Low-budget IPS monitor?


TPF Noob!
Mar 2, 2012
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Hello fine folk of thephotoforum.com,

I'm an amateur photographer with less then a year of experience, and few days ago, while viewing my pictures on friend's computer, I realized that need a new monitor. As a professional software developer I chose my current monitor to be low-contrast, low-brightness one -- good for text-work. True color matching also wasn't required.

Now I need exactly the opposite: rich colors, good contrast, good diagonal, etc. Research suggested an IPS monitor, but being on a low budget (comfort zone stretches only to $320) I need to make some compromises and can't buy what is really desired. My list of monitors boils down to the following:

Pros: Recent model, good factory calibration.
Cons: Really hard to get one where I live (Canada)

HP Zr22w
Pros: Good reviews.
Cons: Old model, at the top end of my price range.

ViewSonic VP2365WB
Pros: Good factory calibration, good overall quality.
Cons: Costs a bit more than I want to spend, relatively old model.

Pros: Good reviews, really good price, relatively recent model.
Cons: Glossy frame (big thing for me), height is not adjustable, it seem screen reflects a bit more than what I would be comfortable with.

NEC Ea232wmi-Bk
Pros: People like it a lot.
Cons: At the top of my price range.

Now, presumably technological progress is made every day, so whenever I say something like "older model", I only express concern that MAYBE it is the case that for the same price one could get a monitor where some of the known glitches have been eliminated, it's not a monitor's real disadvantage.

Could you please share your opinions on these guys? If you own one, say what you think; if you own(-ed) few of these, how do they compare?

Thank you so much,
Looking forward to long discussion


P.S. To be honest, after some thought I'm leaning toward either ASUS ML249H of NEC Ea232wmi-Bk...
Budget for calibration hardware (colorimeter or spectrophotometer) and associated software, because as a display ages it has to be re-calibrated. I re-calibrate mine every new Moon which happens 13 times per year.

I have experience using Dell UltraSharp IPS displays and a Wacom Cintiq display. Though the Cintiq is not in your price range some of Dell's IPS displays may be.
Yes, a more important factor is monitor calibration (not factory calibration, but your own calibration). You will need a calibration device (and associated software). Look to spend $100 to $500 for a calibration package.

IPS screens are better for photo editing. Mainly because they don't look different as you slightly change your viewing angle.
I'm not sure about the specs on these monitors, but most monitors aren't capable of displaying a wide range of colors (gamut). I think that, in general, IPS screens are better than the typical TN screens...but if you want something that can display a gamut up around AdobeRGB, you would need a 'wide gamut display'...which is going to cost several hundred dollars more.

I bought the Viewsonic 2365 a few weeks ago, and so far it's OK. I will probably have to update my calibration device because it's not meant for an LED screen and the software is not supported in Windows 7.
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Are you guys saying pretty much all of those I listed can be tuned up to the same performance?
I haven't looked into all of those...but from what I can tell, they are probably all in the same ball park. Again, the important factor is that you also buy a calibration system that is compatible with the display type.

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