"Form over Function equals Return"1.5 starson by Ryan50111
Pros: 1. The whites look very 'clean' and the colors (when viewed straight on) looked good.
2. It isn't a glossy screen.
Cons: 1. Wobbly base
2. Reflective lip and deep screen inset.
3. Touch buttons not very responsive.
4. Reflective/transparent border leads to distracting glowing.
5. Very limited tilt/swivel features.
6. Viewing angle is a show stopper.
Summary: Apparently monitors are being rated on a 'curve' since I can not see how the poor viewing angles provided by TN technology LCDs could attain a ranking of 4+ stars.
Here are the sub-optimal points:
1. Wobbly base. As mentioned in other reviews, the base is wobbly. The desk which the monitor sat on is fairly stable, but even typing on the keyboard with this monitor on top of the desk resulted in it wobbling. It wouldn't have been so bad, but it takes a second or two to stop wobbling. The monitor which this one was supposed to replace had no issues with this and I guess I didn't realize how stable the previous one is.
2. Reflective lip and deep screen inset. The reflection of the task bar and icons on it along the bottom edge is extremely distracting. The top edge also reflects what ever is on the desktop as well, but my background was somewhat dark and this wasn't as much of a distraction.
3. Touch buttons not very responsive. It took some effort to get used to making the touch buttons work with any predictability. Even after using them for awhile, they still seemed very unresponsive and far inferior to 'real' buttons.
4. Reflective/transparent border leads to distracting glowing. I do not know why companies are making TVs and computer monitors with reflective material surrounding the screen. It looks 'new and shiny' for about an hour before dust clings to it ruining the 'look'. The frame should not be noticeable when watching what is on the screen. This model has a transparent plastic surrounding it which creates areas that glow with reflected light from lights in the next room.
5. Very limited tilt/swivel features. The monitor stand does not tilt downward and doesn't swivel at all. This wouldn't be that big of a deal if #6 below weren't such an issue.
6. Viewing angle is a show stopper. When viewing from below (about the height a child would be viewing the screen at) the screen has a large dark bar that makes it difficult to make out what is on the screen. When viewed from above, there is a white bar that equally obscures the screen. Left and right of the screen the color is off and is overall much darker. This is by far the largest issue with this and seemingly 90% of the other LCD monitors made today. This is what led me to do more investigation. Apparently the industry has gone to a much cheaper technology called 'TN'. I found my previous LCD is 'IPS' which has nearly a 180 degree viewing angle - nearly twice as much as today's monitors. IPS monitors are still available to buy online, but the mainstream has switched to the TN type pushing all IPS monitors out of brick and mortar shops (like BestBuy) and causing them to be all the more expensive.
I've never written a review this long about anything, but I feel we as consumers have been led to believe this new 'cheap' technology is better than the old. It simply isn't true and until we realize that there is more to a monitor than 'how big' and 'how much', the industry will continue to produce low quality products in fancy packages.
There are two good things I can say about this monitor.
1. The whites look very 'clean' and the colors (when viewed straight on) looked good.
2. It isn't a glossy screen. It is a nice matte screen which hold back the reflections fairly well - unfortunately the shiny border around the screen brought it back down a couple notches with distracting reflections of its own.
Well, that is it...thank goodness for an easy return process through BestBuy - I only wish I could have saved them the trouble by noticing some of these issues in the store before buying. Since BestBuy does not carry any IPS-based monitors, I decided to go to eBay to get another monitor just like what I have. The price vs performance is much better going the used route when comparing a 20" monitor produced in 2005 to the new mainstream 23+" of today.