Are Cheap Monitors Really "Cheap"?

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Batdude
Batdude Veteran Member • Posts: 4,784
Are Cheap Monitors Really "Cheap"?

Is simply impossible to get a hold of every single monitor out there to see if it meets our personal and individual needs when it comes down to color quality output.

Since my kids will start school from home very soon I have to start looking into the possibility of buying at least one more computer monitor. All I can go by is reviews on the internet and I just found this monitor (ViewSonic VP2468 Professional 24 inch 1080p Monitor 100% sRGB Rec 709 14-bit 3D LUT Color Calibration for Photography and Graphic Design) which is supposed to be really good for graphics design, which my kids are starting to do, and it costs LESS than $300???

I have also been looking at the BenQ SW270C at a whooping $800 though.

I currently have a pretty darn good 24" Asus monitor that in reality I don't have any complaints about it and paid around $350 for it.

So what exactly am I getting for a monitor over $800 such as the BenQ?

I will be giving the new monitors to my kids so that they don't strain their eyes with those little cheap laptops they get from the school district, but I would ALSO like to use the monitors myself, you know what I mean?

What's the reality here and your opinion regarding monitors?

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PHXAZCRAIG
PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 16,760
Re: Are Cheap Monitors Really "Cheap"?
1

Monitors can vary a lot, but I think the bottom end is now pretty decent.

What you will pay more for is:

1. size (not as much as before)

2. resolution (4k)

3. viewing angle (IPS?)

4. color gamut ($$$$)

5. calibration built-in ($$$$)

If you are critical about color accuracy in your editing and especially if you need a 4k wide gamut, then you are probably looking at over $1000 for a decent 24" or larger monitor.

However, if you can get by with reduced resolution (2k, HDMI cabling), you can get a nice monitor really cheap these days. I bought two 24 inch Acer monitors last year for my fiance, and they have been great! Office applications, not photo editing, but I did calibrate them with my Xrite, and both were very very close to nominal sRGB right out of the box. (The most accurate I've seen.)

$108 each, last year. Now they are about $109 at Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0148NNKTC/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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Batdude
OP Batdude Veteran Member • Posts: 4,784
Re: Are Cheap Monitors Really "Cheap"?

PHXAZCRAIG wrote:

Monitors can vary a lot, but I think the bottom end is now pretty decent.

What you will pay more for is:

1. size (not as much as before)

2. resolution (4k)

3. viewing angle (IPS?)

4. color gamut ($$$$)

5. calibration built-in ($$$$)

If you are critical about color accuracy in your editing and especially if you need a 4k wide gamut, then you are probably looking at over $1000 for a decent 24" or larger monitor.

I definitely don't require 4K. As for IPS this ViewSonic VP2468 is IPS yet it only costs less than $300.

However, if you can get by with reduced resolution (2k, HDMI cabling), you can get a nice monitor really cheap these days. I bought two 24 inch Acer monitors last year for my fiance, and they have been great! Office applications, not photo editing, but I did calibrate them with my Xrite, and both were very very close to nominal sRGB right out of the box. (The most accurate I've seen.)

$108 each, last year. Now they are about $109 at Amazon:

Wow that's a low price. As I said, I have been looking at the more expensive BenQ SW270C but to be honest I have no clue what I'm actually paying for since I have no two monitors side by side.  I guess I can just purchase both and return one after to put them side by side and decide then.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0148NNKTC/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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tkbslc Forum Pro • Posts: 14,911
No need to spend that much!
9

$110 for this ViewSonic with 99% sRGB coverage and IPS panel, more than good enough. Get one for each kid instead of worrying about  pro monitors with coverage for color spaces your kids won't use.

https://www.amazon.com/ViewSonic-VA2259-SMH-Frameless-Monitor-Inputs/dp/B01HSABNU0

Batdude
OP Batdude Veteran Member • Posts: 4,784
Re: No need to spend that much!

tkbslc wrote:

$110 for this ViewSonic with 99% sRGB coverage and IPS panel, more than good enough. Get one for each kid instead of worrying about pro monitors with coverage for color spaces your kids won't use.

Yes but I am a pro photographer so will I notice the difference??  I PP thousands of photos per year, this year almost zero processing due to no work, but the plan is that I too will be using the new monitor, if I end up liking it and I'll get one for myself of course, won't take it away from the kids hahaha

https://www.amazon.com/ViewSonic-VA2259-SMH-Frameless-Monitor-Inputs/dp/B01HSABNU0

The expression "you get for what you pay" is usually true, but not always as I have experienced in many situations in my life and regarding certain computer monitors I think possibly that saying might not apply.

