LG L1952TX vs Viewsonic VX922: I tested them!

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About a month ago, I asked whether I should buy an LG L1952TX or a
Viewsonic VX922. The monitor was not to be used for gaming, only to bowse
the net, write, look at pictures and, eventually, watch movies.

This is the kind of advice I received:

"The one that best fits your needs." or "I think you'd be happy with
either screen, so maybe you could just get whichever is more aesthetically
pleasing to you!"

I now had the /opportunity/ to check both monitors and I believe there's a
lot more to be said. But, on one account, I was completely wrong: I now
believe LCD technology is better than CRT. Watching pictures of good
quality on an LCD screen that is correctly set -- which means not at full
brightness, full contrast as in the stores -- is a completely different
experience. OTOH, my CRT picture tube is really done, I had grown
accustumed to it. So the comparision is not really fair. Still, I don't
believe I'd go back to the best CRT.

OK, on with the buying /spree/, now.

First, I opted for the LG because the contrast range was supposed to be
twice the Viewsonic's and it was cheaper. I thought there would be a
trade-off in terms of quality because the Viewsonic was a gamer's monitor,
and I'm not a gamer at all.

The little LG thingy was packed in a little brown cardboard box with very
thin polystyrene padding. When I opened the box, I noticed there were two
vertical streaks running in the middle of the screen, probably from
rubbing on the polystyrene.

When I booted, I noticed the top of the screen was not as bring as the
bottom. Once on the Desktop, it also seemed the bottom corners were
brighter. So I made a gray 1280 x1024 test picture with the Gimp. The
problem was quite obvious, the brightness of the screen was far from
equal, no need for a La Cie colorimeter to find out: there were two hot
spots at the bottom right (~10 square inches) and left (~3 square inches).

I wasn't ready to cope with problems on a new monitor. That's what I
had done when I discovered that my Samsung 950p CRT displayed fuzzy
images at 640 x 480. I thought I'd wait to see if the problem would
evolve. It did... four years later, when the monitor was not on
guarantee anymore. (I now see the CRT tube is also nearly dead.)

Anyways, after I checked other monitors at a store with my gray
picture to make sure I wasn't exagerating a common LCD problem, I
called LG to ask if I could bring the monitor to a closeby authorized
service center.

I was told that LG had only a swap policy on LCDs and... "wait a
minute, it just so happens that we don't have any in stock at the
time". Arrrgh! In other words, I was lucky to have a picture with no
dead pixel, I had to do with very uneven brightness.

So, there were those stripes in the middle -- though I hadn't tried to
remove them -- hot spots, the swithes for ajusting the monitor felt
like dollar stores' toy switches and the company was laughing at me.
The monitor was still on a money-back program at the store, I decided
to bring it back.

The round part of the stand removed easily. As a matter of fact, if
you move your monitor and forget about it, the round part might very
well stay there and the monitor might fall on its side at the new
location. But when it came to remove the square plastic part that
fitted at the back of the monitor, I couldn't. The manual said it must
click when installed, but there were no instructions on how to unclick it.

So I called LG back, and after the line was cut off once or twice as
usual, I was told that there was no way to remove this part. "But how
can one send the monitor back in its box for a swap if you can't put
the monitor in its box? " I asked.

Well, it seems all you had to do was put the monitor in any plastic
bag you could find and bring it back to the courrier company, where
the exchange would be made, only on the LCD + stand. That's not what
the LG documentation said about their swap guarantee! It said that the
new monitor would be sent to your place and that, if you didn't send
the old one soon enough, you'd be charged for it.

I called the store where I had bought the monitor and I was told that
removing the stand required a special tool and about three employees! So I
could hardly bring back the monitor by bus, the monitor in one hand, the
box in the other. I had to take a taxi.

I swore I'd never buy another LG product in my life.

At the store, they offered to exchange the monitor. After all, didn't
I still need a monitor? The thing is I had doubts about LG's
guarantee from the onset -- telling why would be too long -- and I
had asked the salesman if LG was a company that could be trusted. He
made no negative comment about LG. (Hey, they sell the monitor, could
he say dealing with the company is a nightmare?)

So I went to Staples, right beside, and got myself a Viewsonic VX922.
I had a good feeling about Viewsonic. About ten years ago, I went to
a computer exhibition and, at every monitor manufacturer stand I went
to, ALL the monitors were set haphazardly. Representatives would
explain that it had nothing to do with the quality of the monitors,
that all one had to do is to set them right. And the one was not
them. When I came to Viewsonic's stand, all monitors were set
correctly. I loved this company!

