Pondering LCD monitors

Samsung monitorAs part of my revamp of the house (and in particular the home office) I’m looking around at LCD monitors. They’ll be good for saving space on the new desks, making the computers less obtrusive.

LCDs used to be incredibly expensive. The reviews on sites like Dan’s Data show that just a couple of years ago, you could pay well over A$1000 for a 17 inch LCD. Thankfully they’ve fallen below the $400 mark now, which seems much more reasonable. They’ve also got much faster, with 4 or 8ms response times being very common. This is the good thing about being several steps behind the early adopters.

I could go more expensive for bigger, but I’ve been living with 15 and 17 inch CRTs so long that I don’t see the need to go bigger, since that would make the computers more obtrusive, I’ll gain in viewable area anyway, and I’d prefer two monitors an identical size to avoid the kids squabbling over who gets to use which.

Asking around, it would seem two good brands to look at are Samsung and BenQ, in part for their value for money, but also things like clearly defined dead pixel policies.

Samsung’s policy: any dead pixels in the first 7 days, they’ll swap for a new monitor at place of purchase. After that, any dead pixels in the 8cm x 8cm square in the middle warrants replacement, or 3 or more dead elsewhere. (The policies are different for bigger screens).

BenQ’s policy: any dead pixels in the first 7 days warrants replacement. Beyond that, anything in the middle 9th of the screen, and more than 2 bright dots and 3 dark dots elsewhere will trigger replacement.

Digital input, which neither of my computers are currently equipped for, appears to cost about $20 extra. Might as well get it for future use.

And of course there’s the vital question: silver, or black? (Not as obvious as for something like TV gear, where as far as I’m concerned, it’s black all the way.)

Next pay day, it’ll be time to go shopping.

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5 thoughts on “Pondering LCD monitors

  1. Adam

    I like the Phillips monitors myself. I don’t know what their dead pixel warranty is like, but I’ve brought around a dozen over the last couple of years for work, and never had a problem with them.

  2. Phil

    If purchasing a new monitor from a store then the dead pixel policy is not worth the paper its printed on. APC Mag in early 2005 ran an article about dead pixel policies and ended saying that no matter what the dead pixel policy of a monitor is you, the consumer, is entitled to GET A REFUND OR EXCHANGE under Australian consumer law.

    e.g. You buy a new monitor, it has one or two dead pixels. You got back to store and tell them that you want it exchanged for a monitor without dead pixels. Under Australian (and UK) law the monitor does not meet the requirement “to be free from any defects” when bought. I’ve never tested this but IIRC the artcile was adamant, and a follow up letter by a reader, that this was correct.

  3. glen

    I’m going to back Phil here. A colleague bought an Apple laptop. It had a single dead pixel. Apple’s replacement policy did not provide replacement for a single dead pixel.

    My colleague made a few phone calls to small claims and ended up getting a new laptop from Apple.

    Under Australian law, even a single dead pixel warrants replacement.

  4. jim

    UK law: it’s the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and the Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994.
    “That goods are safe, durable, fit for their usual purpose and free from faults or defects.”

    I don’t think there’s any test cases, but I think the retailer wouldn’t want to set a precedent for a slew of returns.

    Don’t take defective goods!

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