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traveller

Trainee

Posts: 73

wcf.user.option.userOption46: Eizo S2231W-E / BenQ FP241W

1

Monday, March 10th 2008, 5:04pm

Eizo S2231W-E W.I.P. (Prad.de User)

Hi,

I think it's safe to say that Andi Roth's excellent review of the Eizo S2231W-E pretty much says it all so it would be pointless to write up any kind of semi-formal review as it would pale in comparison!

So, I just thought I'd add my 2 cents on Eizo's S2231W-E (the "-E" is for the EzyUp base) and thought I'd share my first impressions with the possibility of follow-ups (hence, the 'Work In Progress' part of the thread's title ;))

Secondly, there is almost always more chatter on the 'net in German when it comes to Eizos (aside from maybe Japanese) so a bit of extra chatter in English can't hurt ;)


First and foremost, Eizo's build quality is very impressive. I say this as I compare it to a BenQ FP241W which mans my other [private] workstation and a Belinea 1980 S1 at the office. I also have an XPS M1330 which has a Toshiba LED-backlit 13" TN panel.

This is not to say that I'm an LCD expert (because I'm definately not :P) but that I do have a few LCD monitors to compare the Eizo to and the Eizo, in terms of build (housing, ergonomics, etc.) is just amazing!


Design-wise, it's got a simple, solid, matte-black frame and that's the way I personally like it. I can live with my BenQ's and Belinea's black w/silver bezel combos but that's about as far as I care to venture. Some of today's monitors, with their piano-black finishes and funky-looking bases (which are almost always all but useless) just make me squirm. Of course, that's just mho and everyone's entitled to their own taste and preferences.

The inlayed control buttons are also a plus, although in a darkend room are hard to "read". I also personally like the blue-orange power LED but for those hardcore experts, it's definately a bonus that it can be turned off. Ditto for the [ambient] brightness sensor which comes deactivated as default. The last thing I need are mickey-mouse speakers on a monitor but if you're going to include them, then making them unobtrusive like Eizo's done is as good as it gets :D

If you own / have owned an Eizo, then I guess this is all old hat, but for those of you wondering if an Eizo monitor is worth the extra bills (compared to more mainstream brands) then my personal reply to you is a resounding yesss!

...did I mention the five-year "pick-up" warranty (er, at least in my neck of the woods, that being Western EU)... ?


Functionally and ergonomically speaking: Andi's covered it all and thanks to Siobhan Hayes, it's all available in English too :) so I feel it's pointless to add to their expert review :p


As for the star of the show, this all-so-special 22" 1680x1050 S-PVA panel... well it sure as heck impressed me some :) But mho and personal observations are strictly subjective and so Andi's technical observations covers all the bases.

As this is my first PVA panel, I can't offer you any direct comparison, so I "won't go there". Compared to my TN and MVA panels (both my BenQ FP241W and Belinea 1980 S1 use MVAs), all I can say is that black is beautiful:D

As for this so-called sparkle, I really can't say that I notice it. If you stick your face 10cm in front of any panel, I'm, sure it will look odd, so don't. Again, my first S-PVA, so I can't tell you if this phenomena is more or less apparent than any other S-PVA.

What I can tell you is that the blacks are amazing compared to both my MVA panels as well as my TN (although the TN's a glossy finish, which artificially improves the blacks somewhat). Furthermore, I agree 100% with Andi and a whole lot of other experts on the net who agree that 500 CD/M² is just too bright. Despite countless attempts to calibrate my FP241W at diverse brightness levels, it still hurts to look at it in dimmer environments, literally. The S2231W does not have this problem and after calibration seems to have just the right level of brightness!*

*Again, this is my subjective impression - sort of like the tale of Goldilocks and the three monitors: the FP241W's too bright! The 1980 S1's too dark! But that them there S2231W is just right :D)


As for this horizontal, color/ gamma- shifting characteristic of all S-PVA panels: I personally didn't find the S-PVA panel to "shift" much more than my MVA panel does. I not only do not own an IPS panel, but I've never-ever seen one, so I have no idea what a non-color-shifitng panel looks like, lol! I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm used to it and it doesn't bother me anymore. YMMV.

