Review: Six 19-Inch LCD Monitors

19" LCDs are a sweet spot in the desktop monitor marketplace: They offer good features and ergonomics, they're big enough for multimedia applications, and they're very affordable. We review six LCDs from major makers that will suit the office desktop/home office user.
Display Glossary
For more information about these and other display-related terms, see the DisplayMate Web site, where you'll find a wealth of data and advice about display technology, testing, and evaluation.

In This Roundup


Dell UltraSharp 1905FP

HP L1955

LG Flatron Ultra Slim L1981Q

Samsung 193P

Sharp LL-193A

ViewSonic VP191b

Display Glossary

This generic term refers to assorted phenomena that aren't supposed to appear onscreen, which may be the result of signal noise. Artifacts may include flickering, sparkles, lines, and other observable phenomena that degrade the image.

Banding: Banding occurs in tests of a video device's ability to display a precise scale of one color from black to white. Banding can occur in both color and grayscale gradients. On a 256 scale test, there should be 256 shades of color, no more, no less. If a monitor can't resolve the difference between two or more adjacent shades, there will be a thick band of one shade instead of two distinct bands of different shares. Separate bands can also overlap a bit, causing some thin darker lines.

Gradation: The ascending or descending level of a color or shade. For instance, a full spectrum smooth red gradient could start at pure black on the left and gradually brighten to pure red on the right. Gradation tests show the ability of a monitor to display a smooth transition between different shades.

High-contrast streaking: High-contrast images can test a monitor's capability to keep colors pure near the edges where light and dark areas of the image meet. Effects can include streaks in a moving image such as a game, and "ghost" or shadow images.

Static gamma test: This test measures the relative brightness of solid blocks vs. lined blocks. Gamma is measured where the blocks appear equal. The test can be run in color or in grayscale.

Video bandwidth: The video bandwidth test compares the brightness of blocks of vertical and horizontal lines, showing the degree of fine detail displayed in an image.

Editor's Choice
Brian T. Horowitz, Contributing Reporter
Samuel Greengard, Contributing Reporter
Nathan Eddy, Freelance Writer
Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing