Budget TFT Round-up - 17" and 19" models

Soldato
Joined
12 Jan 2003
Posts
20,264
Location
UK
Nowadays there are quite a few budget TFT models around which still offer some nice specs. The only real problems with the budget models at the moment are the looks and the lack of extra features (like DVI, pivot, rotate etc). I have often said that performance wise, you will probably not see much difference in the higher end and budget models. What you are paying for with the likes of the Samsung 172X and LG1780U is the aesthetics, and the extra functionality of the monitor. To many, this extra cost is justified, but to some, a budget model will suffice. I thought a roundup of the budget models might help people decide on which TFT is for them.

Any owners of the monitors covered please add your user comments, as they would be very helpful I am sure. Likewise, anyone who knows any online reviews for any of these, please link to them:


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Monitors covered:

AG Neovo F417 (R12)
OcUK Value / Digimate 1715
VideoSeven L17PS

OcUK Value /Belinea 101902
OcUK Value / Digimate 1916
VideoSeven L19PS
LG 1915S
Acer 1912S


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AG Neovo F417-(R12)
17inch, 1280 x 1024 resolution, 12ms response time, 450:1 contrast ratio, 260cd/m2 brightness, 150/135 viewing angles, VGA connection only.
£146
(from OcUK as of 17/5/05)

neovo_f417.jpg


AG Neovo have used a BOE Hydis HT17EX1 panel in the F417-R12 (confirmed by Neovo), and the performance should be quite comparable to other 12ms panels. Modern fast TN are all quite comparable when it comes down to ‘real use’ and reports have been favourable regarding it’s performance. The Neovo is a quite nice looking black screen and for the price, it has become a popular model with OcUK members. There is no DVI, which is expected from a budget model and no fancy features either.

Official Neovo Spec page

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Reviews:

Sion’s Review – non forum member, but kindly submitted to me for posting (May 2005)
John1986 Review (May 2005)

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User Comments:

JOHN1986: “The image is crystal clear, brightness and contrast are good. For reference, it’s sharper than my sisters LG1515S. To be honest, I’ve never used a REALLY good TFT (dell 24" etc) but it is certainly great to my eyes, and excellent value. NO ghosting on CoD, and as some will know, it can be quite fast in multiplayer. A little blurring when spinning round, but nothing major. I’ve never used a TFT for games, its (the ghosting) VERY minor..…less than shaking your head as fast as you can, and trying to look at something.”

SION: “Monitor is great, no ghosting, watching Family Guy, 24, The Office, South Park etc. Colours are lovely, crystal clear...no complaints at all. The coloured sand picture and the art palette one look brilliant, just as good, if not probably better than my old CRT. Black screen - Black right across, but for a little hint of lighting in far bottom left corner. But you'd have to be close to notice it. White Screen - Same again. From distance pure white. Up close little bit of off-colour around the edge. But I mean up close (few inches). Haven't gamed on it yet I must say, but I did just run 3dmark03. I was very impressed with what I saw, just as good as my CRT, and this was running at 1024x768 as well !! Jaggies seem more prominent, but then, at 1024x768, jaggies are always an issue for me. But, if it looks that good running outside its default resolution, I can't wait to play some games later in native res. (Though on the desktop, running at 1024x768 ain't so great, everything seems a bit blurred I must say. Gaming not so). Here is a picture for you. You can still see the dust footprint from my old monitor! I'll tidy later. But colour production is brilliant. No streaks or ghosting, perfect.”




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OcUK Value /Digimate 1715
17inch, 1280 x 1024 resolution, 16ms response time, 450:1 contrast ratio, 260cd/m2 brightness, 140/125 viewing angles, VGA only, 2x speakers and headphone jack.
£150
(from OcUK as of 17/5/05)

1715.jpg


The OcUK Value TFT is also known as the Digimate 1715. The current stock uses the 16ms AU Optronics TN film panel as used in several other higher end models like the Hitachi CML174 and the Sharp LL172A. The panel offers some very good, and long time established performance in the 17” market. The monitor isn’t particularly attractive, but performance is still very good. Digimate have updated the panel used to a 12ms model, (see spec here) but the OcUK value TFT still uses the 16ms version.