What's been harder to swallow in my personal transition from CRT to LCD is not so much the color shifitng as is the weak blacks and backlighting bleed issues. I bought the FP241W primarily for my entertainment needs (60% Video & TV playback, 40% gaming) and that's the reason why I went with an MVA panel. But, and it's a biiig "but", the murky blacks are really annoying and I'm reminded of that fact every time I've got a 16:9 movie playing on the 16:10 panel and the letterboxing's a definitive shade of grey... .


This is where the S-PVA panel excels, without a doubt! But... (there always has to be a but, hasn't there... :rolleyes:) the Eizo's backlighting concept is, in a word, baffling! Now this is where I think Andi was a little too kind in his description:

"Although slight clouding is evident in the corners, there are no disturbing light patches visible at the edges that would be caused by the backlight."

Well, maybe this effect changes from one unit to the next, but mine's pretty bright. Having forgotten Andi's comment on it I thought I had a bad unit but having re-read his comment as well as a few German-speaking Forum members' reviews, it is apparent that this is standard. As a matter of fact, this member's* picture of this, ah, X MARKS THE SPOT says it all... 8o
Yes, it does bother me, because I've always gone with simple, black desktop-backgrounds and at least one of the corners is always reminding me of Eizo's "baffling" backlighting concept... And it's definately NOT the first time Eizo's been criticized for their unique back-lighting designs...! In all fairness, this phantom X is not visible in normal working conditions where at least 33% of the screen's illuminated by an open Window or image, etc. Just use something other than a black background (or image of the Aug. '99 Total Solar Eclipse... ;))

*He wrote up a nice review (albiet "Auf Deutsch";) with a few more nice pics here.


Moving along, ahem, we have color. Most people interested in such a caliber of monitor are those that require a notch above average color (& gamma) fidelity. Well, I do a lot of amateur photography and this is the main reason why I bought the Eizo, but I am a long ways away from being a color expert and so it is really hard for me to make any beneficial comments to those serious photographers & graphics artists out there. But it doesn't matter 'cause Andi pretty much wrapped up my own subjective observation with this excerpt:

"When the monitor is calibrated, the white point and gamma value are optimal. Although the deltaE deviations can be reduced, they do not represent an ideal for the sRGB colour space. However, this is not uncommon in monitors with extended colour spaces: WideColorGamut displays have their problems as a result of their larger colour spaces."

Like I said earlier, I'm not a pro when it comes to color matching, etc. but I none the less strive to get the best out of the monitor with my limited means (in terms of knowledge and tools) and I did this by using a Spyder 2 Express which is limited to calibrating for an sRGB color space with a gamma of 2.2. I ended calibrating twice because the first time the whites were way too warm and on the second run, it came closer to my "idea" of true white. Still, when compared to my FP241W which was just adjacent, the colors from the S2231W appeared extremely "vivid", for lack of a better word, if not overly warm. As this wide color-gamut monitor is another first for me, I think I will need a little time to get used to the vividness of it all... ;)

Last but not least, what does it really mean that a display can reproduce 90% of the AdobeRGB color gamut? Is this good enough to consider the monitor suitable for AdobeRGB color work or did it just missed the mark and instead, provides for a vivid rendition of the sRGB colorspace? If AdobeRGB represents approx. 93% of the NTSC colorspace, then what's 90% of 93%?

As for that last question, just kidding:D


In a nutshell
If you've made it so far, thanks for bearing with me and my ramblings ;) In a nutshell, my only complaint is that of this X-Factor backlighting business. Aside from that, this is one hell of a monitor, as long as you factor in the price (i.e. this is not a professional color-guru monitor but you won't have to shell out €/$ 2,000 for it either).