Regarding a built in calibration Is not needed because I already have an external spyder calibrator so I don't want to pay for stuff I don't truly need either.  What I care about is color output quality and reliability.

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CAcreeks
CAcreeks Forum Pro • Posts: 15,333
Re: Are Cheap Monitors Really "Cheap"?

Batdude wrote:

PHXAZCRAIG wrote:

4. color gamut ($$$$)

[Acer R240HY $109] Wow that's a low price. As I said, I have been looking at the more expensive BenQ SW270C but to be honest I have no clue what I'm actually paying for...

BenQ SW270C is wide gamut, 99% Adobe RGB, see #4 above.

WryCuda Forum Pro • Posts: 10,215
Re: Are Cheap Monitors Really "Cheap"?

Batdude wrote:

Is simply impossible to get a hold of every single monitor out there to see if it meets our personal and individual needs when it comes down to color quality output.

Since my kids will start school from home very soon I have to start looking into the possibility of buying at least one more computer monitor. All I can go by is reviews on the internet and I just found this monitor (ViewSonic VP2468 Professional 24 inch 1080p Monitor 100% sRGB Rec 709 14-bit 3D LUT Color Calibration for Photography and Graphic Design) which is supposed to be really good for graphics design, which my kids are starting to do, and it costs LESS than $300???

I have also been looking at the BenQ SW270C at a whooping $800 though.

I currently have a pretty darn good 24" Asus monitor that in reality I don't have any complaints about it and paid around $350 for it.

So what exactly am I getting for a monitor over $800 such as the BenQ?

I will be giving the new monitors to my kids so that they don't strain their eyes with those little cheap laptops they get from the school district, but I would ALSO like to use the monitors myself, you know what I mean?

What's the reality here and your opinion regarding monitors?

At $109 each, the 24" IPS Acer monitors referenced earlier would be hard to beat.

I have been impressed with a couple of older tech Acer (TN) monitors (22" and 28") for both reliability and colour accuracy.

BTW, don't buy expensive HDMI cables for the laptop connection. My retailer has cables at $2 each. BTW there are many useful options for running an external monitor with a laptop.

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Vunite Contributing Member • Posts: 636
Re: Are Cheap Monitors Really "Cheap"?
1

Batdude wrote:

Is simply impossible to get a hold of every single monitor out there to see if it meets our personal and individual needs when it comes down to color quality output.

Since my kids will start school from home very soon I have to start looking into the possibility of buying at least one more computer monitor. All I can go by is reviews on the internet and I just found this monitor (ViewSonic VP2468 Professional 24 inch 1080p Monitor 100% sRGB Rec 709 14-bit 3D LUT Color Calibration for Photography and Graphic Design) which is supposed to be really good for graphics design, which my kids are starting to do, and it costs LESS than $300???

I have also been looking at the BenQ SW270C at a whooping $800 though.

I currently have a pretty darn good 24" Asus monitor that in reality I don't have any complaints about it and paid around $350 for it.

So what exactly am I getting for a monitor over $800 such as the BenQ?

I will be giving the new monitors to my kids so that they don't strain their eyes with those little cheap laptops they get from the school district, but I would ALSO like to use the monitors myself, you know what I mean?

What's the reality here and your opinion regarding monitors?

I don't think I understand Monitors anymore. This ones specs on Viewsonics own website says 16 million Colors. Which is 8bit? But talks about some 3D 14bit LUT in it's config. I think I'd need someone to explain.

Batdude
OP Batdude Veteran Member • Posts: 4,784
Re: Are Cheap Monitors Really "Cheap"?

Vunite wrote:

Batdude wrote:

Is simply impossible to get a hold of every single monitor out there to see if it meets our personal and individual needs when it comes down to color quality output.

Since my kids will start school from home very soon I have to start looking into the possibility of buying at least one more computer monitor. All I can go by is reviews on the internet and I just found this monitor (ViewSonic VP2468 Professional 24 inch 1080p Monitor 100% sRGB Rec 709 14-bit 3D LUT Color Calibration for Photography and Graphic Design) which is supposed to be really good for graphics design, which my kids are starting to do, and it costs LESS than $300???

I have also been looking at the BenQ SW270C at a whooping $800 though.

I currently have a pretty darn good 24" Asus monitor that in reality I don't have any complaints about it and paid around $350 for it.

So what exactly am I getting for a monitor over $800 such as the BenQ?

