Most helpful critical review
75 of 82 people found the following review helpful
Cheapest, smallest, but lackluster quality ... cheap though!
on May 5, 2013
Regarding pricing, this is the absolute cheapest LCD monitor you can get from Amazon. This monitor, table clamp mount, and DisplayPort to VGA cable, all cost me $100, shipped. I am using it as a secondary monitor for my X220 laptop, which uses an IPS LED display, which I will cover later. For the price and my purpose, it gets 5 stars right off the bat. Upon initial inspection, this thing is super light, like 3lb. It's barely 1" thick and uses a dinky power supply, which leaves the transformer external to the body, giving it such a small footprint. The monitor is smaller than I thought, but the perfect size for my tiny desk. It almost feels like it will snap in my hands. But anyway, it's the exact footprint I needed to get back some of my precious table space and giving me the secondary display I need to supplement my 12.5" laptop LCD. So starting with 5 stars, here's where some points get knocked off...
My X220 uses an IPS LED panel, which provides the richest color quality and image quality to date. Because this monitor is VGA analog only, do not expect digital quality output such as DVI. Sitting my laptop next to this display, it's painfully obvious how different they are. Colors are far too washed out, back light too bright, and edges slightly bleeding into each other. Users used to using VGA displays will not notice as much but anyone using modern DVI, DisplayPort or HDMI monitors will be sorely dissapointed. So long as you are using this for light office work or 480 or 360 video, it should be fine. Do not anticipate using this as a primary display because reading text on it will give you eyestrain. Ding 1.
With the brightness all screwed up and colors washed out, I immediately went to try the color presets on the monitor. No combination of presets and the Intel HD color calibration would work. No matter how hard I tried, the colors came out too dark/bright or washed out. The issue is that the LED back light is so intense that it causes what little color output of the LCD to wash out. At best, I found that using the Eco-profile, which is power saving, works - mostly. The eco profile brings the brightness all the way down and contrast slightly up, which lets what little color output from the LCD actually show. Also, it's the only setting that doesn't give me eyestrain. Because the panel is so thin, the LED light is right up against the LCD, so at normal brightness, it's like staring into a light bulb. The calibration is so poor and difficult that I'm going to have to ding another star here.
In general, this display works beautifully so long as its a secondary display for occasional use only. If you plan on reading documents on it, don't bother. It's great for providing a Windows desktop space to throw some extra browser windows, email, or calendar. Because of its analog nature, it will take some calibration using Windows 7 built-in font calibration tool to get text to come out readable. Currently watching Hulu on that display while doing personal finances on the primary laptop display, and writing this review, on my primary display, of course ...
So the rundown:
Price starts this item at 5 stars
ding 1 star for analog quality color/clarity
ding 1 star for poor calibration ability
Total stars: 3
PS: I wrote this review once over but did not see it come up on Amazon, so wasn't sure if it was submitted properly. Feel free to ignore if you see duplicates.