Lowdown on LED LCD Monitors

Slowly but surely, after LED backlights have taken over notebooks' screen lighting responsibilities, we are seeing them appear more frequently in every LCD monitor brand's latest endeavors. LED backlights claim better contrast, and moreover better power efficiency, than the regular CCFl backlights, that used to be the norm for LCD screens.

One thing about LEDs that is different from CCFL backlight is that the latter can diffuse very well, to show different levels of brightness. But LEDs use Pulse Width Modulation to show that they are dimming in brightness, meaning that the light actually is emitting at its full brightness whenever on, and to actually show different levels of brightness, the light is put on and off at fast flicker rates. So if you need a darker image, it is put off for longer periods. But of course the human eye cannot see this happen, it’s all above the fusion threshold of the human eye. These are 3 of our favorite LED-lit LCD monitors released in the very recent past.

Winner : BenQ V2200 LCD Monitor (LED lit)
Rs. 14,999


This one is a clear winner due to a number of factors. I agree it does not have any fluff in the form of webcam and speakers, but pure contrast wise none come close to this. The detail and sharpness also are on a higher level altogether. A few points need mention here - Colors were spectacular, but wasn’t theoretically perfect, as all the 3 channels in our color pluge had merging issues in highest intensity bars. This again is directly related to the backlight baring overpowering luminance to the shades. Thus one needs to actually reduce the brightness to below 50, to get the deep blacks and well gradated whites. Connector-wise we have a single HDMI in, and a VGA in, no DVI. This too is odd, and surely is a cost cutting tactic. This model has a screen size of 21.5 inches, and a native resolution of 1920 x 1080. The slim bezel makes it look wider, actually, but it’s a true 16:9 aspect ratio. The LCD panel itself is assumed to be a TN panel. Brightness is rated at 250 Cd/m2 but one must remember that the backlight is an LED backlight. Response time is 5 ms. The contrast is rated at 1000:1, and the dynamic contrast is rated at 5,000,000:1.

First runner up: AOC V22 LCD monitor(LED lit)
Rs. 15,000

AOC is very popular among the local masses, mainly due to the wide array of features they offer in their models. There is a lot of value added in the form of monitor attached candy like webcam, attached mic and speakers allowing multimedia and chatting. As for this LED model, it comes with all that and off course an LED backlight. The design is gaudy and will stand out in a crowd due to its transparent plastic strip rimming around the bezel, and an aquamarine accent on its lower edge. Connectivity options are basic with single HDMI and VGA inputs for video. There is no DVI, and moreover there is no DVI to HDMI cable supplied, so that’s an extra expense for owners of graphics cards with only DVI outs. Also, there is a USB input. The native res is 1680 x 1050, 16:10, and this is my first gripe with the otherwise great looking monitor.(16:9 is the preferred norm these days) Brightness is at 280 cd/m2 while contrast is rated at 100,000:1 dynamic. Response time is 2 ms (grey to grey). During our tests we got slight white level clipping, because the backlight is not the brightest. Greyscale wise we have a more or less neutral response, except for a bluish tinge at mid greys around 60 IRE. Colors were vibrant, with decent accuracy too. There was not too much saturation, except a tad bluish feel, which can be reduced in the menu. Backlight bleed is not a serious issue. Motion performance is very, very good. In Left For Dead 2, there were no motion blur issues or moiring.

Second runner up: Viewsonic VX1932wm-LED Lit LCD Monitor
Rs. 7,500

At an MOP of Rs. 7,500, the monitor is priced alright for a 19-incher, but I must say I was expecting a little more juice in terms of candela output. It makes this list nonetheless, as the colors and detail are above average.  Also the standalone depth of the blacks is impressive. The lower range of luminance is really nice and the detail in low black levels is commendable. But the other end is not so good, we do not have the brightness that LED lights tout for themselves. The brightness is just like any other CCFL lit LCD. Colors are pretty decent, in sRGB they are actually more accurate, but in the 6500K preset they have a nice saturation. They depict with vibrancy. LED backlights always claim better colors, and this monitor actually conforms. Motion surprisingly was not as clean as it should be. There was a bit of blur discernible in the L4D2 game.

Published Date: Feb 22, 2010 12:58 pm | Updated Date: Feb 22, 2010 12:58 pm