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Advice needed for a new "monitor"

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
For a number of years, I have been using on a succession of Windows desktop machines a ViewSonic VX2035wm "monitor", with a 20" screen and resolution of 1680 × 1050 px. It is certainly not a display unit from which I can expect extremely accurate color rendition, but it has served my purpose. (I do by the way use a Spyder 3 calibration system to make things as good as possible.)

But its backlight system (cold-cathode fluorescent) lately occasionally doesn't want to start properly, and I suspect it is not long for this world.

So I want to replace this display unit, perhaps with something from which I can expect modestly better color rendition.

I think I want to stay with a 20" or 22" screen size (of course the newer display units all have "wider" aspect ratios, so a 20" screen is not as high as the one I have now).

I don't want to go to one of the new super-high resolution units, as I use a number of legacy applications I have learned from colleagues will not cooperate with such.

My video board has DVI output but not HDMI.

I am starting with the thought that I would like to bring this in within maybe $400.00, but maybe that is unrealistic.

I'd be interested in suggestions as to what units I should perhaps look into. And of course, out here in the desert there is no possibility that I can actually look at anything serious before I would buy one to look at it, so it will probably need to be be something I could buy from B&H or Amazon.

Thanks.

Best regards,

Doug
 

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
I have not studied the market for monitors lately, but I don't think you will have very good color rendition without considerable effort on a windows PC. This site may explain a bit more.

OTOH, if your monitor is old, almost any new monitor is going to be better. I think that all recent panels support sRGB, which was not the case a few years ago. Considering that your other requirements are modest, I would simply buy the cheapest monitor that fits the bill.

I would buy it cheap, but I would buy it from a vendor which accepts returns without hassle. Insuring that a recent monitor recognises the signals from an older system is not necessarily a given, even if it should. DVI/HDMI (which are electrically compatible, HDMI only adding a sound channel and optional encryption) are not a single standard but rather a collection of recommendations. It usually works, but not always.
 

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
Hi, Jerome,

I have not studied the market for monitors lately, but I don't think you will have very good color rendition without considerable effort on a windows PC. This site may explain a bit more.

OTOH, if your monitor is old, almost any new monitor is going to be better. I think that all recent panels support sRGB, which was not the case a few years ago. Considering that your other requirements are modest, I would simply buy the cheapest monitor that fits the bill.

I would buy it cheap, but I would buy it from a vendor which accepts returns without hassle. Insuring that a recent monitor recognises the signals from an older system is not necessarily a given, even if it should. DVI/HDMI (which are electrically compatible, HDMI only adding a sound channel and optional encryption) are not a single standard but rather a collection of recommendations. It usually works, but not always.
All well said.

I have actually just an hour or so ago ordered from B&H Foto & Electronics an Asus PA248Q "24 inch" display unit, with 16:10 aspect ratio (4:3 isn't even available any more, but I'm glad not to be forced into 16:9!) and native resolution of 1920 × 1200 px, USD 299.00 delivered taking into account an available rebate.

We'll see how that does.

Thanks for your observations.

Best regards,

Doug
 

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
Hi, Michael,
Doug,

have a look at prad.de. Use the parametric search to narrow down your choice.
Thank you for the link to that excellent site.

Mein Deutsch is so feeble that I had to rely on Google Translate to address it seriously.

I am just now starting to use the parametric search. Having already ordered a monitor, I first considered the site's review of it, which was very thorough and detailed. I would say it was "comforting".

The reviewer commented (as did many other reviewers) on the differences between this machine (the Asus PA248Q) and its immediate predecessor, the PA 146Q, a well-thought-of machine. The major differences seem to be:

• The older PA246Q has a cold-cathode fluorescent backlight system (as for the machine I am replacing); the newer PA248Q has an LED backlight system.

• The chromaticity gamut of the older PA246Q is somewhat beyond that of sRGB (98% of Adobe RGB); for the newer PS248Q, the gamut is essentially limited to that of sRGB.

• The color panel of the newer PA248Q has a lesser bit depth than the older PA246Q (8 bits vs 10 bits)

• The look-up table (LUT) on the newer PS248Q has a lesser bit depth than the LUT on the older PA246Q.

The descriptions on the B&H site (probably provided by the manufacturer), comparing the two machines, says:
The PA246Q is for professionals looking for a wider color gamut.​

At this time, the PA246Q is discontinued. B&H indicates that its successor is the PA249Q (USD 479.00).

I any case, we will next we will see how the PA248Q does here.

Again, thanks for the link to that really good review site.