It doesn't make sense to compare it to any other 22" monitor on the market today - if you want to compare it with something, then you're better off comparing it to one of the semi-pro 20-21" wide monitors (from Eizo, NEC and Samsung, for example). The great news is that the 22" format not only offers a little more real estate (or relief for your eyes, depending on resolution vs. sq. meter) than existing 20-21" monitors, but, more often than not, for a better price, too!

I would classify the S2231W as a jack of all trades with a bias towards digital imaging / graphics work. It's not a gamer's TN and it's not a professional designer's IPS, but, imho, a little of both :D

p.s. And to think, I almost forgot to mention the icing on the cake: MADE IN JAPAN! 8)
Traveller - Geneve * Melbourne * Miami * Wien

I: E6850/ P5B-D/ 2GB DDR2-800/nV 8800GT-512MB/ XP+nV169.28
II: P4 24b/ P4PE/ 1GB DDR400/ nV6800GT-128MB/ XP+nV169.21

This post has been edited 28 times, last edit by "traveller" (Mar 11th 2008, 12:11am)

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traveller

Trainee

Posts: 73

wcf.user.option.userOption46: Eizo S2231W-E / BenQ FP241W

2

Tuesday, March 11th 2008, 1:11pm

Annex I...

FYI (mostly for other S2231W owners...), my unit's id info:

p/n: 0FTD1080 7SQ
Mfd. 2007.12.12
s/n: 25255xxx
Japan
Vendor: DiTech Wien (AT)
Monitor HW ID (from Device Manager): ENC1918


I've posted the above mainly due to some concerns that certain units may be affected by this X-lighting more than others.

Conversely, I've been informed that some units are experiencing a color shift from one side of the panel to the other (for example, a pure white background may appear slightly cool (blue) on one side and slightly warm (red) on the other). Here's an exampleof this problem taken from this (German) thread.

This is not the case with my panel and hence why I've made no mention of it in my W.I.P. above.
Traveller - Geneve * Melbourne * Miami * Wien

I: E6850/ P5B-D/ 2GB DDR2-800/nV 8800GT-512MB/ XP+nV169.28
II: P4 24b/ P4PE/ 1GB DDR400/ nV6800GT-128MB/ XP+nV169.21
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3

Tuesday, March 11th 2008, 7:14pm

RE: Eizo S2231W-E W.I.P. (Prad.de User)

Thanks for directing me to the translation of Andi's review which was so thorough and helpful. The bleeding between colours as illustrated in your second email is exactly what I wanted to get away from, and why I do not want a TN panel, so I hope the original author's experience is not typical.

The quality as described by Andi and traveller is just what I am looking for but I cannot find a suplier in the UK. I want 2 monitors so 22" is about as big as I can afford. Any suggestions?

Dani.
Dani
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4

Tuesday, March 11th 2008, 11:22pm

Dear Traveller,

very nice review! =)

Dear Dani and everyone else who cannot follow the discussion in the other thread in German language:

* Indeed I do have a clearly visible "color shift" from one side of the panel to the other. In my case I would describe it as greenish shade on the left side and a reddish shade on the right side. This problem is not to be confused with the typical problem of TN-Panels where colors seem to change easily when you move your head. The Eizo is excellent in this regard, unfortunately this means the greenish part stays greenish and the reddish part stays reddish, even if you move your head/position. :D

Some people say it doesn't bother them but of course we can't know how strong the problem appears on each individual unit. But you should expect some problems *might* happen - when I called Germany's service partner of Eizo I was clearly told that currently more or less ALL S2231 monitors have this color shift issue and they said if it really bothers me I should consider to switch to either the 22" with TN-panel or the S2431 which, for some reason, don't seem to have this problem. Personally for me this is a big headache as I don't want a TN-panel and I don't want anything bigger than 22".

* But unlike traveller I do NOT have a problem with backlight issues. I simply couldn't see an "X", not even when I turned brightness to 100% on a black screen. (Well the room's light was still on, but not a bright lamp. And maybe I am not so sensitive regarding this issue. But I really didn't notice such kind of problem).

