Key facts: 19" - 1280 x 1024 - 300 cd/m2 - 700:1 - 5 ms - 0.294 mm
This meets the basic requirements as I had them suggested to me, except for contrast, where people recommended a little better. But I'm on a budget, so decided to risk it.
Problem is, the picture is crap. I can't see that contrast is the problem: the picture looks grainy and pixelated, and in games, washed-out. I have it attached to a crappy PC right now, can't afford anything better, but the monitor was a priority since the old one is dying and would change colours or go completely black. I really wanted a flat screen since they're so much smaller and prettier, but now I'm regretting the decision.
So I have a couple of basic questions. First of all, why is this monitor so crap? The easy answer is of course that it's cheap, but given that I'm not going to have a whole lot more money to spend on another one soon, I need a more useful response than that. I don't know how to explain the problem much better unfortunately. I haven't even had the chance to test the more high-end problems related with response-time. The only games I've been able to test it with are Age of Empires II and Warlords Battlecry II. Warlords looks OK, but still worse than on the old CRT. AoE looks awful; the trees look as though they're drawn with sand, the whole image looks washed-out (which may be the contrast I suppose), and most perplexing of all, the mini-map is filled with big blocky squares that are hard to distinguish from each other. So why is this? What specs do I have to look for in another monitor to avoid these problems? Again, without spending huge sums of money.
The second questions perhaps renders the first redundant; if I go for another CRT, will all my worries go away, even if it's a cheap one? And, if I do go old-fashioned, what specs do I look for? I know things like resolution and response time aren't really an issue on CRT, so what things are? Is it hard to go wrong with a CRT?
I have a week left before I have to return this Acer piece of rubbish if I want to get my money back, so I need to make decisions fast. Although the decision to return it is almost made.
Thanks for any and all help.