I will be giving the new monitors to my kids so that they don't strain their eyes with those little cheap laptops they get from the school district, but I would ALSO like to use the monitors myself, you know what I mean?

What's the reality here and your opinion regarding monitors?

I don't think I understand Monitors anymore. This ones specs on Viewsonics own website says 16 million Colors. Which is 8bit? But talks about some 3D 14bit LUT in it's config. I think I'd need someone to explain.

I have no clue what monitor you are talking about but it looks like you must be looking at a different model or something because I'm looking at Viewsonic's website and it clearly says 4.39 trillion colors.

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Vunite Contributing Member • Posts: 636
Re: Are Cheap Monitors Really "Cheap"?

Batdude wrote:

Vunite wrote:

Batdude wrote:

Is simply impossible to get a hold of every single monitor out there to see if it meets our personal and individual needs when it comes down to color quality output.

Since my kids will start school from home very soon I have to start looking into the possibility of buying at least one more computer monitor. All I can go by is reviews on the internet and I just found this monitor (ViewSonic VP2468 Professional 24 inch 1080p Monitor 100% sRGB Rec 709 14-bit 3D LUT Color Calibration for Photography and Graphic Design) which is supposed to be really good for graphics design, which my kids are starting to do, and it costs LESS than $300???

I have also been looking at the BenQ SW270C at a whooping $800 though.

I currently have a pretty darn good 24" Asus monitor that in reality I don't have any complaints about it and paid around $350 for it.

So what exactly am I getting for a monitor over $800 such as the BenQ?

I will be giving the new monitors to my kids so that they don't strain their eyes with those little cheap laptops they get from the school district, but I would ALSO like to use the monitors myself, you know what I mean?

What's the reality here and your opinion regarding monitors?

I don't think I understand Monitors anymore. This ones specs on Viewsonics own website says 16 million Colors. Which is 8bit? But talks about some 3D 14bit LUT in it's config. I think I'd need someone to explain.

I have no clue what monitor you are talking about but it looks like you must be looking at a different model or something because I'm looking at Viewsonic's website and it clearly says 4.39 trillion colors.

It says that about the lookup table. The specs say 16 Million colours, hence my confusion.

Batdude
OP Batdude Veteran Member • Posts: 4,784
Re: Are Cheap Monitors Really "Cheap"?

CAcreeks wrote:

Batdude wrote:

PHXAZCRAIG wrote:

4. color gamut ($$$$)

[Acer R240HY $109] Wow that's a low price. As I said, I have been looking at the more expensive BenQ SW270C but to be honest I have no clue what I'm actually paying for...

BenQ SW270C is wide gamut, 99% Adobe RGB, see #4 above.

I'm not too interested in that $100 Acer monitor, I'm more interested in the Viewsonic VP2468 or VP2768 and both these seem to be pretty much the same as the BenQSW270C in the gamut department, even the less expensive BenQ cost more than the Viewsonic.

So, what exactly am I paying for if I go for the BenQ, am I only paying more for the name?  Don't tell me that fancy shield hood on the BenQ is costing me $500 alone?

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toomanycanons Forum Pro • Posts: 13,280
Re: No need to spend that much!
2

Batdude wrote:

tkbslc wrote:

$110 for this ViewSonic with 99% sRGB coverage and IPS panel, more than good enough. Get one for each kid instead of worrying about pro monitors with coverage for color spaces your kids won't use.

Yes but I am a pro photographer so will I notice the difference?? I PP thousands of photos per year, this year almost zero processing due to no work, but the plan is that I too will be using the new monitor, if I end up liking it and I'll get one for myself of course, won't take it away from the kids hahaha

https://www.amazon.com/ViewSonic-VA2259-SMH-Frameless-Monitor-Inputs/dp/B01HSABNU0

The expression "you get for what you pay" is usually true, but not always as I have experienced in many situations in my life and regarding certain computer monitors I think possibly that saying might not apply.

Regarding a built in calibration Is not needed because I already have an external spyder calibrator so I don't want to pay for stuff I don't truly need either. What I care about is color output quality and reliability.

So am I.  My main monitor is a 24" ASUS VC239H that I bought for $139 the first time and $100 the next time for a backup.  I've never calibrated either 

tkbslc Forum Pro • Posts: 14,911
Re: Are Cheap Monitors Really "Cheap"?

Vunite wrote:

Batdude wrote:

Vunite wrote:

Batdude wrote:

Is simply impossible to get a hold of every single monitor out there to see if it meets our personal and individual needs when it comes down to color quality output.