So I brought the Viewsonic home. It was in a huge printed cardboard
box with thick padding, wrapped in two bags, a pastic and a foam one,
with a sheet of plastic taped over the monitor screen.  The stand was
not removable and was made of aluminum and plastic. The switches felt
real and you didn't have the feeling the monitor would bounce back in
your face if you tilted it. Whereas behardware says:

"For example, for this test, we have taken the ViewSonic VX922. Itís a
great monitor for games, but for picture editing as it is (without
calibration) itís a disaster."

http://www.behardware.com/news/lire/22-06-2006 /

I found the color was quite good. (Though I must admit I'm a bit
color blind.) What's more, I could get MUCH more detail in the shade
than with the LG. I tried ajusting the brightness and contrast of the
same picture of a girl with dark hair on both monitors. I never could
get any detail with the LG, whereas my default settings with the
Viewsonic gave me a lot. There's a lack of detail in the highlights,
though, but I didn't test this on the LG. I can only compare with my
Samsung with a dead CRT tube. Of course, it has a lot of detail in
highligths! :)

Countrary to the LG, the Viewsonic lacks many adjustments. There are
no presets for viewing text, movies... or when the sun is flashing in
your window in the afternoon. No gamma adjustment. No focus adjustment
with any effect, even on text. I must say I don't have a DVD player yet,
so maybe the problem is not that important. Raising the brightness should
do it.

Then... Reading the user guide on CD, I found out there was a warning
about the possibility of scrapping the monitor with a wrong refresh rate.
I thought that was a long forgotten problem. The LG even had an invitation
to throw anything at it since it's a multisync. So, I tried to get
Viewsonic's comments and, also, better settings for Linux. (I now use an
XF86Config file made for the LG by PCLinuxOS. It's OK, but autorecentering
is needed at every definition.)

When you contact Viewsonic's support, all you get is some drone reading
from the online site. No information whatsoever. A lady did tell me that
using other refresh rates that those suggested by the company was "at your
own risk" :) Shit! One's blood pressure better not be too high from the

Then, after many calls, they refer you to corporate service, which
looks more like Viewsonic than a company under contract from
Viewsonic. You're nonetheless transfered back to the standard
customer's service. After much insistance, they transfer you to a
voice box and nobody calls back. Same for messages sent through their
web interface.

In other words, nobody at Viewsonic has the faintess idea of the
hardware they're selling. Some engineer in California designs the
monitor. It's manufactured in China at cutthroat wages, which gives
them an edge over Korean products. Support and distribution are
handled by local companies. All Viewsonic does is pick up the money. If
what can be read from their site cannot help you, too bad. The only access
you have is to reading machines, in case you're illeterate or blind.

I then called Staples to see if, by any chance, they wouldn't have a
phone number to contact somebody with minimal technical knowledge. I
then learned that not only Viewsonic doesn't support its products, it
doesn't distribute them either. Staples' contacts were the same as
mine. But the manager of the store told me he would try to get in
contact with Viewsonic and call me back. But he couldn't get any
explanation either, even through the distributor.

Finally, he consulted Staples technicians who said that it was unlikely
that the monitor would be damaged by a wrong refresh rate and Staples gave
me a letter saying they would guarantee the monitor for 3 years in case it
was damaged by a wrong refresh rate.

I've bought other things at Staples, but it's the first time I need their
help, and they've been very helpful. It feels very different from Future
Shop service, believe me!

Staples deals a lot with offices and their clientele is no as much a bunch
of morons dealing for the best deal, whatever they buy, as at Future Shop.
When you get into the store, if a salesman is free, he asks you "May I
help you?" If you say you're just looking, the salesman goes to another
customer or places some stock on the shelves. They don't stick on you like
a bunch of wasps buzzing around your head. If you need help, they're
there. If the salesman is with another client, he says so and comes back
to you soon as he's finished answering the first client. So, there's some
money left to offer service. I find that's kinda neat.

Take note that Viewsonic only advises its customers about this refresh
rate problem once they've bought the monitor. In order to get to the user


you must provide a monitor's serial number. (I got there with mine, so you
can access the user guide too.)

On page 11 (xpdf pages) or page 7 of the manual, you'll find:

WARNING: Do not set the graphics card in your computer to exceed a
resolution of 1280 x 1024@75Hz or the maximum refresh rate of 85Hz at
lower resolutions; doing so may result in permanent damage to your LCD

There's even the same warning for their professional series of monitors:

WARNING: Do not set the graphics card in your computer to exceed the
maximum refresh rate of 85Hz; doing so may result in permanent damage to
your LCD display.


So, according to Viewsonic, their Professional Series monitors can be
ruined by a wrong refresh rate! Isn't this amazing when LG says you can
throw anything at their cheapest monitors and even my old Samsung sends an
error message in such a case?

The company that offers read-from-the-net /service/ for Viewsonic is in
Raleigh, NC. I don't see what difference it would make if it moved to
India: people can read english there too! So, that's probably what's going
to happen next.

You know what? I wished the magazines did their job and told us what is
really to be expected from a product instead of running their irrelevant
fancy tests. Testing monitors is not my thing!

