The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful: 17" LCDs Reviewed

The Final Verdict: It Depends On What You Want

Monitor makers have put in a lot of effort this year-end season to offer you a wider range of monitors than ever before, and choosing among the 40 brands available has never been tougher. What's more, the ideal monitor doesn't exist. And so, as the manufacturers themselves do, we've divided our results into three groups:

Entry level Multi-use, entertainment-oriented monitors High-fidelity static monitors

Here are our recommendations:

The LG1720B came out on top among the entry-level monitors. This may seem paradoxical, since not so long ago it was the top of the LG line. But since the unit is now on sale for $420, it would be hard to justify saving a few dollars by buying a monitor like the NEC LCD72VM. If outlay is an important criterion in your choice, the LG should satisfy you regardless of the use you'll put it to. It may not excel in any one area, but it's good in all.

In the multi-use category, the clear winner is the Samsung 710T. Its new 13 ms panel is responsive enough to make for good gaming, and it's even faster than the Hydis panel. The Samsung is as much at ease with office applications and multimedia use.

Finally, for those who are more worried about color rendering than responsiveness, I'd advise buying the VX715. Its more traditional format and more acceptable latency make it a great candidate as a main monitor. We particularly appreciated the intensity of the colors and the wealth of shades this model offers. We'd advise it for graphics pros.

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