The Princeton LCD19D is proof that brightness alone does not a good monitor make. This inexpensive 19-inch LCD delivers a reasonably sharp picture, but we found it impossible to adjust the monitor to achieve acceptable contrast between dark colors without producing blindingly bright lighter colors. We recommend choosing a slightly pricier monitor with a decent picture, such as the
It's a shame, really, because the LCD19D is one of the least-expensive 19-inch displays we've seen that sports both an analog and digital input (and comes with both cables), as well as embedded speakers, though they are tinny and soft. It looks good, too; we particularly like its silver-and-dark-gray color scheme. The bezel is old-school wide--1.5 inches along the top, 1.25 inches along both sides, and 2.5 inches along the bottom--but it's minimally intrusive on your peripheral vision, and the single power light is placed well below your line of sight. Ergonomically, the LCD19D is one of the least-adjustable 19-inch LCDs we've seen; it won't swivel, pivot to Portrait mode, or telescope to add additional height, although it will tilt 5 degrees forward and 20 degrees backward.
The LCD19D's four-button menu and its adjustment controls are simple to use and the menu structure is intuitive--once you realize you can scroll past Exit to access more settings. Color and picture control consists of contrast, brightness, separate RGB settings, plus Warm, Cool, and Normal temperature settings, more than enough to allow us to tweak the monitor to perfection, if the monitor were capable of that.
Unfortunately, with a few exceptions, the Princeton LCD19D performed poorly in CNET Labs' DisplayMate test suite. We simply couldn't adjust the monitor to achieve a usable contrast without lighter colors turning bright enough to fry our eyes, and even after tweaking the brightness and contrast at length, the dark end of the spectrum still looked extremely muddy. DVD movie action was passable with the monitor adjusted to full brightness, but the image suffered from some motion artifacts, as it does with most LCD monitors.
Princeton backs the LCD19D with a standard three-year warranty to cover defects in materials and workmanship, and the company will replace a monitor with three or more dead pixels within 30 days of purchase--a fairly generous policy. Online support includes registration, FAQs, support bulletins, driver downloads, warranty information, and support e-mail addresses. Princeton also offers toll-free phone support weekdays from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT.
|Measured with the Sencore CP500 / Minolta CA-210|
Find out more about how we test LCDs.