Princeton Graphics VL2018W Cheap Monitor

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I needed a monitor that could be driven by two computers, via the
standard analog xvga connector and DVI. The Princeton Graphics wide
screen monitor fit the bill, and it was dirt cheap at around $200 after
rebate, at Costco. I'm into my first week with this baby and am
wondering if I should return it. Here is my appraisal so far:

1. It works under XP with an ATI Radeon 9550 and also with a Mac Pro.
At least I'll give the VL2018W that much credit. No dead pixels yet.
Both xvga and dvi cables were included.

2. Today, the EDID (Extended Display Identification, part of Plug n
Play) must have failed on the analog channel. This is what tells the
computer what the max resolution of the monitor is. It should be 1680 x
1050, but my XP/Radeon kept defaulting to 1280x1024. This could not be
overridden through control panel/display/settings. In the meantime the
screen goes into virtual 1680x1050 mode with parts of the screen
chopped off. Sick, dude. Anyway, I had to disable EDID through ATI
Catalyst and force the adapter to put out the signal I like.

3. This monitor looks dull. People have complained about it being too
bright but I find that this is not that big a deal, after adjustment.
However, it does not look as good as a Samsung, and certainly nowhere
as good as a Sony, Dell or Apple. At 1/2 to 1/4 the price, what do you
expect? Cheaper lcd's with low contrast ratio and marginal color

My quandary: keep it or return it? Money is tight, so I am not in a
mood to shell out a grand for a better monitor. However, those of you
who own this monitor and have seen it degrade or fail in a year, please
tell me. As much as I don't like spending a lot of money, I also don't
like losing money on crappy hardware (not saying this is crappy just

Re: Princeton Graphics VL2018W Cheap Monitor

On 6 Sep 2006 12:00:31 -0700,

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Credit?   It will work on any operating system with any
video card, so long as the video card has a driver
supporting the resolution, refresh rate, and for esthetic
and application purposes, color depth.

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Then your display (video card) driver is faulty, you should
be able to manually specify this regardless of anything

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So once again we see a reason not to use ATI video cards,
because the driver is poor or at least difficult to use.
Even so, you might try another driver version.

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Well you did buy it...

But basically, it seems a lot of your problem is that you
haven't adjusted it properly.  Given proper adjustment it
might have slightly lighter black point, which is a lower
perceived as well as true contrast, but overall it shouldn't
matter to most uses.  As for color saturation, sometimes
it's a tossup, many people seem to prefer oversaturated
colors as if that's better, when it's still "off", not an
accurate representation of what's supposed to be onscreen.

Even so, if you prefer more saturation, what did you buy it?

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Then what's the point of your question?
If money is that tight, did you need a new monitor at all?
Maybe so, maybe your first impression is right, but going by
what you've written thus far, it doesn't seem this monitor
is as much of a problem as you're making it out to be.

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There are few if any products in the mid or low-end that, if
you step back and think "if only I spend 50% more I'd have
something nicer", then your appreciation of what you have

I think you should spend the time sorting out your video
driver problem, then adjust the monitor for the best
contrast and ratio- if it's too bright, that may be part of
the problem, that you need to turn down brightness some. and
use a full greyscale pattern to adjust contrast so that all
shades are visible, then use the RBG controls to get the
preferred color tone.

Often in stores the most expensive displays are adjusted
best so they look nicer.  I'm not suggesting there aren't
better panels, but if you're going to be picky about them,
no matter what you get there will be something that seems
better in a year or two, or at substantially higher price,
and the upgrade cycle never ends for the discriminating user
since technology keeps improving.  So if as  you wrote
there's no room in the budget for a high end panel, you'll
have to make the best of what the budget will allow.

Re: Princeton Graphics VL2018W Cheap Monitor wrote:
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I bought two. One had four stuck pixels, but the user couldn't see tham
and didn't want to be inconvenienced by me taking it back, so it's in
use. I bought the second for use on a Micron T2300 w/ Radeon Mobility
x600. It came right up at native 1680x1050 and worked fine that way for
about three weeks, but yesterday boted to 1280x1024 and niothing i
could do would get the native resolution back (this is used as a second
monitor on the laptop.) I called Princeton and talked to the dumbest
tech i have ever encountered. I spent the afternoon reinstalling
drivers for the x600, but had no luck getting the display back to
native res. I tried the ATI Catalyst install, but the Micron wouldn't
take it..."Video driver not found." So I reinstalled the older Micron
driver and swapped the VL2018w with an old Sylvania 17 LCD that has
been my secondary display on my desktop for a couple of years. On my
desktop (Matrox Parhelia 256mb) the VL2018w once again came up fine at
1680x1050 native, so i doubt it's the monitor. More likely flaky ATI
stuff is affecting both of us. So, I guess the VL2018w will stay on my
desktop for the time being, although i will miss the width on the
Micron T2300 where is was excellent for spreadsheets. One thing i
notice though, on the Matrox Parhelia that I didn't notice on the
Mobility x600; there are three or four vertical bands about two inches
wide spaced evenly across the display that make text fuzzier than i
like. Outside those bands, the text is TACK sharp. You don't even
norice the bands unless you have a wide text doc that spans the
display, then it's quite obvios. I would keep this monitor for office
productivity apps, but would be reluctant to use it for photo editing
or video editing now that I've seen the fuzzy bands. I might exchange
it for another at Costco just to see if the bands are unique to this
panel. But for $250, what can you expect? I would rather have a
Samsung, but they are $500 at Costco.

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I don't see the dullness. Colors, contrast & brightness all look OK.

Re: Princeton Graphics VL2018W Cheap Monitor

PurpleMountain wrote:
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Mine has already started to malfunction. It's not taking any input on
the DVI, after working ok for two months. Nothing in my computer
configuration has changed. The DVI output from my graphics adapter is
fine, which I verified on another (obviousIy more expensive) monitor. I
even tried the Princeton a second computer. Nada. For $199, what do I
expect? Duh, how about a few years of service? Now I have to get this
monitor serviced. What fun.

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