Since my kids will start school from home very soon I have to start looking into the possibility of buying at least one more computer monitor. All I can go by is reviews on the internet and I just found this monitor (ViewSonic VP2468 Professional 24 inch 1080p Monitor 100% sRGB Rec 709 14-bit 3D LUT Color Calibration for Photography and Graphic Design) which is supposed to be really good for graphics design, which my kids are starting to do, and it costs LESS than $300???

I have also been looking at the BenQ SW270C at a whooping $800 though.

I currently have a pretty darn good 24" Asus monitor that in reality I don't have any complaints about it and paid around $350 for it.

So what exactly am I getting for a monitor over $800 such as the BenQ?

I will be giving the new monitors to my kids so that they don't strain their eyes with those little cheap laptops they get from the school district, but I would ALSO like to use the monitors myself, you know what I mean?

What's the reality here and your opinion regarding monitors?

I don't think I understand Monitors anymore. This ones specs on Viewsonics own website says 16 million Colors. Which is 8bit? But talks about some 3D 14bit LUT in it's config. I think I'd need someone to explain.

I have no clue what monitor you are talking about but it looks like you must be looking at a different model or something because I'm looking at Viewsonic's website and it clearly says 4.39 trillion colors.

It says that about the lookup table. The specs say 16 Million colours, hence my confusion.

Human eyes can only see about 10 million, so either way you are good!

WryCuda Forum Pro • Posts: 10,215
Re: Are Cheap Monitors Really "Cheap"?

Batdude wrote:

CAcreeks wrote:

Batdude wrote:

PHXAZCRAIG wrote:

4. color gamut ($$$$)

[Acer R240HY $109] Wow that's a low price. As I said, I have been looking at the more expensive BenQ SW270C but to be honest I have no clue what I'm actually paying for...

BenQ SW270C is wide gamut, 99% Adobe RGB, see #4 above.

I'm not too interested in that $100 Acer monitor, I'm more interested in the Viewsonic VP2468 or VP2768 and both these seem to be pretty much the same as the BenQSW270C in the gamut department, even the less expensive BenQ cost more than the Viewsonic.

So, what exactly am I paying for if I go for the BenQ, am I only paying more for the name? Don't tell me that fancy shield hood on the BenQ is costing me $500 alone?

With the more upmarket monitors, you're likely to to get a greater variety of input ports.

My most expensive monitor has DP, HDMI, DVI, while a cheapie that I bought some years ago has VGA only.

Better monitors are also likely to have height and angle adjustments for the stand with a generally better "quality" look.

The cheaper monitors quite often have infuriatingly obtuse push-button controls for screen adjustment, and a feature of this is a very short default cycle time before the menu mode is cancelled.

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Pictus
Pictus Veteran Member • Posts: 6,422
NO
3

Cheap monitors are good for generic usage.
Cheap or not, check the reviews to make sure to buy something that does not use
TN panel and mainly do not use PWM for backlight dimming!
Why PWM is bad https://www.notebookcheck.net/Why-Pulse-Width-Modulation-PWM-is-such-a-headache.270240.0.html

Best monitor review sites:
https://www.prad.de/test-kaufberatung/testberichte/test-monitore/
https://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews.htm
https://pcmonitors.info/reviews/
https://www.rtings.com/monitor

Batdude
OP Batdude Veteran Member • Posts: 4,784
Re: NO

Pictus wrote:

Cheap monitors are good for generic usage.
Cheap or not, check the reviews to make sure to buy something that does not use
TN panel and mainly do not use PWM for backlight dimming!
Why PWM is bad https://www.notebookcheck.net/Why-Pulse-Width-Modulation-PWM-is-such-a-headache.270240.0.html

Best monitor review sites:
https://www.prad.de/test-kaufberatung/testberichte/test-monitore/
https://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews.htm
https://pcmonitors.info/reviews/
https://www.rtings.com/monitor

Thanks Pictus I really appreciate that!

Guess what my monitor is in that first link you posted I have the ASUS Pro Art series PA248Q. That was a surprise. Not bad

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Vunite Contributing Member • Posts: 636
Re: Are Cheap Monitors Really "Cheap"?

tkbslc wrote:

Vunite wrote:

Batdude wrote:

Vunite wrote:

Batdude wrote:

Is simply impossible to get a hold of every single monitor out there to see if it meets our personal and individual needs when it comes down to color quality output.

