Dedicated reviews of affordable technology including headphones, mice, monitors, printers and other peripherals for the budget user. And, once in a while, a pinch of random opinion.

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Showing posts with label budget. Show all posts
Showing posts with label budget. Show all posts

FHD and ultra-wide, two budget LG monitors explored



LG monitors are quite expensive – notably their high-end OLD monitors. LG are the pioneers of both the older IPS panel displays as well as their current flagships, the OLEDs. OLEDs don’t have plasma; their pixels are purely driven by LEDs and each LEDs output both colour and light. IPS panels on the other hand, drive colour using LCDs and light using backlit LEDs. The biggest advantage of OLEDs are their contrast ratios, with black being true back without any backlight (the LED pixels on the black spot are switched off). On IPS panels, the LCD portion switches-off but the backlight remains, giving a faint (usually blue) hue.

But going for an LG television does not mean going for an expensive OLED. You should ask yourself – do you really need an OLED? Do you need those total blacks? Or could you make do with an excellent IPS panel with immaculate colour reproduction at a fraction of the cost? In this post we look at two stunning LG offerings under the $250 (£215) mark.

32ML600M-B
The 32ML600M is a 32” Full HS monitor (1080p) at a maximum refresh rate of 75Hz. The panel is a stunning high-gamut HDR10 IPS display that gives you amazing and accurate colour so you experience movies, TV and games just as the director intended. It has a full 179-degree viewing angle, so anyone next to you gets the full colour (95% of P3-DCI) experience, compared to cheaper panels that has a lower colour gamut and loses colour as your viewing angle changes.
32ML600M front face
For gamers, 32ML600M has Dynamic Action Sync – which is a ultra-low latency mode that does not buffer frames, instead of waiting for frames to buffer, the monitor directly displays partial frames straight off the cable, you have several partial un-buffered frames on the panel at a given times and hence resulting in almost no-input lag. This may at times result in parts of your monitor out of sync if you don’t have good graphics hardware, so uses would have to try out games with and without DAS turned on before selected whether to use it.
32ML600M side view
The monitor has two HDMI outputs and one audio out to a speaker. It has flicker safe and anti-glare coatings which helps with readability in both bright light and in rooms with incandescent lighting. Most monitor functions can be controlled with the on-screen control app for windows, so you don’t have to deal with physical buttons.

29WK600-W
The 29WK600-W is an ultra-wide monitor which measures 29 inches diagonally. Since it’s ultra-wide, it may look a little small when using applications like a word-processor or web browser. It features a 2560x1080 resolution which gives crisp quality for most applications. This monitor features HDR10 but does not have the wider colour gamut that the 32ML600M-B has so if you are a designer, the other one is better. 29WK600 has 99% of the sRGB spectrum which is only a subset of the P3-DCI spectrum.
29WK600
The 29WK600 also has gaming features such as DAS, AMD FreeSync (which is like DAS but requires an AMD graphics card), anti-tearing and anti-stuttering. But the response times will still be greater than 32ML600M because of larger frame sizes to be rendered.

Whether you choose the 32ML or the 29WK, will depend on whether or not you value widescreen displays. However, at the under-$250 price point Kategat recommends you go for the FHD monitor that is great for regular work, movies, gaming and more. You also get a larger display with an wider colour gamut.


The Budget choice: Laser vs Ink Jet


For the budget consumer, there is always the choice between going for an Ink Jet printer or an affordable laser printer. We look at some consideration for choosing between the two in this post.
A dot-matrix printer -- we didn't even think of considering these ones. 😀
Colour experience
At budget price points, you can only reach a black and white laser printer. This is more suited to people working with office documents, lecture notes, and other text based content. At the same price point a colour ink jet printer can be obtained which gives you a full color experience producing photos, graphics and coloured flyers. These are ideal for basic home use and if you need color print once in a while.

Durability and workload
Durability is also a factor when comparing laser and ink jet printers, laser printers are usually more durable and can manage larger workloads to the tune of about a 2000 pages per month. Unfortunately at the sub-$200 level, these are understandably lower at about 750 pages per month, which comes up-to about 180 pages per week. Ink Jet printers used to print over 750 pages per month generally break down in less than 2 years due to their mechanical nature of the printing function, as well as the cheap builds that come with it. You could go for an ink jet if you are at about 100 pages per week.

Speed, Noise, Form Factor
Speed and noise are generally not big factors for the budget user, and are things they generally don't mind sacrificing. Laser printers are generally faster and less noisier than their highly mechanical counterparts. Most laser printers are bulkier and would ask the user for decent desk space; ink jets are generally smaller and can be squeezed into a smaller area.

Output Quality
Output quality is generally measured in the number of dots printed per inch, with 600 being high quality and 300 being normal quality. Most laser printers do 600dpi well but look out for budgets ones that max out at 300dpi, especially ones that print fast. Ink jets are usually lower, especially colour ones and they are able to print at about 300 in general which is good for daily use.

Print stationary
Ink Jets print on a wide variety of stationary such as photo paper while laser ones are typically limited to the standard laser printer or copier paper. So home users who would want to occasionally print photos might consider a colour ink jet.

Other fancy stuff
Ink jets can also come as an all-in-one, featuring a scanner and a copier -- which most users don't have at home.

Average cost of printing a page
This is a factor that varies widely from printer to printer. Ink Jets almost always require expensive ink, especially when printing colour; lasers have expensive toners too but you change them less often. On the other hand, the average cost of an inkjet printer is several times cheaper than a regular laser printer, so you could buy one every two years rather than have a laser printer for five years. This is because the cost of an ink jet printer is subsidised and sold at a loss and companies make the money back selling expensive ink.

Here is a summary of deciding between an ink jet and a laser:
  • Durability, workload - Laser is slightly more durable and does better at heavy lifting.
  • Colour - Laser colour printers are not affordable, so ink jet is the only option.
  • Speed and noise - Laser is faster and less noisier; but they take up space.
  • Print Stationary - Ink Jet prints on photo paper too.
  • Scanner and Copier - Included with some ink jets.
  • Cost per page - Laser has a higher initial cost but lower cost per page.
Kategat recommends going for a laser printer, it suits a budget-conscious user in the long term. If you ever want to print colour occasionally, you can always go order prints online.



Image by Blake Patterson on Flickr, published under the CC license.