As the panel used is the same, performance comments from the Hitachi CML174, NEC 1760NX and the Sharp LL172A can be helpful. Again, no fancy features like DVI or rotate functions, but the addition of stereo speakers might be handy for office use. Obviously these are not up to much, but for light sounds use they might be useful.

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User Comments:

FTM: "...Budget screen really, but doesn't ghost to my untrained eyes....CS/CoD/City Of Heroes...all play with no ghosting. Sharpness - much better than the fujitsu-siemens TFT's we have at work. Movie playback is free of 'noise' and no ghosting. Cant comment on viewing angles, as I have nothing really to judge it against. Colours more vibrant than the TFT's we use at work as well. Its superior in every way to the Hansol 710P CRT I was using."



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Videoseven L17PS
17inch, 1280 x 1024 resolution, 14ms response time, 350:1 contrast ratio, 370cd/m2 brightness, 160/120 viewing angles, VGA only, 2x speakers and headphone jack.
£155
(from OcUK as of 17/5/05)

Ocuk_V7L17PS.jpg


I have been told by VideoSeven that their L17PS uses a 14ms CMI Mei Optoelectronics panel, but from the spec it looks more like this Fujitsu Siemens panel. Either way, the panel offers some unusual specs really at 14ms response time and a low contrast ratio. While we have learned not to trust monitor response rate specs too much, the quoted contrast ratio is quite low really while the brightness specification is particularly high. I would question the accuracy of these specs really, but either way, brightness is an important aspect of a display and looks like it is high for this monitor. Performance in terms of pixel response should be good, perhaps a notch below that of the 12ms panels around today, but comparable to the 16ms panel (AU Optronics) offered in the Digimate 1715.

Official Spec page
 
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Soldato
Joined
12 Jan 2003
Posts
20,264
Location
UK
19 inch models

OcUK Value /Belinea 101902
19inch, 1280 x 1024 resolution, 16ms response time, 500:1 contrast ratio, 250cd/m2 brightness, 150/130 viewing angles, VGA only, built in speakers
£211
(from OcUK as of 17/5/05)

belinea_101902.jpg


The OcUK Value 101902 is also known as the Belinea 101902 (this is the silver/black model – the 101901 is “classic grey”). They have implemented a 16ms AU Optronics TN film panel into this model which should offer some decent enough pixel response. This will be a step behind that of the 12ms and 8ms 19” models and to be honest, there are probably some better choices in the budget 19” market. One good point about the Belinea 101902 is that it looks aesthetically nice with a silver and black look to it. Not heard any users on OcUK with one of these however as there are some other nice models for the same kind of price.

Official Belinea Spec page

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Reviews:

ComputerBuyer Review (April 2005)
Les Numeriques Review (Translated)



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OcUK Value / Digimate 1916
19inch, 1280 x 1024 resolution, 16ms response time, 700:1 contrast ratio, 250cd/m2 brightness, 140/125 viewing angles, VGA only, 2x speakers and headphone jack
£226
(from OcUK as of 17/5/05)

digimate1916.jpg


Again the OcUK value 1916 is also known as the Digimate 1916. This doesn’t look nearly as nice as the OcUK value 101902 in my opinion but still offers some good performance, despite the budget price. There is the addition of 2x speakers which might be handy for light office use. The contrast ratio is quoted higher than that of the 101902 but the panel is still restricted by the viewing angles of the TN film technology.

Official Digimate Spec page



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VideoSeven L19PS
19inch, 1280 x 1024 resolution, 21ms response time, 500:1 contrast ratio, 300cd/m2 brightness, 160/120 viewing angles, VGA only, built in speakers
£197
(from OcUK as of 17/5/05)

videoseven19.jpg


There is not much information about this TFT anywhere online. The spec is indicative of a TN film panel and again, perhaps a little slower than the other 19” models covered. The spec is odd (at 21ms response time for instance) but although probably not offering the gaming performance of some of the other models, office use should remain good.