Best regards,

Doug
 

Michael Nagel

Active member
Mein Deutsch is so feeble that I had to rely on Google Translate to address it seriously.
I linked to the English version of the site. You can always click on the Union Jack to switch to English.
I don't understand why you use Google Translate or was it just for a specific review?
*flabbergasted*
 

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
Hi, Michael,

I linked to the English version of the site. You can always click on the Union Jack to switch to English.
I had tried that right away and for some reason wasn't able to get it to work except on the "home page".

I'll try it again today.

Thanks.

Best regards,

Doug
 

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
Hi, Michael

I linked to the English version of the site. You can always click on the Union Jack to switch to English.
Here is my experience. I started with the site in its English mode, from your link.

I was first interested in reviews of the Asus PA248Q. I could not find it listed in the selection facility in the Monitors tab. So I put 'Asus PA248Q' in the search box, and got this page:

http://www.prad.de/en/start/search.html?cx=017225940420860497332:sb8eubcllis&cof=FORID:11&ie=iso-8859-1&q=PA248Q&sa=Search

The various synopses of the parts of the PA248Q review were all auf Deutsch, and those links too be to German versions of the parts of the review.

I tried from the page I cited to click on the Union Jack, and it took me to the home page (in English, of course).

I will next try and find the PA248Q review (in English) using the parametric search capability.

Best regards,

Doug
 

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
Hi, Michael,

It looks as if for this (and many other) Asus machines there is a German review but not yet an English review.

The machine can be located with the very nice parametric search, and all its specifications and properties given, but the row in which there should be a link to the review is empty.

Now if I put the site in its German mode, and then go to the reviews listing, the Asus PA248Q appears!

Then, with the site still in its German mode, I use the parametric search with a few key parameters that should make the Asus PA248Q appear.

The parametric search seems to be organized a bit differently in the German mode vs. the English mode.
In any case, I was easily able to bring up the "column" for the Asus PA248Q. This time, in the row labeled Testbericht there was a link to the review (auf Deutsch, of course).

So the mystery is solved: there is not, at this time, an English review of the Asus PA248Q. So it's up to me and Google Translate!

I was, by the way, disappointed to see that the reviewer had rated that machine only "satisfactory"!

Best regards,

Doug
 

Nicolas Claris

Administrator/Moderator
Hi Doug and others
Just FYI, in such case, I copy paste the URL in Google Chrome browser, it doesn't translate any better translation than Google translate, but you can use the site ann and click on links, translating the targeted pages…
I'm not a fan of Chrome, but this is sometimes quite handy!

BTW Doug, have you received your new monitor?

Kind regards and kudos to Portugal (soccer thing)

Hi, Michael,


Thank you for the link to that excellent site.

Mein Deutsch is so feeble that I had to rely on Google Translate to address it seriously.

I am just now starting to use the parametric search. Having already ordered a monitor, I first considered the site's review of it, which was very thorough and detailed. I would say it was "comforting".

The reviewer commented (as did many other reviewers) on the differences between this machine (the Asus PA248Q) and its immediate predecessor, the PA 146Q, a well-thought-of machine. The major differences seem to be:

• The older PA246Q has a cold-cathode fluorescent backlight system (as for the machine I am replacing); the newer PA248Q has an LED backlight system.

• The chromaticity gamut of the older PA246Q is somewhat beyond that of sRGB (98% of Adobe RGB); for the newer PS248Q, the gamut is essentially limited to that of sRGB.

• The color panel of the newer PA248Q has a lesser bit depth than the older PA246Q (8 bits vs 10 bits)

• The look-up table (LUT) on the newer PS248Q has a lesser bit depth than the LUT on the older PA246Q.

The descriptions on the B&H site (probably provided by the manufacturer), comparing the two machines, says:
The PA246Q is for professionals looking for a wider color gamut.​

At this time, the PA246Q is discontinued. B&H indicates that its successor is the PA249Q (USD 479.00).

I any case, we will next we will see how the PA248Q does here.

Again, thanks for the link to that really good review site.

Best regards,

Doug
 

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
Hi, Nicolas,

Hi Doug and others
Just FYI, in such case, I copy paste the URL in Google Chrome browser, it doesn't translate any better translation than Google translate, but you can use the site ann and click on links, translating the targeted pages…
I can do something very similar in my Firefox browser via the Google Translate site.

Sometimes links don't work properly, though.

BTW Doug, have you received your new monitor?
It is due to arrive this afternoon (2016.07.11). I am eager to see how it behaves.

