Three Monitors

Unfortunately all things in life have their pros and their cons.  My recent purchase of several monitors has really shown this.  So if you are looking for your own monitor, I’ll give you a tour of my knowledge.

So onto the basics.  I was looking at midgrade monitors.  The starting price of all the monitors was about $250, though all the monitors were discounted from time to time as low as $150.  All the monitors had more than one input, usually a VGA plus a digital input of either DVI or HDMI.  All monitors were LED backlit and 23 inches.  The Samsung monitor has sound while the others didn’t.  While some might prefer the convenience, you will always get better sound without your own speaker setup.

So I bought a Samsung S23B550, a Lenovo LI2321S, and a Dell S2340M.  All monitors were returned.  The Samsung and Dell were replaced due to a dead pixel appearing within a week with no dead pixels in the replacements though the Samsung has been owned much longer.  The Lenovo was permanently returned as it didn’t meet my requirements nor was I happy with customer service.

The first monitor was for my Husband, he needed an additional monitor for his laptop.  My older monitor was a Samsung as is our TV.  The reliability and customer service for the one repair issue was great.  For work the sound is adequate and it does it all in one HDMI cable.  As mentioned it was replaced within the return period for a dead pixel.  Since then it has soldiered on with no issues.

Then it was time for me to replace my aging Samsung monitor.  An LCD monitor with extremely fast response at 2MS but smaller and with bad viewing angles.  This immediately ruled out a new Samsung as IPS was needed for best viewing angles up and down.  Since my office is in a bedroom, I would want good viewing angles without adjusting the display from the bed.  At first I picked up a Lenovo but owned it less than 6 hours.  The screen quality doesn’t match the Samsung for starters even though IPS is billed as better.  But worse, features were lacking.  I use two inputs on my old display, one for my computer and the other for my security cameras.  The Lenovo would automatically switch inputs should my computer go to sleep rather than going to sleep itself.  Calls to customer service were equally frustrating when I realized that Lenovo had no monitor support.  So new to the game, that the firmware and customer service was extremely lacking.  I knew I had to return.

I ordered the Dell.  On sale.  Oddly the highest I paid was for the Lenovo.  I had hesitations about the Dell.  A glossy screen!  But too my surprise, IPS really paid off here.  The best looking and sharpest display.  Yes a return over a dead pixel, knock on wood for the replacement.  To be fair, I didn’t own the Lenovo long enough and one dead pixel might go unnoticed by most consumers and is extremely common, obviously.  And really great firmware as well.  It had less buttons, like no dedicated buttons to switch inputs but personalization lets me choose what the buttons I do have can do.  The glare in a bright room is very reminiscent of an iMac or MacBook Pro.  The display quality is amazing though, with blacks that almost rival my plasma TV.

The chart below is general comparison between the three.  IPS has slower response but better angles.  So judge your usage.  Gaming with FPS would benefit from the 2ms, but casual gaming will take 7ms. 

 Samsung S23B550  Lenovo LI2321S  Dell S2340M
 23” 1080p LED  23” 1080p LED IPS  23” 1080p LED IPS
 VGA, HDMI 2x  VGA, DVI, HDMI  VGA, DVI
 2ms Response  14ms Response  7ms Response

Here is my comparison scoring:

   Samsung S23B550  Lenovo LIS231S  Dell S2340M
 Screen Quality  4  3  5
 Lack of Glare  4  5  2
 Features  5  1  5
 Viewing Angles  3  5  5
 Support/Documentation  5  1  5
 Total:  21  15  22

As you can see the Dell, surprisingly, won.  But just barely.  The Samsung is a great monitor, suited well for gaming and for those wanting integrated speakers.  However, if you can stomach the glare, the Dell is the most quality, best features, and best viewing angles.  The Lenovo did have the least glare but the screen quality could be improved and the lack of any information on their website and horrible customer support left me puzzled. 

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