At first glance, when you are shopping for an LCD it looks like you have a lot of choices beyond simply choosing a size.  There are dozens of vendors with several models in at each display size, which adds up to a fairly long list when you are trying to decide.  Look a little closer and you might notice that almost every single one of these displays uses a TN matrix. This means that they have average colour accuracy and gamut and a poor vertical viewing angles, along with fast response times and a relatively low price.  When gaming, this really doesn’t matter too much, even in FarCry 2 you spend far more time worried about the movements of your enemies than having the proper range of greens to make the trees look even better.  When you are watching a movie or streamed show on a 30″ LCD, or trying your hand at the GIMP, suddenly that average ability to display proper colours becomes a serious drawback. 

AnandTech starts a review of the discontinued BenQ FP241VW, which then takes a sharp right turn into the technology available to make LCD matrices.  Learn about the technologies, their limitations and their strengths in this full review.

“For those that want something better, the choices are far more limited… and far more expensive. Upgrade from a TN panel to a similarly sized PVA or IPS panel and you can usually count on spending 50% to 100% more – or more! – on the purchase. That might be perfectly acceptable if the PVA/IPS panels were all universally better, but that’s not always the case. Color accuracy is almost random it seems, with some IPS panels scoring exceptionally well, PVA panels running the gamut from great to average, and TN panels that likewise fall anywhere from excellent to mediocre. Viewing angles always favor IPS and PVA panels over TN panels, especially in terms of vertical viewing angles. Color gamut is tied to the backlight used in the panel, so you can have poor or great color gamut with any panel technology. Last but not least is image processing speed, and here’s where things get interesting.”

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