In regard of these problems it would be highly recommendable to either check out the monitor with your own eyes in a shop or if it is an internet shop make sure they take back the monitor without a problem if you are unhappy.

Besides the color shift problem the monitor is definitely the best one I ever saw (sharp, brillant). It almost drives me crazy to decide if I should keep it as it is so wonderful besides the color shift issue. On the other hand it really makes me uncomfortable in white/grey backgrounds (such as office) to clearly see this color shift.
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5

Wednesday, March 12th 2008, 10:22am

Thanks Chrisz for your reply in English.

I can understand your discomfort with the colour shift, it bothers me too. Some people don't seem to notice it. I bought a 15" Dell Ultrasharp a couple of years ago. I noticed it first with the grey tool bar in Office applications which had a lot of yellow in the right hand end. It was at its worst with a purple screen which was red in the top left and blue in the bottom right and only the colour it should have been in the middle. This wasn't dependent on head position. The problem was much worse on the new monitor than on a much older 15" Ultrasharp. Dell made me try all sorts of tests to look for interference on 4 different monitors before giving me my money back. They even tried to say it was a problem with the motherboard. It was searching about on the internet for that problem that informed me that there are different panel types, though it is only on sites like this that the panel type is given.

I would like to see reviewers look specifically at the colour unifirmity across the whole screen. I had thought the tests on colour accuracy would pick it up but it doesn't seem to have in this case.

Dani
Dani
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traveller

Trainee

Posts: 73

wcf.user.option.userOption46: Eizo S2231W-E / BenQ FP241W

6

Wednesday, March 12th 2008, 11:54am

Quoted

Originally posted by Chrisz
very nice review! =)

Thx, you're much too kind :]

As per your request (in your German review), I took a few pics last night, but it turned out to be harder than I imagined... ?(

I have a very sharp lens and it can focus right on the glass pane of the monitor, but then you immediately see a moire pattern. This pattern is then made even worse by the camera's digital sensor. In any case, the final product has either very bad moire and/or green+white "stripes" and/or I went a bit "out of focus" with the lens to try to minimize this moire....

The fact is I took the pics at night in a totaly dark environment and maybe I should try to take them in daylight instead...

But in the meantime, I've taken comparative photos of both my S2231W and FP241W, so that any coloration (Farbtisch, richtig?) from the camera can be ruled out. Any "green+white" striping you see in the photos must be ignored as this is not visible in real life!!!

Furthermore, I long-exposed the black backgrounds of both monitors to show a comparison of the type of light-casting each panel produces. Of course they are not that visible in normal conditions and not visible at all once I've got some non-black image covering roughly 25% of the screen.

So, assuming the attachments attach (I can't preview them), I have paired images for both the S2231W and FP241W:

Black Background
White Background
Word Processing
PerPixAn Gamma Test
White Background @100% saturation
Text Quality*


*Using Nokia Ntest, I cropped the center text (although all corners are just as sharp, but I doubt my camera lens can boast the same, lol) and what you see is a 100% crop of the original image. KEep in mind that the S2231W has a native resolution of 1680x1050 and the FP241W 1920x1200 so of course they look different, but you can still decide if you like the sharpness of the text. As usual, please ignore the moire effects and color (I converted it to greyscale anyways).

Each image is prefixed with the appropriate monitor name and all images. If I manage to get better pics, I'll post them. Any suggestions from Photographers would be very welcome :D
traveller has attached the following images:
  • IMG_3820_web_S2231W.jpg
  • IMG_3840_web_FP241W.jpg
  • IMG_3851_web_S2231W.jpg
  • IMG_3838_web_FP241W.jpg
  • IMG_3822_web_S2231W.jpg
  • IMG_3845_web_FP241W.jpg
  • IMG_3828_web_S2231W.jpg
  • IMG_3841_web_FP241W.jpg
  • IMG_3851_webS_S2231W.jpg
  • IMG_3838_webS_FP241W.jpg
  • IMG_3813_webC_S2231W.jpg
  • IMG_3834_webC_FP241W.jpg
Traveller - Geneve * Melbourne * Miami * Wien

