Best 17-inch LCD Monitors

Thanks to improving technology, LCD displays have been able to get much larger and much more affordable in the past. As a result, the 17-inch class of monitors has essentially been phased out by manufacturers for desktop displays instead of using them for larger laptops. If you are looking for a lower cost and relatively small display, you will want to check out my selection of Best 24-inch Monitors.

Dec 5, 2007 - With the reduction of prices, 17-inch monitors are now starting to lose favor with consumers to the larger 19-inch LCD displays that use the same resolution. There are still plenty of options available for those looking for a small computer screen and they are highly portable for those who need to move the screen around. Here are my selections for the best 17-inch LCD monitors based on my research and experience.

Samsung SyncMaster 740BX

Samsung SyncMaster 740BX 17-inch LCD Monitor
SyncMaster 740BX. ©Samsung

Samsung is one of the biggest producers of LCD panels, so it is no surprise that they produce some extremely high-quality monitors. The 740BX uses the traditional 4:3 aspect ratio design with a resolution of 1280x1024. It is a very bright monitor for this size range with a 300cd/m^2 rating and a very high contrast 1000:1 ratio. This provides it with an extremely bright and colorful picture. Response times are very fast allowing it to be used for just about any application including fast moving video. Both the VGA and DVI-D with HDCP connectors are supported by the display.

Dell UltraSharp 1708FP

Dell UltraSharp 1708FP
Dell UltraSharp 1708FP. ©Dell Inc.

Dell's Ultrasharp 1708FP is one of the few monitors in the model lineup that doesn't use a wide screen panel. The 1280x1024 resolution is typical for the screen size and it is bright like the Samsung but with a little less color clarity. It makes up for this by providing an excellent adjustable stand and a built-in four-port USB 2.0 hub. There is also a version for the OptiPlex systems that has a different stand that should be avoided as it doesn't work as well with the standard design. Both VGA and DVI-D with HDCP connectors are supported.

Hanns-G HW-173DBB

Hanns-G HW-173DBB
Hanns-G HW-173DBB. Image Courtesy PriceGrabber

Hanns-G is a fairly new entry into the US monitor market. Unlike most 17-inch panels, the HW-173DBB does feature a wide screen panel and has a 1440x900 resolution. It's brightness and contrast aren't as high as many of the other traditional 4:3 aspect ratio designs, but it is more than acceptable for the average desktop user. Refresh rates are a bit slower but still acceptable for video and motion. What this screen makes up for though is its cost. It is one of the least expensive 17-inch displays on the market. It supports both a VGA and DVI-D connector.

ViewSonic VA1721wmb

ViewSonic VA1721wmb
ViewSonic VA1721wmb. Image Courtesy PriceGrabber

Viewsonic's VA1721wmb is also a 17-inc widescreen LCD panel with a 1440x900 resolution. In fact, the brightness and contrast are pretty much on par with the Hanns-G monitor. What the VA1721wmb offers over other monitors on this list are built-in 1.5-watt stereo speakers. This can help reduce the clutter on one's desktop from detached speakers. On the downside, this is a panel that only has a VGA connector and does not support digital connectors.

LG Electronics L1733TR-SF

LG Electronics L1733TR-SF
LG Electronics L1733TR-SF. ©LG Eletronics

LG Electronics claims that the L1733TR-SF monitor features a 3000:1 contrast ratio. This is an overestimation of the actual real world contrast for the panel as it is more on par with other 17-inch 4:3 aspect ratio screens on the list. What the L1733TR-SF does extremely well is its extremely low 2ms grey-to-grey refresh rate. This enables the screen to handle fast motion from video or PC gaming really well. The downside is that the color is not quite as dynamic as some of the other 17-inch screens. It supports both the VGA and DVI-D video connectors.