Well, the time has come to upgrade my monitor. I had been using an older 17" Sony SDM-HS73 analog flat screen which served me well over last few years but I had noticed it started to develop areas with uneven lighting and well... 17 inches isn't all that much anymore so I took the plunge into a big monitor.
I had looked at many reviews over the last month on different monitors. I am used to days when the Sony Trinitrons ruled the display world but now its a whole new era of display technology. It seems Samsung is consistently a top contender for flat panel displays currently according to the many reviews and articles on the net.
So, I found CNET's list of top picks for displays and the Sumsung 2232 22" LCD Widescreen was one of the top 10 picks. It lacked a few features found on some of the monitors but it was said to have a nice picture which is what is most important for myself being an artist.
Where to buy? Well, this was a tough decision. I could have bought this same monitor at Buy.com for about $35 cheaper than what I did pay, but, I wanted the monitor ASAP and wanted to see it in action as well as have a place I could return it to easily if it didn't work out for me. So, I found it on sale at Best Buy for $299 and bought there.
I almost considered a Gateway 24" model that had built in tuner to watch HDTV with picture-in-picture. This monitor seemed to have a nice display too for its size but the $500 price wasn't that appealing. Considering the features, it might have been worth it should I had needed to use it as a TV too which is great for apartments or places where space is limited.
I learned something important while shopping for this monitor. Don't let a display model with poor picture quality or colors that seem off discourage you. I found that many display monitors are not calibrated for color and this can DRAMATICALLY change your opinion of the monitor. The Samsung 22" model I choose looked horrible on display at Best Buy. It was one of the worst of the bunch actually. I ignored this and remembered the great reviews it got and that is what I based my decision on. So, in the end, seeing the monitor in person wasn't that great of help.
I have my new monitor up and running as I type this. I spent some time calibrating it last night and it really does look great. I like the fact its not a glossy monitor screen and matte finish because this monitor sits in a corner surrounded by windows and the glare on a glossy screen would have made me nuts. I am getting a nice 1680x1050 resolution at 60hz. that gives me plenty of space to play with. As a kicker, I even left the 17" Sony hooked up and set it off the side and now I have more screen space than I need... almost. Its great to have that second monitor for palettes and extra windows when working with graphic programs.
My rating for the Samsung 2232BW 22" LCD monitor is a ••••••••• (9 out of 10). It has a very nice clear picture without any noticeable flicker or artifacts and fairly accurate color once calibrated. I would have preferred easier to navigate monitor menus as button indicators are hidden and built-in USB hub would have been nice but still a nice monitor for the price.