Monday, January 10, 2011


Today a long time client called and told me her computer was not displaying.  A little trouble shooting has directed me to the monitor as being the culprit.  So it’s been decided that the client has a budget of $200 and would like to purchase a monitor that offers the best quality screen and biggest size for her budget.  You should know that this client has macular degeneration and users zoomtext software to help her see text on her screen.   My client is considered legally blind so a crisp screen with a large display is important in our purchase. 

I started my search at Staples Office store where my tech, Kyle, told me that the $199, 20” LED would be the best for our needs.  I compared the screen of the LED to that of the $139 22” LCD sitting right next to it and was impressed with how much more crisp the LED vs the LCD.  I am continuing my research online tonight to find the perfect monitor for this client. As I do I am reading blogs from other tech writers and information from large chain stores and the monitor manufactures.  Here  in today’s blog I will leave you my findings and let you make your choice from there.  I hope you find this helpful.

Computer Tutor  offers our services to those ages 50 plus throughout Brevard and Indian River county.  When you need new computer components it can be over whelming to walk into the big box store.  My tech, Kyle, at Staples has lost customers right in front of me because he (a 20 YO male-techie type) had to confuse the customer with an over whelming amount of tech crap to explain to them why the $399 17” screened laptop was NOT a good purchase for them and why the should buy the $600+ laptop with a smaller size.   This stuff is expensive and this is a big purchase for most people if Computer Tutor’s years of experience can be helpful to you please contact us at or dial 321-431-3866.


Let’s get technical and look at the definition of the LCD this information comes to us from

A liquid crystal display (LCD) is a thin, flat electronic visual display that uses the light modulating properties of liquid crystals (LCs). LCs do not emit light directly.

Now let’s define and LED:

A light-emitting diode (LED)  is a semiconductor light source. LEDs are used as indicator lamps in many devices, and are increasingly used for lighting. Introduced as a practical electronic component in 1962,[2] early LEDs emitted low-intensity red light, but modern versions are available across the visible, ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths, with very high brightness.

The first blog I came across can be found at: 

What are the differences between an LED and an LCD tv? Which one is better? Those are questions I had and I bet you do to. LED televisions do have some distinct advantages vs a comparable LCD tv. Price and Environmental Factors are the two main differences. I have outlined the facts about LED televisions and LCD televisions in the tables below.

The first difference that strikes me is the price.  Currently LED televisions are about 50% more than an LCD tv. However the price gap has been narrowing and will continue to do so. An LED tv uses light emitting diodes ad its source of light for the television. An LED tv uses these diodes to create a much more vibrant and colorful image. The blacks are truly black (not dark gray) and the colors are more realistic vs an LCD tv. LED tvs can achieve a contrast ratio of up to 500,000:1. They also in general have a higher refresh rate which will help when watching shows with motion such as sports or movies.

Just the Facts only the facts:

State of the Art Picture Quality
About 40% Less Energy usage than a same sized LCD TV
Mercury Free and a VERY Thin Design
Currently LED TV's Cost about 20-30% more

Good Picture Quality, but Images may "burn" in Display
Energy Costs run Between $150-200 per year to operate an LCD
Mercury IS used in Manufacturing Process
Cost is the Cheaper of the Two Choices



My next search sent me asking Google the question “what is the best monitor for poor eyesight?”  I quickly landed on this blog which was a little dated, 2009, it really didn’t answer my question the way I wanted it to but it’s readers brought up some really good points.  The complete web link is :

Someone wrote to the forum asking the same question “what is the best monitor for poor eyesight?” “Writers to the forum suggested that the person try installing ClearType Tuner from Microsoft. 

This PowerToy lets you use ClearType technology to make it easier to read text on your screen, and installs in the Control Panel for easy access.

After installation, go to the Control Panel and run ClearType Tuner.
It has a series of text boxes that you check for the ones that look best to you.

Now this is for those die-hards out there with windows XP and know there’s a bunch of you!  If you have Vista or Windows 7 you have this built into the operating system. 

Here is the web link to Microsoft PowerToys for Windows XP:

The next thing the forum reminded me about is proper eye ergonomics.  I have taught many classes on this very important subject and I am so very guilty of not following my own teachings.

This web site is one of many where you can learn ways to alleviate eye strain while using a computer. Talks about “Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)”

Both of the above lead to other great bog topics I’ll have to consider.  Back to the matter at hand; finding the best monitor for a client with poor vision.

I promised that I’d give you some input from the manufactures as well.  Now, as of this moment I still have not made my choice for my client but I have learned that LG thinks you need to know the following about monitors: (from

What You Need to Know about Monitors
LG Design Philosophy for Monitors

Design plays a critical role in harmonizing technology and human needs. In an effort to predict emerging needs, and to deliver innovative products to the public, LG has developed a comprehensive design philosophy which boils down to four basic elements: Concept, Style, Interface, and Finish.

Emerging Needs

LG believes that design plays a critical role in harmonizing technology and human needs—a belief that requires our designers to predict emerging needs.
This trend was started by the LG Life Soft Research Lab, which was established about 20 years ago. Design plays a crucial role at the Corporate Design Center, even if much of the work within the Center remains largely unseen by the outside world. Researchers, designers, and trend scouts work to predict the future by examining and identifying consumer needs, observing the public's interest in products, and then developing design concepts and solutions based on what they’ve seen.
This means, ultimately, that LG is always one step ahead of the game—always already working on products for the future. In this way, our research is focused not only on new products and technological opportunities, but also on understanding key customer and market trends.