I: E6850/ P5B-D/ 2GB DDR2-800/nV 8800GT-512MB/ XP+nV169.28
II: P4 24b/ P4PE/ 1GB DDR400/ nV6800GT-128MB/ XP+nV169.21

This post has been edited 2 times, last edit by "traveller" (Mar 12th 2008, 1:02pm)

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michido

Beginner

Posts: 39

Location: Region Osnabrück

wcf.user.option.userOption46: EIZO S2231W

7

Wednesday, March 12th 2008, 4:25pm

Oh my god!

The enormous "X" seems to be very strange! 8o
I really think it`s as I already mentioned! You only can change between the "super X" version and the "colour shift" version. ;( ;(
The second dark frame in yor gallery above cannot be the Eizo 2231, which one is it? ........Oh, damned Ijust saw it 8o,sorry!

Greets

Michael

This post has been edited 2 times, last edit by "michido" (Mar 12th 2008, 5:38pm)

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Loki

Beginner

8

Wednesday, March 12th 2008, 6:07pm

Thanks for your review and especially thanks for the images.
In my opinion it was right to take the pictures in a totally dark environment, otherwise any light would cause reflections and probably colors can become incorrect, caused by infrared light on the camera sensor (if you don't have an appropriate filter).
Until today I wanted to buy a S2231W too but due to the color shift reported by some members, I am now looking for another monitor but still intend to buy an Eizo monitor.
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michido

Beginner

Posts: 39

Location: Region Osnabrück

wcf.user.option.userOption46: EIZO S2231W

9

Wednesday, March 12th 2008, 7:18pm

Hello, it`s me again!

I took a dark frame photo too and would like to share it with you.

@traveller:
Your Eizo panel seems to be a different one. The really slight "colour shift" comes in a way like cross wise, not horizontal like ours ?( (but really slight!)
This feeds my theory about different panels with different flaws ;(
I could not decide between the two ones!!

Greets
Michael
michido has attached the following image:
  • DSC_0079.jpg

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "michido" (Mar 12th 2008, 7:47pm)

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traveller

Trainee

Posts: 73

wcf.user.option.userOption46: Eizo S2231W-E / BenQ FP241W

10

Wednesday, March 12th 2008, 9:30pm

Quoted

Originally posted by michido
Your Eizo panel seems to be a different one.

Wow... that's quite a difference! I find it hard to believe though, that we're working with "different" panels, considering it's the very first 22" S-PVA panel on the market, made by Samsung (at least that's what PRAD said).

My guess is that this being a new series of panel, Samsung's still working towards perfecting the panel's mass-prodution process and we are getting the first bunch of problematic panels...

...maybe.

Btw, at what aperature (blende) and shutter speed (?) did you use for the photo above? What brightness level do you have your monitor set to? I took mine at 3.2" at f2.8 and the monitor's brightness is currnetly set to 100%. I'm going to recalibrate it now at a lower setting (~60%) and see if it doesn't reduce the X-Factor a little ;)

In the end, when I compare the images of my S2231W to my FP241W which was also taken at 3.2" & f2.8, they both have the same level of "cloudiness" so I'm not going to swap out the panel just for that and risk a color shift and/or pixel-failure-plagued substitute.

I bought a Dell XPS M1330 Notebook last September and have heard countless stories on the net about owners replacing their units one, two three - even four times. I'm not about to go through that with the monitor... :rolleyes:
Traveller - Geneve * Melbourne * Miami * Wien

I: E6850/ P5B-D/ 2GB DDR2-800/nV 8800GT-512MB/ XP+nV169.28
II: P4 24b/ P4PE/ 1GB DDR400/ nV6800GT-128MB/ XP+nV169.21
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