Latest, fastest LCD monitors: Syncmaster 913n, FP71E+

While many of us would like an LCD monitor, they're often a poor choice for playing games or watching video on due to their relatively poor response times when compared to conventional CRT monitors (see A speedy response). However, that's set to change with the latest products from BenQ and Samsung.

While they're different sizes (the Samsung Syncmaster 913n has a 19in screen, the BenQ FP71E+ is 17in) they're both SXGA displays, and are the first to break the pixel response time down to 8ms. But this performance increase isn't without its setbacks, as both screens use 6-bit hardware, employing colour dithering to try to match the appearance of an 8-bit screen. Typically speaking, you'll not notice the difference in colour depth in everyday work, but our colour ramp tests clearly showed stepping where the colour transitions should have been smooth, making them unsuitable for graphics work. Also interesting is how the colour stepping was compressed towards the bottom end of the scale, but expanded towards the top end, giving both displays a slightly bleached look.

That said, it's most likely that the gamers who'll be buying these screens will be more concerned with the absence of image trailing and blur during fast-moving action, and neither display disappoints in this regard. While small trails are visible if you look carefully, the smearing that's apparent on typical 16-20ms screens is almost absent here, making them both ideal for gameplay.

Another shortfall of fast panels is a reduced viewing angle, though the Syncmaster 913n is less affected by this, offering 160 degrees in both axes, while the FP71E+ falls behind with 140 degrees in the horizontal and 130 degrees for the vertical. At 300cd/m2, both products are equally bright, but the Samsung takes the lead for contrast ratio with an impressive 800:1 against the BenQ's still respectable 500:1.

Surprisingly, the 913n lacks a digital signal connector (DVI) where the FP71E+ has both VGA and DVI, but neither required manual adjustment to improve on their analog signal lock. That said, we found the FP71E+'s control interface to be less intuitive than the Syncmaster 913n's (though the latter is far from perfect) and the BenQ had a very strong red colour cast that needed manual adjustment to balance, even in its sRGB mode. We failed to find any notable streaking or ghosting in our high-contrast tests - though the BenQ did develop a dead pixel a few days into the review. Both products offer quick contrast/brightness/gamma settings for different tasks, like movie watching or Web browsing, and rescale non-native resolutions effectively.

The display you choose depends largely on your budget, but size and price differences aside, we found the Samsung Syncmaster 913n to be the better monitor of the two - particularly as it comes with a zero dead pixel warranty.

A speedy response

Response time describes the speed at which a pixel can change state from black to white and back again - often described as rise and fall. Slow response times result in blurring on the trailing edge of objects as they move around the screen. Don't be befuddled by reviews that confuse response time with refresh rate - it's actually a measurement of how quickly the pixels react once a refresh instruction is given.

In brief

Samsung Syncmaster 913n
An excellent monitor for gamers with high spending power, but still dogged by the colour limitations of high-speed LCDs.
Price: $999 Vendor: Samsung Electronics Phone: 1300 369 600

BenQ FP71E+
A more cost-effective choice than the Samsung, but lacking the contrast ratio, viewing angles, screen size and neutral colour balance. Price: $699 Vendor: BenQ Phone: (02) 9714 6800 URL:

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Laurence Grayson

PC World
Show Comments



Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?