|How We Tested|
The monitors were tested keeping in mind performance, features, and value for money. Before running the tests, the monitors were placed perfectly vertical in order to eliminate any uniformity issues, and were auto-calibrated. All monitors were set to their native resolutions, and their drivers were loaded so we could get them to perform at their best.
The Test Bed Configuration: Both-the reference and test systems-were running on a P4 3.0 GHz CPU with 1 GB of DDR SDRAM, an nVidia 5950 Ultra graphics card, and a 7200 rpm SATA hard drive.
Features: In the Features tests, we looked for value-additions and other aspects that aimed at increasing the user-friendliness of the display. The features noted varied in significance-some were simple, like the user-friendliness of the OSD (On Screen Display); some were important, like power consumption, depth and weight.
One important thing we looked at was the monitor base, which decides the tilt the monitor is capable of-the more the better.
Some LCDs can be rotated vertically-landscape to portrait. This is useful while reading a long Word file or a PDF without the aid of a scroll-wheel mouse.
An oft-overlooked feature is the supplied user manual and quick start guide. It is especially helpful if the manual clearly states the full technical specifications of the monitor.
Performance: We used the DisplayMate benchmarking software to gauge the LCD monitor's performance. This software uses images to test a monitor for criteria such as Point Shape and Visibility. For example, to gauge how accurately the LCD can display a fine point, and whether or not it is able to retain the round shape of the dot, can be guaged by this test.
In the colour and greyscale set of tests, we checked for colour reproduction, the level shift problem, and the streaking or ghosting effect. We ran the 16-intensities and 64-level primary and secondary colour intensities tests to see how well the monitors could display shades.
In the miscellaneous tests within DisplayMate, we checked for screen uniformity. We also tested the Reverse Video Contrast.
The Pixel Persistence Test was run to check for jerks or image blurring. We used the Passmark Monitor Test to check for image persistence at the edges.
For the viewable angle test, we used a protractor placed inline with the LCD panel, and the screen was viewed from either side. A document containing different fonts was viewed from various angles, letting us determine the angles at which the text still looked sharp.
Price: We took the price of each monitor vis-Ã -vis its features and performance into account.
How we awarded
The features, performance and price scores were given relevant weightages, and an overall score out of 100 was calculated. The product that scored the highest was adjudged the winner of the Digit Best Buy Gold award for its category, while the second highest got the Digit Best Buy Silver award.