Yes I know, there are already three-and-a-half trillion threads regarding which LCD to chose... why make another? A lot of the buying advice I've seen is tailored towards general-use... surfing the web, watching DVD's, playing games, etc. While these types of uses are the majority, there are definitely a fair number of Mac users, like myself, who are in the creative field and have different criteria in mind when purchasing a new monitor. So, this thread assumes two things: One- you need the image on your screen to look as accurate as possible, but Two- you don't want to spend $2,000-$3,000 on an Eizo or LaCie LCD So, whether you're a photographer, graphic designer, 3D artist, video editor, or anything along those lines, I hope this thread can help clear up some questions regarding LCD panels! (As a disclaimer... I'm definitely not an expert on any of this crap... I merely present to you the information I've found in my research. So put away those torches if I get something wrong ) LCD Misconceptions One of the biggest bits of misinformation I've seen floating around is the assumption that all monitors are good at all things. This is simply not the case. LCD technology has a ways to go before it catches up with CRT in terms of versatility. Unless of course you're buying one of those $3,000 LCD's, but then this thread isn't for you As such, different panel technologies have different strengths and weaknesses. Also... The Dell 2407 (24") and the ACD 23" do not, I repeat x1000 DO NOT use the same type of LCD panel. I'm not going to say which is the better monitor (yet), but I will say that if I hear one more person claim they use the exact same screen I swear they're gonna get a Merom-powered iSmack. kidding. Moving on! LCD Types Different kinds of LCD's use different technologies for displaying an image. In the most expensive monitors (like those $2,000 things I keep using as a caveat,) the different panel types aren't as big of a consideration because all the other components (like the backlight) are much higher quality and will compensate for any shortcomings a particular panel type might have. However, for the monitors being considered in this thread, the panel type is the most important factor in determining which monitor best suits your needs. The three most popular panel technologies in use are TN, S-PVA, and S-IPS. TN is utter crap (for us graphics pros) and is only used in the cheapest of screens, so I won't waste time explaining it. That leaves us with S-PVA and S-IPS. S-PVA vs. S-IPS There are several particular characteristics about these two LCD types which are of interest to a creative professional. One such characteristic is the viewing angle. Don't believe marketing numbers... "170 degrees" does not mean the image will look good at 170 degrees. The clear winner in this category is S-IPS, hands down. S-PVA screens begin to exhibit an unacceptable gamma shift when only a couple degrees off-center. Yep, a couple degrees. So, if you were viewing or working on an image that had a lot of dark colors, you would begin to see an unnatural gamma boost in the dark areas as you moved your head off center. Basically, your eyes have to be dead-center on the image to see its true colors. What if you are working on a large image that takes up most of the screen? Too bad! You'll get some exercise constantly moving your head around to be centered over the image. S-IPS, on the other hand, will retain much more accurate gamma levels even at extreme angles. This characteristic is something I've witnessed first-hand... the studio I work for uses Dell 2405's, and every artist complains about this phenomenon. Not such a big deal when you're just surfing the web, but very important when editing images. Note... the following characteristics are not ones I can verify firsthand, because I can't do a side-by-side comparison at work. But they are pretty much the consensus among the info I found online. Another issue that seems to plague S-PVA screens is inaccurate color. S-PVA screens generally are known for their bright, saturated colors... which is great for selling to the average consumer, but "brighter and more saturated" is not necessarily the best thing for graphics pros! In fact, the 2405's at work have all been calibrated with a hardware Spyder system, and in an effort to force the PVA screen towards more accurate color, the brightness is almost all the way down. S-IPS seems to be regarded as more accurate. And finally, despite marketing numbers, many people have also reported better response times with S-IPS screens than with S-PVA. I think this trait is more dependent on the manufacturer, though. So what are the weaknesses of S-IPS? The only consequential one (besides a slightly higher price,) is that S-IPS technology is limited in the contrast ratio it can produce. This results in some people claiming they can't get "true" blacks from their screen. However, I think this also has a lot to do with the manufacturer. Bottom Line I discovered that collecting accurate, unbiased information on LCD screens can be frustrating. However, based on the info I've read, I feel confident saying that if you are a graphics professional and can't spend 3k on your LCD, your best bet is to find an S-IPS monitor. I've included some links below that list which monitors use what screen type. (Sony and Viewsonic in particular seem to get good reviews.) Also, notice that I've been using lots of lawyer-happy words like "generally/usually/in general/etc." This is because, like so many things in life, broad generalizations will always have exceptions. For example, the fact that the ACD 23" is an S-IPS screen doesn't automatically make it awesome. There have been reports of backlight bleeding, color problems, etc. I'm not sure whether or not the newest versions of the ACD address these issues, but the point is this-- the above information was intended to give a foundation for LCD shopping, but the buyer should always seek out independent reviews, and if possible, see the screen in person. Good luck, and thanks for reading! Links The Widescreen Gaming Forum - great list of monitors and their panel types, also includes manufacturer's links and reviews! http://aryarya.net/wassyoi/lcdmemo.html - Extensive list of LCD's, not just limited to widescreen. LCD Tech Guide - more info than you'll ever need regarding the different panel technologies!