Pixel for pixel, Planar's PX191 costs more than many other 19-inch LCDs, but its adjustability and image quality are worth it. Comparably sized, cheaper flat screens are available; Dell's 1901FP is similarly adjustable, boasts four USB 2.0 ports, and costs about $100 less. But for users who want high quality and aren't afraid to pay for it, the PX191 is a good choice.
The PX191 rests securely on a black, oval base. Its cylindrical neck telescopes to give the panel an additional 4.3 inches of height. The display tilts 5 degrees forward and 35 degrees backward, and it swivels 45 degrees to either side. It pivots between Landscape and Portrait mode, making it possible to view more of Web pages and legal-size documents with less scrolling (Planar includes Portrait Displays' PivotPro software for rotating the image). The display can be mounted to a wall using an optional VESA kit, but you'll need a screwdriver to detach the neck and base first.
An equal-opportunity display, the PX191 accepts analog and digital signal inputs (Planar includes both cables), and it works with PCs and Macs. The panel's 170-degree vertical and horizontal viewing angles are about as good as they come, making for an extremely presentation-friendly display.
The PX191 lacks USB ports and a cable-feed system to manage dangling cables--minor flaws in an otherwise solid design. Five clearly labeled buttons span the center of the bezel's slim bottom edge, four for adjusting image settings, and one for power.
The PX191 delivers image quality to match its high price. With its 700:1 contrast ratio, it aced our grayscale test, producing subtle shades of blacks, grays, and whites. Despite minor fuzziness in text at smaller point sizes (6.8 and below), the panel's image was sharp overall and remained in focus from the center of the screen to the edges--a boon to number crunchers working with margin-hugging spreadsheets. The PX191 rendered colors well enough, though images weren't as vibrant as they were on Dell's 1901FP. The PX191's 28-millisecond pixel-response time is typical for 19-inch LCDs, but we noticed some jittery lines during our motion tests.
Planar provides a three-year warranty on parts, labor, and the backlight. Toll-free tech support is available 24/7. The display comes with good documentation, including a quick-start guide and an illustrated manual with helpful directions for the onscreen controls.
CNET Labs DisplayMate tests (Longer bars indicate better performance)
Brightness in nits (Longer bars indicate better performance)