Monitor for graphic design

MightyGeekMan

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I'm looking for the largest and best monitor for graphic design (PhotoShop mostly, photography, print design work, Illustrator, etc.) that is < $700. Right now I'm looking at the Dell 2408WFP because of their claims of 110% color gamut reproduction, but I'm not sure the quality control issues that plagued their previous monitors has been taken care of yet. Does anyone have any other monitor suggestions for someone like myself who needs the best color reproduction an LCD can supply?
 

DanNeely

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If your budget can stretch an extra $100, the NEC 2090UXi (20" 1600x1200 wide gamut IPS) is head and shoulders above any other monitor in it's class. The XX90 series are designed from the ground up for graphics use. Combined with a colorimeter they can be ajusted to have 'perfect' color. Even without one their out of the box image quality is better than any of the competition. If $800 is more than you can afford the 1990UXi is only $500 but is only 1280x1024 and appears to be an older generation IPS panel, and I don't see mention of an extended gamut in it's specs. There're several other 1600x1200 IPS panels for $500-600 but based on reviews they all have problems with backlight bleed.

Your other option would be a *VA panel like the 2408WFP, but while you'll get much more resolution and size for your buck VA panels provide signiificantly poorer image quality than IPSes (they're still far better than the TN panels in a laptop or cheap LCD monitor though). The biggest problem with a *VA panel is color shift as you move your head away from being directly centered on the panel.
 

Luthorcrow

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Well first off, if you are serious designer forget the 2407 WFP or any other 24" in that price range. You want an IPS panel. The blacks on any PVA is going to be crushed and I have used the 2407 hands on it was a deal breaker for me. Also, although the general colors don't shift as bad as a TN, the dark areas do when you even move your head just a little.

NEC 2090UXi is an excellent choice even though it is not a wide gamut monitor but its out of your price range ($821 on Amazon).

The only thing in the sub $700 that would even be on the table would be the Dell 2007WFP. If it were my $700 I would either spend an extra $100 and get the NEC or an extra $200 and the get the Planar 2611. It doesn't have the 12 bit gamma correction and internal LUT of the NEC but it is wide gamut and higher resolution 1900x1200.

Sadly, $700 is a tight budget for a good color correct monitor.
 

Scyles

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Well first off, if you are serious designer forget the 2407 WFP or any other 24" in that price range. You want an IPS panel. The blacks on any PVA is going to be crushed and I have used the 2407 hands on it was a deal breaker for me. Also, although the general colors don't shift as bad as a TN, the dark areas do when you even move your head just a little.

Agreed, if color accuracy is of very high importance, IPS is the only way to go. Color gamut does nothing to help TN and PVA's glaring color shift issues.
 

MightyGeekMan

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DanNeely:
My budget could stretch to $800 IF the NEC were 24", at 20" it just isn't worth the price to me. When you, and everyone else, tells me that *VA monitors provide significantly poorer image quality than IPS monitors I wonder what exactly that difference is since almost all of the designers I know use Dell displays, and the ones who don't are using the displays on their laptops! And these are all professional graphic artists like myself who work freelance for multinational corporations or professional photographers.

Luthorcrow:
I agree that I want an IPS monitor, however my price point makes that unfeasible, which is why I was asking about the 2408, not the 2407. A 20" monitor like the NEC you recommend is not large enough to warrant the price to me since I already have two 17" NEC monitors. A single 24" can replace both of those monitors and I won't be missing much. A 30" would be awesome, but that's just too much to spend for me right now.
 

DanNeely

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Until a year or two ago, dell's high end displays were all IPS. Then they switched over and began switching the 2nd production run of a given model to *VA after the reviews came out praising the IPS quality. Look up "dell panel lottery" for details. IIRC the 30" has stayed IPS the whole time.

The ways you identify VA monitor is that the darker shades of colors all look almost identical instead of being a smooth gradiant (black crush), and VA panels suffer color shifts when looked at from off the side. With an IPS monitor you don't have black crush and aside from forshortening the image is totally unaffected if you put your eye against the bezel and look from the side.
 

MightyGeekMan

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Well, here's an interesting conundrum, then. Dell has TWO 2408WFP's listed on their site, one at $699 and one at $780. Perhaps the higher priced model is the S-IPS model and the lower priced one is *VA?
 

daveswantek

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Well, here's an interesting conundrum, then. Dell has TWO 2408WFP's listed on their site, one at $699 and one at $780. Perhaps the higher priced model is the S-IPS model and the lower priced one is *VA?

No the 2407WFP preceeds the 2408WFP and it has been nothing but S-PVA. The two prices you see are for the same display. You can get many different prices from Dell depending on where you look and who you talk to.

Some of the lower priced pannels have had a lottery, but the 30, 27, and 24 inch WFPs have been consistently S-IPS, S-PVA, and S-PVA respectively.

The Samsung 275t or 275t+ would be a good choice for graphic design as well as the 24, 26, or 30 inch NEC.

Best of luck

Dave
 

visualguy

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The ways you identify VA monitor is that the darker shades of colors all look almost identical instead of being a smooth gradiant (black crush), and VA panels suffer color shifts when looked at from off the side. With an IPS monitor you don't have black crush and aside from forshortening the image is totally unaffected if you put your eye against the bezel and look from the side.

All this depends on the particular panel - none of it is inherent in the current generation of IPS or PVA panels. I don't see how you can generalize about current-generation IPS and PVA. The highest end Eizo monitor which is targetted at professional color applications (CG301W) is PVA. I'd take the Eizo CG301W, Eizo SX3031W (both PVA), or even Samsung XL30 (PVA LED) any day instead of the Dell 3008WFP (IPS), for example.
 