Official VideoSeven Spec page



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LG 1915S
19inch, 1280 x 1024 resolution, 12ms response time, 500:1 contrast ratio, 250cd/m2 brightness, 160/160 viewing angles, VGA only
£224
(from OcUK as of 17/5/05)

LG1915s.jpg


Arguably the nicest of the budget 19” displays. The LG1915S is a little bit more expensive than the Value and Videoseven models, but the price is worth it. The 1915S uses the 12ms LG Phillips LM190E04 TN film panel as used in the LG 1980U. All in all, this is one of the best panels available in the 19” TN film market at present. It offers very good pixel response and colour reproduction, without the sacrifice in viewing angles and movie playback that the 8ms models have unfortunately had to make. This is a good all round panel and at the price, the LG 1915S is an excellent choice. Performance comments can also be taken from the models listed above.

Official LG Spec page

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User Pictures:

Pic 1 (The Jet)
Pic 2 | Pic 3 | Pic 4 | Pic 5 | Pic 6 (Fuz)

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User Comments:

MACHINIST: “Awesome monitor, no noticeable ghosting in any type of work (gaming, movies, etc). Superb value for money too. The only negative thing I could say about it, is the plasticy feel to the chassis. Apart from that, best monitor I've ever owned.”

STELLIOS: “I’ve worked on the 1915s TFT’s at college and I own a 1720B. I don’t get a glow on my 1720B at home. The 1915s is a very nice monitor, with a clear picture, but although it has a 12ms panel IIRC I notice a the exact same amount of ghosting on it as my 1720, which is minimal anyways (plays UT2004 lovely). I will admit the 1915 seems to have better viewing angles though, but the picture looks a little sharper on my 1720, but that obvious as they both run the same resolution and the 1720 is a smaller screen. Overall its a tough choice as they are both better in different ways, just depends what you want from the screen. The 1915s is better for movies, but the 17200 is a sharper picture for gaming.”

Fireblade2K4: ”You won't be disappointed, I have had my LG 1915S a couple of weeks now and after the initial phase of getting used to a TFT it is an excellent piece of kit, clear, crisp, sharp and the colours are excellent!”

THE JET: “Initially I was a little disheartened as the build isn't as i anticipated. A little plastic, but that's what you get for the price. The monitor itself though is visually great, colours are very vivid and with some applications a lot more vivid than that of my CRT 19" 930SB Diamondtron. The other issue I think I should've considered is the fact that it's native resolution is 1280x1024. I'm therefore going to stick with my CRT for gaming at 1600x1200, something which is a shame due to the quality of the TFT’s colours. Apart from that, i think it's a great second monitor for doing multi-tasking, which original was why i bought it for anyway. Movies are also good, although not better than my CRT, it's preference to what i'm watching. My CRT gives me a far more cinematic feel, whereas the TFT gives me a more TV view, albeit a very good TV view.”




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Acer 1912S
19inch, 1280 x 1024 resolution, 16ms response time, 500:1 contrast ratio, 250cd/m2 brightness, 140/140 viewing angles. VGA only
£190 – 210
(online, no competitor talk please)

AL1912s_normal.jpg


The Acer 1912S has some confusing descriptions from the official Acer site. In one section the blurb says “…thanks to the MVA panel technology for the broad viewing angle of 140° and a rapid response rate of 16ms.” This is a bit of a contradiction really, as I would not describe 140 as a broad viewing angle! MVA technology should be more like a true 160-170 angle, and because of the budget price of the TFT, I would be reluctant to belive that it is an MVA as these tend to be higher priced models. This is in keeping with the “detailed specification” which lists it as a TN film panel, and from the spec, it certainly looks like it is. 500:1 contrast, 16ms response time and 140/140 viewing angles seem more like TN specs to me. Perhaps they originally used an MVA panel, but it doesn’t look like it now.

Performance should be adequate anyway, perhaps not as fast as the 12ms models like the LG1915S, but still at a nice low price.

Official Acer Spec page


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User Comments:

JAMES.MILLER: “I've got the Acer. It’s officially a 16ms panel. No DVI…. Performance of the panel is great. Colours are vivid, black level's are a little on the disappointing side (only when compared to my TV), though its only in films that you notice this. Never had a problem with gaming. Ghosting is so slight it really doesn’t worry me…..The only thing it has against it is the build quality. But when you pay £200 for a 19" that doesn’t really matter. When it comes to the display itself, it's top notch.”
 
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