Three great LCD monitors for authors

Below are Benq, Dell and HP LCD monitors priced under $400 Canadian for anyone who spends a lot of time in front of a computer monitor and has experienced eye-strain and headaches caused by a poor monitor or a monitor which can’t or hasn’t been properly calibrated for the room it is located.

The Dell U2412M

dell-u2412m

and the Benq BL2411PT

bl2411ptMonitor

and HP Z24i

hpZ24i

are 24 inch LCD monitors gathering much interest amongst users requiring or preferring a 16:10 monitor over the more common 16:9 monitor popular with gamers.

The Dell U2412M has been around since 2011 and very popular for use in home/business office environments. The BL2411PT has been available since 2013.

But do you really need a 24 inch monitor for office/writing work? Maybe not, but it is nice to have that extra desktop space, especially when both the Dell U2412M and the Benq BL2411PT swivel, tilt, and pivot.

There have been times I’m glad my monitor can pivot. Turning the monitor vertical from horizontal has helped me read a large swath of computer code easier, made it easier to compare two documents side-by-side, and reading large amounts of text more enjoyable for me.

No monitor is perfect and no monitor will suit everybody. The U2412M has reports of flickering, perhaps caused by the PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) used to reduce the perceived luminance in the unit, but there are also users with the same model reporting no flickering. PWM is one method of reducing the perceived luminance in displays and has been around for many years.

Some users have reported flicker on the U2412M using the standard VGA cable but not when using the DVI cable supplied with the unit. Reading the thousands of pages on U2412M flicker it seems to come down to; 1) you may notice flickering or you may not, 2) flickering may be caused by the particular graphics card you have or it may not, 3) it may the the cable you are using isn’t appropriate or is bad, or 4) some other reason like your calibration settings.

If the LCD you are using now isn’t bothering you, and if it uses PWM (google model to find out), then the U2412M may not bother you either.

The BL2411PT is listed as flicker-free as it doesn’t use PWM. (Here is the link to an always updated list of flicker-free monitors.) Some users report the plastic case on the BL2411PT isn’t as cleanly finished as on the Dell; minute points of plastic along edges which should have be completely flat and smooth, others haven’t reported any problems with plastics used in the model.

Some users report hearing a high pitched whine at times, which has been traced back to the Eco setting repowering the BL2411PT after monitor slept for a period of time and is reawakened. Suggested solution is to turn off the Eco function when monitor is sleeping. Otherwise, the monitor is completely quiet.

The Benq BL2411PT will warn you when you’ve been on the computer beyond a specified time, which is good for me as I sometimes find myself viewing a screen for hours without taking a break.

Then Benq BL2411PT also monitors ambient light and can adjust screen to various light conditions. It also monitors (pardon the pun) whether or not you are sitting in front of the screen.

The HP Z24i has gotten great reviews as well and is also flicker free like the Benq.

Review of the Z24i using google translation his here.

Note: This HP model is available, but hard to find.

Here are reviews of Dell U2412M:

http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/dell_u2412m.htm

http://www.prad.de/en/monitore/review/2011/review-dell-u2412m.html

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5550/dell-u2412m-16-10-ips-without-breaking-the-bank

http://www.flatpanelshd.com/news.php?subaction=showfull&id=1312883832

Here are reviews of BL2411PT:

http://www.prad.de/new/monitore/test/2013/test-benq-bl2411pt.html  (German)

Google English translations of Prad review: http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.prad.de%2Fnew%2Fmonitore%2Ftest%2F2013%2Ftest-benq-bl2411pt.html&edit-text=

http://www.extrahardware.com/article/benq-bl2411pt-ips-bomb-thatll-finally-destroy-flickering-dell-u2412m

There are more reviews for all 3 monitors, but these are a good start.

See this article for information on LCD panels and health problems caused by flicker.

Update: I settled on the BenQ, as it was on sale for under $300 from BestBuy in BC and, considering the reviews, seemed the best monitor for my purposes.

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