as much height adjustment, but comes with pivoting capability and vivid color reproduction. It's all housed in a clean-cut silver casing that would look at home on an executive's desk. A wall-mount kit is included as a nice bonus. For super adjustability, check out the very slim LG Electronics L1980Q. For $499, you get plenty of high-end features, including 360 degrees of screen rotation, swivel and an included wall-mount kit.

A one-year warranty like the $400 Xerox XG-91D sports is fairly standard. If you're looking for more, some manufacturers go further. The Planar, for example, comes with a top-of-the-line three-year warranty with a two-day advance replacement clause.

Even with svelte LCDs, size matters. Thin bezels around the screen not only look nice, but also are a must if you ever plan to use multiple monitors. For overall size, the Xerox XG-91D features an ultrathin design to help maximize space.

Entrepreneurs who do graphics, video or multimedia work will want to pay attention to a few of the technical specs. Response time (lower is better) particularly comes into play when watching or working on video. The $420 ViewSonic VX924 has a superfast 3-millisecond gray-to-gray response time. For entrepreneurs looking to work on mostly standard business applications, response time isn't critical.

Check into other top LCD monitor manufacturers like Sony. For more specialized needs, consider products from Elo TouchSystems. The company's 1947L touchscreen runs just under a grand. Otherwise, shop for an LCD monitor based on your multimedia needs, space consideration and features. With the way prices are dropping and quality is improving, expect 19-inch LCDs to soon become the standard for desktop computing.

Shopping List Make even the most benign budget report look like a stunner by viewing it on a 19-inch LCD.
(949) 255-9500
Analog and digital interfaces, polished screen, built-in speakers $499
UltraSharp 1905FP
(800) WWW-DELL
Analog and digital interfaces, USB 2.0 hub, swivel and pivot $379
(800) 752-0900
Analog and digital interfaces, USB 2.0 hub, swivel and pivot $499
LG Electronics
(800) 243-0000
Analog and digital interfaces, swivel and pivot, 360 degree rotation $499
MultiSync LCD1970NX
(866) NEC-MORE
Analog and digital interfaces, USB 2.0 hub $490
(866) 752-6271
Analog and digital interfaces, swivel and pivot, built-in speakers $480
SyncMaster 193P+
Analog and digital interfaces, pivot $550
(888) 881-8781
Analog and digital interfaces, 3-millisecond GTG response time $420
(800) 469-1175
Analog and digital interfaces, ultrathin design $400
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