LCD Monitor Design

LG has set new standards for all LCD monitors by focusing on the designs that customers want and the features they demand. LG’s FLATRON and Fantasy Monitors have, between them, won seven iF and reddot Product Design Awards in recognition of their keen ergonomics, unique design, and innovative LED backlight technology.


This makes you want to go out and get an LG!

Now let’s talk about power consumption. says “

Buying the right monitor can't fix the world, but paying attention to power consumption when you buy does help make the world a better place while saving you a few pennies. In these pages, we'll explain why power consumption is important, what you can do to conserve power, how various monitors stack up against each other in power conservation, and how CNET tests monitor power consumption.

Conserving power can save you money
The less power your monitor pulls, the lower your monthly electricity bill. How much lower? That depends on two key factors. The first is how often you use your monitor; not necessarily sitting in front of it, surfing the Internet, gaming, or editing a spreadsheet, but simply how often your monitor is on and showing a picture. The second factor determining how much you're going to save is your monitor's brightness setting, which controls the luminance of your monitor's backlight. The lower you set your brightness, the less power you'll use.

You might not save the world just by turning off your monitor when you leave the house, but you're not helping matters leaving it on, either. By conserving the amount of energy you use, you can reduce the demand for fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas. Less burning of fossil fuels means lower emissions of carbon dioxide, the primary contributor to global warming. It's as simple as that. And then, of course, there's the money-saving perk. Read on.

How do I conserve my monitor's energy?

Sleep mode is your friend
Make sure that when you're not in front of your monitor, the device is resting up. You can set up sleep mode in Windows by going to Control Panel and choosing Power Options. Select the Power Schemes tab and under Plugged in, change the "Turn off monitor" field to whatever time suits you. (We recommend at least 5 minutes to avoid your monitor nodding off while you're reading a long article.)

Turn down your brightness
Luminance is one of the most important attributes for determining how much power a monitor pulls, and is usually referred to as "Brightness" in your monitor's onscreen display. Adjusting a monitor's luminance affects the amount of light emitted by its backlight. In our tests, we've found that brightness trumps every other setting for saving power; monitors drew the same amount of power whether we were playing a game or watching a Blu-ray movie, as long as the brightness setting was consistent.

You may be wondering how contrast fits into all of this. Truth is, it doesn't. Because the contrast setting only controls the monitor's white level and has nothing to do with the backlight, it doesn't have an effect on power consumption.
If your monitor has a switch, use it

Most LCD monitors do not turn completely off when you press the power button and are still drawing some amount of power. To ensure your monitor is not drawing power, click off the power switch--usually found on the underside of your monitor, near its connection options--if you have one. The power switch acts as an additional level of power conservation. If the power switch is on, the monitor can be turned on by pressing the power button; however, if switched off the monitor can't be turned on--even by the power button--unless the switch is turned back on.

If you're going to be away from your computer for a day or more and your monitor doesn't have a switch, unplug it from the wall to make sure it's not sucking power.
Upgrade from a CRT to an LCD

If you're still using a CRT monitor, consider finally taking the LCD plunge. Not only will it you save money and consume less energy, but you'll also have more room on your desktop for mouse pads, keyboards, and little plush dolls, if you're into that sort of thing.

We tested the Sony GDM520K 20-inch CRT through VGA and based on our test methodology (see how we test LCD monitor power consumption) the annual costs for the CRT are 63 percent higher than the 20-inch wide-screen HP 2009m.
Upgrade from a cold cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL) to a light-emitting diode (LED)

CCFL and LED refer to the types of backlight in an LCD monitor. Most LCDs use CCFL backlights, which are not as efficient at filling a screen with light from a LED backlight. CCFL backlights consist of several tubes stacked horizontally across the back of your monitor's panel. With LED backlights, there are many individual LEDs all over the back of the screen that can each be turned off or on. This gives LED displays much more precise control over the amount of light coming through the screen, and they are therefore more efficient at energy consumption. LED-based LCDs also have the potential to perform better than CCFL monitors in color accuracy and can be manufactured with much thinner panels than a CCFL-based display.
We tested three LED LCD monitors, the Dell G2210, Dell G2410, and the ViewSonic VLED22. In our tests, the Dell G2210 and G2410 indeed lived up to the LED hype, each earning our Power Saver Seal. The ViewSonic VLED22, not so much. The ViewSonic did not perform badly, just not up to our Power Saver standards (see how we test LCD monitor power consumption).
Get a smaller monitor
We know, playing Crysis on your 30-inch Dell at a 2,560x1,600-pixel resolution is a reason to live, but it's also the reason the power company looks forward to your monthly energy readings. The fewer pixels a backlight has to illuminate, the less power it uses. If you can stomach a smaller monitor, know that it will save you cash.
Panel technology
One more factor that determines how much power a monitor draws is the type of panel it uses. In our tests, we've found that Twisted Nematic (TN) panels pull 45 percent to 49 percent less juice than Super Patterned Vertical Alignment (S-PVA) models of the same size. Apparently, IPS panels (which usually have a better visual quality than TN panels) require more power for that extra prettiness.

WOW!  More then you expected to learn?  I think I have found the monitor for us.  It’s an AOC 20" Widescreen LED Monitor, currently on sale for $139 at I hope this had helped you make your decision. 

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