21.5" LED or 24" LCD - BenQ?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by gwelmarten, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. gwelmarten macrumors 6502

    Jan 17, 2011
    I'm a student studying Computer Science in the UK. I've got a Retina MacBook Pro, but want a little extra screen real estate to be able to display multi things at once. I don't know that much about displays other than that I want a BENQ one.

    First, what is the difference in a monitor that connects via VGA instead of HDMI/DVI? Is the picture quality worse with VGA?

    I can only really afford £120 absolute max. I don't know whether to get 24Inch LCD here or a 21.5 Inch LED display here. They are both widescreen and 1920x1080 pixels. There is also a much cheaper BenQ LCD 21.5 inch screen at about £90 when purchased from Amazon here.
    I'm a little tight on desk space, although it's not too bad.

    What would people recommend? Will 21.5 be sufficient? Just how good is LED? I don't want something that's bad, will LCD strike me as bad?


  2. gwelmarten thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 17, 2011
  3. troy14 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 25, 2008
    Las Vegas (Summerlin), NV
    BenQ sucks. VGA sucks, the minimum you want to use is DVI but HDMI would be best.

    Also, you pretty much get what you pay for. You buy cheap you will get cheap.
  4. coder12 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 28, 2010
    As a college student minoring in CSCI, I'd say you may want to go with neither of them. Find a monitor that you can rotate 90º and is LED--being able to read code and type papers on a monitor that is rotated is a lifesaver. Also keep in mind the contrast ratios, a 50,000:1 vs 5,000,000:1 makes a huge difference if you are doing GUI designing with your programs.

    As far as ports goes:

    DisplayPort/HDMI > DVI > VGA

    (DisplayPort and HDMI both carry A/V through and have the best data transfer rates)
  5. GeekGuys macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2009
    Just for some clarity, DVI & HDMI are pretty much the same thing with regards to computer video signal. Digital video supporting 1920 x 1200 or 2560 x 1600 (Dual DVI)

    HDMI supports HDCP encryption which is useful for HD video playback but if you are playing HD video from the rMBP out via a DisplayPort to DVI cable, the picture will be displayed fine.

    When I did Computer Science there wasn't much call for very high res graphics that you would really notice the difference over VGA to be honest. Mind you, I mostly worked on green screens and punch cards!

    Times have changed so I would aim for DVI or HDMI if it has it. As you have the rMBP can we assume that Computer Science is not the only reason for the laptop? Like I said, there is not a lot of call for super-high res graphics in CS degrees.

    90 deg rotation on the screen is very useful for coding I find. Terminal sessions that are long (portrait) are much easier than landscape.
    Personally, I'd go for something like this (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Acer-S220HQ...17?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1352279059&sr=1-17)

    or maybe this (http://www.amazon.co.uk/LG-W2442PE-...1_3?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1352279182&sr=1-3) if you can stretch (or look on ebay maybe).
  6. Erko macrumors member

    Aug 12, 2011
    The difference between LED and LCD screens is that they use different kinds of backlight for the panel, which is the same, basically the only difference is the amount power it consumes, LED monitors being more power efficient and the usual LCD-s with CCFL backlight draining more power.
    Also don't look at contrast ratios as these number are usually bollocks. the usual contrast ratio for a cheap panel is under 1000:1. What companies do is they use different algorithms, that adjust the brightness of the screen when the image is lighter/darker to get "better" contrast and then advertise it with numbers like 50000:1 etc.
    If I were you Id look at monitors with IPS displays, as they have better viewing angles, color gamut and contrast ratios. For example I would go for a Dell Ultrasharp u2212HM or 2312HM. These might go over budget by 20 pounds but you wont regret that, as these are excellent monitors for the money. Try looking around for good deals, in my country the sell for about 160-170€ which is 130-140£.
  7. GeekGuys macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2009
    I would have suggested the Dell UltraSharps as they are excellent monitors but in the UK they are very expensive (compared to the budget of £120). Dell UK u2212 is £240, u2312 is £250. Twice the budget of the OP. :(

    The Dell S range is good (e.g. S2230MX), and quite cheap but again slightly overpriced. However, ebay is your friend here and you can find them within your price range.
  8. Erko macrumors member

    Aug 12, 2011
    Really? Wow, thats expensive. Arent there any smaller shops that are known for cheap prices?
    Might as well start shipping these to UK from here, would make a fortune :p
  9. LaunchpadBS macrumors 6502a

    Nov 11, 2008
    Go for a BenQ VA panel monitor like the EW2430, cheap and good quality image
  10. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    LCD and LED are not alternatives.

    LCD = the actual display technology (screen)

    LED = one kind of screen backlighting

    CCFL = the other kind of screen backlighting.

    What you're calling a "LED" monitor is an LCD monitor with LED backlighting.

    The same screen is often used by different manufacturers but with different backlighting. For example, the 27" LCD panel used in both the Apple screens and the Dell U2711 is the same, or nearly so. But Apple uses an LED backlight for that screen, and Dell uses CCFL.

    The other important characteristic is the nature of the LCD panel, regardless of backlighting. There are several kinds. TN is the least expensive, then various flavors of PVA and then IPS, generally considered the best.


    Backlighting: LED or CCFL
    Panel (always LCD): TN, PV, IPS

    CCFL+TN is generally the least expensive combination.
    LED + IPS is generally the most expensive, outside of specialty monitors (in other words, there are some fantastically good IPS-CCFL monitors).

    Manufacturers mix and match, so as a buyer you have to know what's being assembled and advertised.
  11. gwelmarten thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 17, 2011
    Hi Everybody
    Thanks for all the input. I have gone for the samsung one as it does support been in portrait orientation when used with a different. Thanks for all the help - hopefully many more will find this thread useful.

  12. bhinfo123 macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2012
    Window Displays

    Thanks for the sharing. But i have no idea about that.

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