Since my kids will start school from home very soon I have to start looking into the possibility of buying at least one more computer monitor. All I can go by is reviews on the internet and I just found this monitor (ViewSonic VP2468 Professional 24 inch 1080p Monitor 100% sRGB Rec 709 14-bit 3D LUT Color Calibration for Photography and Graphic Design) which is supposed to be really good for graphics design, which my kids are starting to do, and it costs LESS than $300???

I have also been looking at the BenQ SW270C at a whooping $800 though.

I currently have a pretty darn good 24" Asus monitor that in reality I don't have any complaints about it and paid around $350 for it.

So what exactly am I getting for a monitor over $800 such as the BenQ?

I will be giving the new monitors to my kids so that they don't strain their eyes with those little cheap laptops they get from the school district, but I would ALSO like to use the monitors myself, you know what I mean?

What's the reality here and your opinion regarding monitors?

I don't think I understand Monitors anymore. This ones specs on Viewsonics own website says 16 million Colors. Which is 8bit? But talks about some 3D 14bit LUT in it's config. I think I'd need someone to explain.

I have no clue what monitor you are talking about but it looks like you must be looking at a different model or something because I'm looking at Viewsonic's website and it clearly says 4.39 trillion colors.

It says that about the lookup table. The specs say 16 Million colours, hence my confusion.

Human eyes can only see about 10 million, so either way you are good!

It is still an 8bit monitor, not 10 That said, I'm not sure what the fuss is about for hobbyists like me, even semi pro people. Even a good entry monitor can be more or less regulated to fairly accurate colors with the standard on board RGB settings and an affordable colorimeter. Acceptable photo processing can be done, even if not the ultra level.

threw the lens
threw the lens Senior Member • Posts: 2,760
Re: Are Cheap Monitors Really "Cheap"?

Batdude wrote:

Is simply impossible to get a hold of every single monitor out there to see if it meets our personal and individual needs when it comes down to color quality output.

Since my kids will start school from home very soon I have to start looking into the possibility of buying at least one more computer monitor. All I can go by is reviews on the internet and I just found this monitor (ViewSonic VP2468 Professional 24 inch 1080p Monitor 100% sRGB Rec 709 14-bit 3D LUT Color Calibration for Photography and Graphic Design) which is supposed to be really good for graphics design, which my kids are starting to do, and it costs LESS than $300???

You're getting the kind of monitor which sells also around $100 remember, only with lesser quality and attention to detail. Did you not see how many 24in FHD IPS monitors there are? That extra $200 has plenty of scope to put a LUT in there.

ViewSonic are obviously not dummies or giving you some unreal bargain, they've found a way to sell something at 2x-3x the price for the sake of pro features.

24in- cheap. IPS- cheap.

If all you want is a bog standard monitor with pro calibration features, you don't need to pay more do you? What is the issue?

WryCuda Forum Pro • Posts: 10,215
Re: Are Cheap Monitors Really "Cheap"?

threw the lens wrote:

Batdude wrote:

Is simply impossible to get a hold of every single monitor out there to see if it meets our personal and individual needs when it comes down to color quality output.

Since my kids will start school from home very soon I have to start looking into the possibility of buying at least one more computer monitor. All I can go by is reviews on the internet and I just found this monitor (ViewSonic VP2468 Professional 24 inch 1080p Monitor 100% sRGB Rec 709 14-bit 3D LUT Color Calibration for Photography and Graphic Design) which is supposed to be really good for graphics design, which my kids are starting to do, and it costs LESS than $300???

You're getting the kind of monitor which sells also around $100 remember, only with lesser quality and attention to detail. Did you not see how many 24in FHD IPS monitors there are? That extra $200 has plenty of scope to put a LUT in there.

ViewSonic are obviously not dummies or giving you some unreal bargain, they've found a way to sell something at 2x-3x the price for the sake of pro features.

24in- cheap. IPS- cheap.

If all you want is a bog standard monitor with pro calibration features, you don't need to pay more do you? What is the issue?

Yes, and if the cheap monitor doesn't satisfy, return it or toss it.

$100 hardly buys a decent meal for two these days, so why obsess?

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ken_in_nh Contributing Member • Posts: 919
Re: Are Cheap Monitors Really "Cheap"?

What do you get with a more expensive BenQ monitor? Hardware calibration, but only if you have the right accessory; better panel uniformity; better options for inputs, color settings and such; most importantly, good warranty support.

I have a 2 year old SW240 that fails hardware calibration verification. BenQ is paying for shipping both ways for repair or replacement.

I suspect for most people, a photo monitor is a luxury. After all, it only really makes a difference if you have a color managed workflow AND view your prints under the right lighting.

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