Author Topic: Thoughts on choosing a monitor  (Read 2150 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Speedster

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2619
Thoughts on choosing a monitor
« on: June 20, 2010, 12:03:15 pm »
Hi all; (long)

My 28" ViewSonic monitor died after only 18 months- money thrown away.  This time I did some careful shopping, and uncovered some interesting things along the way.  Since our monitor is our “connection" to the cyberworld, its quality, not size, that matters!  Now, these are my own personal feelings, and I know others have different opinions and priorities, so please share your own thoughts.

1)  I think a 28" or larger monitor is too large, with way too much "real estate".   Let me explain, and this is partially an age issue (I'm 63), something you "youngsters" may not worry about yet, but will!  Even with an accelerated mouse you have to travel a lot, and, although not readily noticeable, it requires repetitive "micro-motions" of the shoulder rotator cuff, rather than just the wrist, often resulting in “micro-tears” of the rotator cuff.   I spend at least 8 hours a day in design (SolidWorks) and rendering (some 30,000 hours since I started using a computer), with tools all over the screen.  So, after about a year, I have a torn rotator cuff, which is healing now with my new monitor, workspace and therapy.  I also bought a new chair, with arm rests that are parallel with and maintain my arm at a perfect 90 deg. to the mouse.

2)  The same issue applies to eye fatigue.  A large screen requires a lot of "large rapid eye movement", causing over-extension of the eye muscles over time.  Please!  Take visual breaks often!  Look out the window, or simply at the wall, anything to allow your eyes to refocus on infinity for a few minutes.

3)  Color accuracy and quality, or more important, the “density accuracy” (depth) and depth or range of blacks.  This is a biggie.  The human eye can discern (excepting certain forms of color-blindness) billions of colors, and we “know” what things should look like.  Lower end monitors do not display the full range, resulting in eye fatigue.  There is an important White Paper on this (among others) published by EIZO (the monitor I chose) at http://www.eizo.com/global/support/wp/pdf/wp_08-001.pdf.

4)  Resolution- the higher the better goes without discussion.  Smaller monitors generally have better resolution.

5)  Not a monitor issue, but an app issue.  “Black” window skins are very popular (like Photoshop, Maxwell, KS2, etc.), but also cause a shift in color perception as the peripheral vision compensates for the dark borders.  Believe me, as I’ve discussed this with ophthalmologists.  A soft grey, beiges or tans are better choices, but we really can’t control how the developers deal with skins.

6)  We often work in a way too bright environment, and have to use a bright screen to compensate.  Ideally, the environment should be dim, and the monitor calibrated and adjusted to suit. 

7)  Calibration.  This is very important.  There are several excellent tools on the market.  I use the Spyder 3, and re-calibrate about once a week, and always before starting an important project.  For the ViewSonic the adjustment was radical, for the EIZO almost none!

I narrowed my choices down to the Dell UltraSharp (but too large for me at 27”), the 24” HP DreamColor, and the EIZO 22” or 24” ColorEdge.   I chose the EIZO GW223w.  I could not actually demo the Dell or the HP, and Calumet Photographic (my pro photo dealer) only carries the EIZO, and had one on display at my local San Diego store for their Photoshop classes.  Also, as I could not wait for a monitor, the decision was simple; EIZO it was, and I am very pleased with my choice.

It comes with a cool “hood” that blocks all glare, UBC in-out ports (for the calibration device), a bezel mounted sensor that adjusts for ambient light changes, and amazing software.  You can even analyze rendered colors for visibility under various forms of color-blindness (Color Vision Deficiency Simulation), very important in critical care applications such as medical device wording.  The 22” EIZO runs about $1400 US, and comes with a five year warranty.  I would have preferred the 24”, but it’s about $400 more.  Visit www.eizo.com .

Most important for me is that the GW223w (and others in the line) has a unique FlexStand that allows for almost any screen orientation, including vertical.  I use mine down low, almost on the desktop, and angled slightly back, allowing me to look “down” at the screen, instead of “up”.  No more stiff neck!  And I have absolutely no eye fatigue at the end of a long day.

Now, I’m not an EIZO salesman, but like all of us, am willing to share my experiences.  Share yours as well!

Bill G
www.GouldStudios.com