Modern monitors today have IPS+VA in one, which means great vertical viewing angles and also 100% color gamut reproduction.
So one does not need to choose either and just get both, for some 200-250 dollars.
However, they only have 1000 static contrast (read below why this was important for me) and many of them suffer from backlight bleed issue (near bottom of the screen), or produce high-pitch noise.
Another thing which I found interesting is that not all IPS monitors make up to 100% of the palette, make sure you read description about how much is exactly covered.
After reading internet opinion on all this, which is mostly forums and discussions, I figured IPS+VA technology is rather young, and it’s best to get older generation VA, to be sure it is more polished = performs better and lasts longer.
I ended up buying a BenQ BL2410PT, after considering various models from Acer, Asus and LG.
This monitor had highest static constrast ratio among those I found for sale.
Ok, this may not accurately distinguish a good monitor, but like cars, you’d want one that runs faster.
This monitor is not new, found reviews dated March 2013, and some June 2013, and there is a new revision available which is supposedly dated ~May 2014.
However, it seems to be a well polished VA monitor, regardless of the revision I am getting (which I don’t know at this point).
Got it for $216.23 before shipping ($8.99) and taxes (amounts in Canadian dollar). Here are the specs that were important for me:
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 (to match my other monitor)
Resolution: 1920x1080 (to match my other monitor)
Static contrast: 5000:1 (I found somewhere that >1500 is good for all-day sitting, less than that causes eye strain over prolonged use, many modern monitors have only 1000)
Panel: VA, 178 deg. (hoping to get more uniform colors vertically, with my current TN monitor a single shade appears as a gradient at some angles).
Input Connector: D-sub/ DVI / DP/ Headphone jack / Line in (DVI connector was a requirement)
VESA Wall Mounting: 100x100mm - I needed this to mount on my Ergotron LX side-by-side dual monitor arm.
+Something not really important for me as I am not a graphics designer - this monitor features Delta E of ~4 without calibration and can go as low as 1.4 after simple calibration (just changing some settings manually) and 1 after advanced calibration (need to install a calibration profile - see below link). Typically anything less than 3 is considered good. BTW, according to the article I linked, <1 means that a human cannot tell the difference between the actual color and how it appears on the screen, which gives me a bonus of being able to see photos as they would come out of the printer. Also see Review: BenQ BL2410PT 24" Full HD Monitor for Photos and Movies + Colour calibration profile (direct link for download).
The monitor I picked is almost identical to GW2450HM, spec-wise, except for HAS (which I don’t need anyway), but I could not find it for sale in the list of my preferred computer stores.
If you don’t need VESA mount, you may also want to consider this one: EW2440L (features a slim bezel).
Thanks to Maximiliano for inquiring about this article, otherwise I would never remember to update it with latest info.
Anyway, a monitor has arrived and is working well after manual calibration. Manufactured Feb 2014, in case anyone is wondering.
I first did some adjustment with QuickGamma, but now reverted back to all 2.2, and it looks okay. So you can safely say that it doesn’t need software adjustment.
Using monitor-only calibration, brightness is now set to 25%, and contrast is at 50%, down from the original 9x%, which I found too bright/sharp for everyday use.
It’s been a while, so I don’t remember which other options I changed since then. But if you cannot figure it out, feel free to send me an email.