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Saturday 1 February 2003

TFT showdown [lurks]

Few of us, including me, in the market for new TFT panels. We've spoken about this subject before and we had discovered the AOC 19' panel which was being flogged by Dabs for arse all. That's not too bad a unit but after a good deal of exposure to them and more recently a Hercules Prophetview 420 Pro at work (17'), I've come to believe two things.
  • 1. For 1280 res, 17' is plenty big.
  • 2. The modern 17' 16/20ms displays are teh win.

This has lead me down a line of very lengthy research which I wont go into here. The bottom line is that there are a number of very nice 17' panels indeed. I'm compiled a shortlist, not in any particular order. There are other units but these ones are easy to obtain in the UK right now.
  • Samsung SM172T
  • LG L1710B
  • Hyundai Q17
  • Acer AL1731
  • Iiyama 431S

The Samsung is superb, I've seen one. Looks the dogs. However it's the priciest here and doesn't come with a DVI cable. The L1710B has been said by some to have marginally better video, particularly for text. It has a USB hub, comes with cables too and is significantly cheaper. The only trouble with it is that the stand is a bit cheap and naff (like AOCs).
The Hyundai Q17 has a 2 port USB hub, excellent stand, the same lovely panel in the Prophetview 420 Pro but has DVI and comes with all cables. It's a very strong unit.
The Acer is pricey, this model anyway, because it also has S-Video in as well as an all-alumnium case, lovely stand, cables etc and one of the superb 16ms panels. The thing is, some folks are saying you can't switch to S-Video in with a button, you need to disconnect DVI. That's a bit lame, if it's true. It doesn't appear to have picture-in-picture. There is a cheaper Acer AL1721 which is the same thing without the video stuff, which may be worth looking at.
The Iiyama is a very new entry, based on a 16ms panel. It's available in black, has speakers but no USB hub. It's the cheapest out of the lot and looks quite attractive. No one has seen it yet though. However it's available from Dabs which means you could just order it, check it out, make sure it has zero defects and if for any reason you feel itchy, you can just return it thanks to the distance selling regulations act and the fact Dabs don't muck you about with it. The same would be true of the LG and Samsung which is also available from Dabs.
I'd be tempted to check out the Hyundai first though, but since it only appears to be available from, I'm not sure how much arsing around they would cause if you wanted to return it for any reason (duff pixel etc).
You see, all of these units come with guarantees of the levels of pixels being duff but, well, we have a satutory right to return in 7 days so there's no reason to settle for even a single duff one if you don't feel like it. Power to the people and all that.


  1. Dunno if that's my Samsung that you're referring to having seen but Ihave the 171s which is the same family but which was bastard cheaprelatively on dabs and that's what I went for. I also did a lot ofresearch on this and I'm pretty happy with the choice I made. Whatwith the best-in-class-screen Ipaq 1910, this monitor and the Sony Tr1mp, Am's on a bit ofa top-gear-discovery roll ;)

  2. I wasn't referring to your screen, I didn't even know you had one. The Samsung 172 has a completely different panel than the 171. That's the thing about TFTs, one model to the next they'll change maker of the panel and the technology behind it.Update: I found Overclockers do quote the proper distance selling regs and have stated their policy which seems reasonable. So I took the plunge and ordered a Hyundai Q17. Let you know what it's like...

  3. Bah. I bought a 15' Mitac ages ago (two years I think) and its still very nice, but I can only go up to 1024 x 768, and of course now I could buy a 17' for the money I paid :(On the plus side, I still have zero bad pixels !

  4. Is it wind up?Update: Took delivery of the Hyundai Q17. My God, it fucking rocks. The stand is built like a brick shithouse and has the PSU built into it as well as the USB hub, speakers and headphone jack. The image quality is just amazing via DVI. Can't wait to get it home and try it out on some games.

  5. Look forward to hearing what you say. For fifty quid more, have the AG Neovo which has S-Video. The response times look tasty. Any thoughts?

  6. More on the Hyundai later, I've just plugged it in at home and I'm in awe. As for the AG Neovo, they look quite nice but I'm not too taken by the build quality. Can't really comment either way, not seen that model.Update: Beej bought a Hyundai Q17 too. I know mine fucking owns. It's dual DVI/VGA but the analogue is a bit shit. Fortunately the DVI is astounding. It's quite bright and wont turn down but it's fast as hell, the stand rocks, no dead pixels. Dead chuffed.

  7. Hyundai Q17 is fab. Looks ace (silver) the stand is good, and its dual input. Have just switched to DVI thanks to some help from Lurks and its just crystal clear. Love it. Have just the one dead pixel... oh hang on, its gone. Do you only get dead pixels on analogue then?

  8. Err, no. That's weird. Maybe that pixel perked up with some digital lurve. :)

  9. My NEC FE950 died, £120 quid in shipping & costs just to look at it. Bleh. Q17 on order. BTW, Toms Hardware has 5000K and colour dvi profiles, here.Well, the Q17 turned up today.
    First impressions are good especially for windows work. Coding would rock on this baby.
    One thing that bothers me is the bluring you get with scrolling text. Now, I'm used to whacking the middle mouse in grabbit & scanning the text as it scrolls up, scanning the page for items of interest. Can't do this quite as well on the Q17.
    You *do* notice some blurryness in fast moving FPSs, which I haven't quite got used to yet.
    Additionally THG says it's a 20ms panel where the docs on the CD say 25ms. The manufacturers site dosen't quote a figure at all.
    For me the jury's still out. I'm not sure. It may go back after the weekend. If it does I may try the Iiyama 431S (against Lurks' advice). If I don't like that I'm going back to a CRT.
    Stay tuned.

  10. It is possible that your unit has a different panel in it than ours. In all honesty you really shouldn't see ANY blurring on scrolling text and any softness in turning in FPS games should also be negligable. Hmm, I wish there was a way of seeing yours. The Q17 is supposed to have the same panel as the Hercules Prophetview 920s and stuff.

  11. After a mamoth gaming sesh last night I *think* I'm getting used to it. Lurks/Beej - what do the specs say on your installation CD? I've found 3 pdfs on the CD Q17(16ms) Q17_Analog(25ms) Q17_Dual(25ms)...?

    Just for the record. On this particular topic. I think I am quite, stark, raving, bonkers, mad. I guess I'm being too picky.
    Either way, I'm getting another beer...