Best regards,

Doug
 

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
Our new Asus PA248Q display unit ("monitor") arrived late yesterday afternoon (2016.07.11) (we are at the very end of our UPS delivery route).

It is lovely!

In reviews, note is always taken of its very nice stand. It provides of course for tilting the screen, but also for "twisting" the unit from side to side (not sure exactly what that is for but it works very smoothly). The stand has a telescoping column, allowing the unit's height above the desk to be changed. This functionality seems to include a spring counterbalance, and there is no "latch".

Finally, the screen can be rotated to a "portrait" orientation, typically of interest when composing newspaper pages and the like. There is no provision for automatically advising the display adapter of this, so changes there and in applications would have to be done manually.

In the estimable German computer equipment review site "PRAD" (to which Michael Nagel kindly referred us), in its extensive review of this machine, the reviewer (Damian Köb) commented that the vertical movement was "jerky" or some such, but I do not find that in our copy.

The screen of this machine is substantially larger than that of the old faithful ViewSonic unit it replaced, a "24-inch class" screen (the ViewSonic machine was "20 inch"). The screen dimensions are about 20.4 in × 12.75 in (aspect ratio of 16:10, just as for the ViewSonic). The native resolution is 1920 px × 1200 px.

I am in no position to judge the accuracy of the machine's color rendering (more on that later), but everything looks wonderful!

It does not exhibit in the slightest the Color shift" of text being scrolled that was exhibited by two earlier candidates to replace the original ViewSonic machine (both lower-cost ViewSonic models. (This may have been a result of those machines' response times coupled with the use of the ClearType system on the computer. But I did not have this with the original ViewSonic machine, with a similar speed rating, and the new Asus machine has an even slightly response time rating.)

I ran a full calibration and profiling run on the machine with my Spyder3 Elite system. The report at completion indicated excellent conformity to the sRGB primaries and a very small delta E (residual color error) value (although I did not write that down nor print out the report).

The PRAD review was critical of a nonlinearity in tonal response in the "Custom" mode (I have to yet figure out exactly what that is), but as a result the reviewer rated the machine only "satisfactory" ("satisfying" is the literal translation) rather than, perhaps, "good", "very good", or "even excellent". Hopefully, whatever that shortcoming is, it is alleviated by the population of the machine's LUT (look up table) by the calibration process I did.

The rather more costly Asus PA249Q - thought to be the successor to the highly-rated PA246Q, now discontinued - was also found by Herr Köb to have this same deficiency, and was similarly rated "satisfying".​

In any case, for the moment, I am indeed "satisfied".

The machine has a nice set of small clearly marked, easy to operate but unobtrusive buttons on the lower part of the right bezel. Actually, one of them is a little "joystick" (reminiscent of those on laptop keyboards, but smaller) that is used to navigate the on-screen menu system. I still have to probe its goodies.

Two of the buttons are "customizable", and an be programmed to bring up various menu items. By default they bring up setting panels for contrast and brightness.

The machine has brightness to spare. At the moment, it is calibrated on the basis of a full white screen luminance of 140 cd/m^2, and to do that, I has to set the machine brightness to 34 on a 0-100 scale! That brightness works well for me during both daylight and nighttime environments.

The machine has an extensive set of input connectors, rather clearly marked and fairly easy to use.

One input route is USB3, and as a follow on, the machine has four USB output ports mounted on its left edge, where they could be used as utility ports in one's operation.

Interestingly enough, along the bevels of the bezel immediately (adjacent to the screen proper) on the bottom and right edges are "ruler" scales in cm. (They are unobtrusive, and many users would not even notice them.)

We we of course be learning more about this machine over the time to come, and I will report any remarkable findings here.

I'll post a photo of the machine in situ as soon as I clean up the mess around it.

In any case, so far, I am delighted.

Best regards,

Doug
 

Michael Nagel

Active member
Hi Doug,

It looks as if for this (and many other) Asus machines there is a German review but not yet an English review.
This is a better indication. Your initial comment could be interpreted in a way that the entire site was only in German for you...

Best regards,
Michael
 

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
After one week of continuous use, I still find the Asus PS248Q "monitor" to be a very admirable unit.

The most recent calibration/profiling run with Spyder3 reported a residual delta E of less than 0.2 units on the white point at various luminance levels. I do not yet have the delta E values for other chromaticities.

The factory report for this specific unit, in its standard sRGB configuration, shows delta E values less than 5 units for 32 test colors (less than 4 units for most).

Best regards,

Doug
 
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