Luthorcrow

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My budget could stretch to $800 IF the NEC were 24", at 20" it just isn't worth the price to me. When you, and everyone else, tells me that *VA monitors provide significantly poorer image quality than IPS monitors I wonder what exactly that difference is since almost all of the designers I know use Dell displays, and the ones who don't are using the displays on their laptops! And these are all professional graphic artists like myself who work freelance for multinational corporations or professional photographers.
Interesting I also work with and know an entire team of photogrpahers and designers that work for a well know fortune 500 company and they use nothing but Apple IPS panels. What does that mean? Not sure but I do know that Dell is our prefered vendor so its not a lack of access.

My other question is, if you know so many professional photographers and graphic artists, why are you wasting your time posting here? Talk to them, end of story.

That said, I think everyone has been clear about the differences betweent the two and why an IPS monitor is considered to be better. Does that mean you won't be happy with a consumer level Dell, no. But it does change the short comings of the product.

Luthorcrow:
I agree that I want an IPS monitor, however my price point makes that unfeasible, which is why I was asking about the 2408, not the 2407. A 20" monitor like the NEC you recommend is not large enough to warrant the price to me since I already have two 17" NEC monitors. A single 24" can replace both of those monitors and I won't be missing much. A 30" would be awesome, but that's just too much to spend for me right now.
Then I would say save your money. Again, its your cash and you might be happy with the 2407/8. Personally I work with enough dark images that I wouldn't use that model if you gave me one free. Now, the Dell 3007/8 is another story and a larger wallet.:D

All this depends on the particular panel - none of it is inherent in the current generation of IPS or PVA panels. I don't see how you can generalize about current-generation IPS and PVA. The highest end Eizo monitor which is targetted at professional color applications (CG301W) is PVA. I'd take the Eizo CG301W, Eizo SX3031W (both PVA), or even Samsung XL30 (PVA LED) any day instead of the Dell 3008WFP (IPS), for example.
You make a good point. But comparing a $5000 monitor (Eizo) to the Dell is just not fair.;)

Name a single PVA in the sub $1000 range that competes with an IPS? My experience says there is no such animal and defintely not the Dell 2407 (haven't used the 2408).

So end of story is it's your cash MightyGeek but if it were my money, I would save up some more cash.
 

MightyGeekMan

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Luthorcrow:
Over the weekend I spoke with some of the other graphic professionals I work with and they all told me the same thing, buy the Dells. According to them, and confirmed now with my own eyes, a good quality Dell gives nearly all of the performance of the higher priced LCDs from Apple, NEC or Eizo unless you're working exclusively in deep, dark, night photography or black and white photography. For the purposes of what we do for a living however (corporate graphics and design), they believed the Dells were the best bang for buck. Especially since none of our clients would ever notice the difference between 92% and 94% black.

Then, almost all of my associates waxed poetic about the giant 30" screens they all wished they had instead of the mere 20" and 24" screens they currently work on. :)

Thank you to everyone who offered their opinions here and for explaining to me the differences to look for in *VA and IPS monitors. While I agree with everyone in believing an S-IPS monitor would be best for graphics work, after much research and wringing of hands, I still cannot justify spending more money for a monitor that will give me only a 5-10% increase in black level fidelity. If black levels and true color representation truly did matter in my work though, I would simply forgo LCDs entirely and buy another CRT for half the price. They might take up a lot of room on my desk, but LCDs still can't compete in terms of color and black level reproduction.

So, given all of that, I would like to know if anyone has any suggestions OTHER than the new Dell 2408 for a good 24" or larger LCD monitor under $700 that might fit my needs?
 

Dunan

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Luthorcrow:
Over the weekend I spoke with some of the other graphic professionals I work with and they all told me the same thing, buy the Dells. According to them, and confirmed now with my own eyes, a good quality Dell gives nearly all of the performance of the higher priced LCDs from Apple, NEC or Eizo unless you're working exclusively in deep, dark, night photography or black and white photography. For the purposes of what we do for a living however (corporate graphics and design), they believed the Dells were the best bang for buck. Especially since none of our clients would ever notice the difference between 92% and 94% black.

Then, almost all of my associates waxed poetic about the giant 30" screens they all wished they had instead of the mere 20" and 24" screens they currently work on. :)

Thank you to everyone who offered their opinions here and for explaining to me the differences to look for in *VA and IPS monitors. While I agree with everyone in believing an S-IPS monitor would be best for graphics work, after much research and wringing of hands, I still cannot justify spending more money for a monitor that will give me only a 5-10% increase in black level fidelity. If black levels and true color representation truly did matter in my work though, I would simply forgo LCDs entirely and buy another CRT for half the price. They might take up a lot of room on my desk, but LCDs still can't compete in terms of color and black level reproduction.

So, given all of that, I would like to know if anyone has any suggestions OTHER than the new Dell 2408 for a good 24" or larger LCD monitor under $700 that might fit my needs?

that 5-10% of black level fidelity can make all the difference in the world, depending on the photo.

NEC's Eizo's and LaCie are the way to go for graphic design
 
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mightyGeekMan, if you can expand $100 more to $900, you can get 26" Planar PX2611w. It uses the same IPS panel as NEC 2690, but does not perform as good as NEC. I thought of getting a Dell 2407, but with the pricetag of $659+tax+shipping, which is about $730 for me, I rather spend an extra $100 on a Planar for a slighter bigger screen and an IPS panel.
 

Yelnats

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I assume that you won't be getting calibration hardware immediately. High gamut displays are usually going to be less accurate out of the box than lower gamut displays. I'd rather get a Dell 2007WFP than any non-ips 24".
 
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