But since I had to, I'd say that despite their rotten service, I'd rather
buy a Viewsonic monitor than an LG. The construction and the picture
quality are much better. Then again, next time, I might consider an
Acer... or whatever. It often seems to me that, the bigger the company,
the less service you get. Somehow somebody's got to pay for their Cs --
CEO, CFO, CIO, CTO, CSO, CCO, etc., call them C-aesars -- skyrocketing wages.

Re: LG L1952TX vs Viewsonic VX922: I tested them!

On Sat, 08 Jul 2006 19:39:10 -0400, Yugo

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I'd probably have returned it right then, there shouldn't be
any wear marks on the screen yet.

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LCDs do tend to have less than uniform lighting, some
bleedthrough around some edges.  It can vary how much there
is, but if it is unacceptible again I'd return it then,
immediately rather than letting time pass.  

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Ununiform lighting won't correct itself later.  Rarely I
hear of some that had dead pixels that later started working
but in general, the way it arrives is the way it will remain
(except for random failures of course), except the
backlights get gradually dimmer over time.

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How long had you had it?  I wonder why you would do this
instead of returning to the place of purchase.   I also
wonder whether the LG had at least a year or longer on-site
service, or some even have rapid replacement so there is no
need to take one to a service center, you merely call and
they'll send the new one and a shipping label.  Often it is
harder for manufacturers to track inventory/availability of
a specific model when you contact the department not set up
to handle it, while the regular RMA replacement party may
have all excess stock somewhere for that RMA purpose.

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I don't know about luck, it seems more and more common for
the medium to higher priced monitors to have no dead pixels.

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How would they know if a random sample had packing marks if
theirs didn't?  Some (Tom's Hardware?) do test light
bleedthrough, but nobody is doing extensive enough tests
AFAIK, mostly higher end models or whatever was randomly
hitting the market at any one point in time.

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Acer/BenQ is one of the largest LCD manufacturers.

I think you are cursed though, buying an LCD is usually less

Re: LG L1952TX vs Viewsonic VX922: I tested them!

kony wrote:
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I see your standards are high! You must return a lot of products.

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Because I thought that, just as you, the service representative might say
that it was a common problem . Since it's my first LCD, I wanted to know
how much out of whack my monitor was. When I saw that, out of 4 monitors,
one of which was a cheap Daytek, all had fairly even brightness. I knew I
had reason to complain. Telling me that uneven brightness was a common LCD
problem wouldn't have made it.

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I must have been very lucky with my Viewsonic. Colors, I read at
behardware, are horrible. I didn't touch mine. Toms Hardware says that
this monitor is not ideal for office work. I've read and written for 3
weeks, 10 hours a day, on this monitor and I can't find any problem at
all. Letters' sharpness is excellent. Many people report faint
bleedthrough at Cnet's. I checked with a black picture and I can't see any.

Maybe the contrast ratio could be higher but the Viewsonic is not put to
shame by some monitors that advertise higher contrast ratios. Most
probably a monitor in the $500-600 range would do better, but I can't
complain as only the highest highlights lack details. I'd have to see a
monitor that does better before I can comment on this.

If only Viewsonic didn't advise its customers that even their higher
priced models can be scrapped by an inadequate refresh rate like the
cheapest CRTs of long ago, I'd recommend the VX922 without hesitation.

None of the reviews I've read so far at Tom's Hardware or Behardware
mention this "little" problem. So much for extensive testing!

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I didn't know Benq and Acer were the same company. There's no indication
of this on both their welcome pages. Do you have any reference?

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Well, for the Viewsonic, it does seem everybody is cursed the same way.
People just don't read the user guide, I suppose.

Re: LG L1952TX vs Viewsonic VX922: I tested them!

On Sun, 09 Jul 2006 23:08:34 -0400, Yugo

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No, most monitors aren't a problem, the packing is not meant
to rub on the screen and ruin it.

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It depends on how uneven.  With most, just looking with your
eye in a store won't reveal much, you'd need a dark room or
a measurement device.

it doesn't necessarily matter what a service rep says
though, only whether you are satisfied with it the way it
is.  That is, unless you buy from someplace with a bad
return policy.

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Online reviewers get bored and make mountains out of
molehills.  Some problems are really significant but in the
end it depends most on your needs.

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Are you sure this is even true?  Why would you try to run at
the wrong refresh rate anyway?  That's what the manual is
for, or set it to 60Hz when you dont' know what to try.

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I'm not so sure it's even true, it might just ignore the
invalid refresh rate or display a message similar to what
CRTs did, "out of range".

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Why am I burdened with this when a simple Google search
reveals it?  The following search,

shows it as the 2nd hit

Re: LG L1952TX vs Viewsonic VX922: I tested them!

kony wrote:

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I wonder why most manufacturers take the pain of enabling this safety
feature when accordibg to you there's no chance it might happen. Maybe you
should work for a monitor manufacturer, you'd save them a lot of money.

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That's not what Viewsonic say their monitors do. I'm not going to check on
my monitor what it really does.

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I had checked both Benq's and Acer's sites and found nothing there.

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