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Planar PLN2200 review: input lag and response time tested using the piLagTesterPRO

This 1920x1080 PC monitor from 2021 uses a IPS panel for wide viewing angles, but still manages low lag and fast response time. It runs at up to 75z but only at 1440x900, and would be a fine (if somewhat small) gaming monitor.

Image quality and build

You can set the monitor to 4:3 or wide, but it's a global setting, ie if you make 480i 4:3 then when you go back to the native 1080p it will be squashed. Outside of that one option, there's no way to control the scaling. It always fills the screen top to bottom, left to right. It does a very good job upscaling lower resolutions like 640i or 720p, but of course has a harder time with near HD  like 1400x1050p which has noticeable aliasing.

The display has VGA and HDMI  inputs. I tested using HDMI only. It has a tilt stand and is VESA mountable. It features very narrow (almost invisible) bezels on the top and sides, perfect for a dual monitor setup.

Input lag

I used a piLagTesterPRO to measure input lag. This device sends a frame of video over HDMI and measures how long it takes to display it. This display does not have a game mode; just a game "color" mode which tweaks the color balance - lame! None of the other settings made any difference in lag either.

I report two kinds of values. 1st response measures how long it takes for the TV to start responding (I use a 5% change in display brightness). This overly optimistic value doesn't tell how long it takes to see anything useful, but matches what other reviewers call input lag. full response is a more realistic measure of lag, and requires the display to reach 80% of full brightness. This combines both input lag and response time, and is closer to what you would actually experience in a game.

topbottom
Resolution1st (average)full response1st responsefull responsescan out
480i4.39.319.124.114.8
480p3.78.718.323.314.6
720p2.47.417.922.915.5
1080p2.47.417.822.815.4
1400x1050x602.37.317.922.915.6
1400x1050x752.97.914.819.811.9

The recommended resolution and refresh rate for this display is 1920x1080x60,  but it also supports 75hz at the slightly lower resolution of 1400x1050 properly syncing with the vertical refresh to produce constant, steady input lag. Looking at the data at the bottom of the screen, you can see faster refresh rates really do help overall lag, reducing it by about 3ms in total. Unfortunately the lower resolutions do suffer a bit from aliasing, but in a FPS or any 3D twitch game I doubt you'd notice. It's interesting that the panel is able to do 75hz no problem, but the rendering unit can't keep up with that data rate (pixel clock) at native resolution. It's so close, with 75hz working at 1440x900 and 1400x1050. Makes you wish Planar had splurged just a tiny bit more on the rendering unit, making this a true 75hz display. 

I also tried some unlisted 80hz modes but the monitor refused to sync to them.

It also handles interlaced modes with no problem, showing them using bob deinterlacing with no additional lag over progressive modes.

Response time was about 5ms, independent of the amount change between frames, and the change was smooth, without any overdrive artifacts. Very impressive.  

Results compared to other displays

To allow quick comparison between many displays I've summarized the results across all the displays I've personally tested with the piLagTester Pro. Min lag is the time to the first response, measured where the screen starts drawing (typically, the top); real lag is the time to the full response, measured where drawing finishes (usually the screen bottom), i.e. input lag + scan out + response time. Numbers in red denote average values that can vary by up to 8ms between power cycles.

DisplayYear made (TV?)Native Resnative min lagnative real lag480i real lag480p real lag720p real lag1080p real lagnative response timenative scan out
Dell E198FPb20081024p752.720.439.035.05.0012.70
Planar PLN220020211080p2.422.624.123.322.922.85.0015.17
Samsung 2494sw20111080p752.822.726.526.526.58.0013.30
Vizio VO370M20101080p2.523.683.049.047.024.35.4715.67
Dell S199WFP2009900p753.624.228.527.827.327.18.0012.60
Dell E228WFP20101050p3.024.226.526.75.0016.90
LG W1953T2010768p752.625.628.728.710.0013.00
Dell U2410 (game)20101080p4.026.262.228.326.526.56.0016.20
TCL 40S32520211080p6.527.360.629.027.927.76.0014.83
TCL 49s40320184k6.130.276.830.930.330.78.0016.13
AOC/Envision G19LWK2010900p753.131.239.538.738.437.815.5012.60
Dell E2211H20141080p3.033.634.734.534.133.815.0015.57
Panasonic TH-58PE75U2008720p28.034.034.034.034.034.06.000.00
Dell 1907FPc20081024p3.034.035.934.815.0016.00
Panasonic TH-42PX75U2008720p28.034.034.034.034.034.06.000.00
Panasonic TH-50PZ80U2008720p28.034.034.034.034.034.06.000.00
Corprit D157 (hdmi)20211080p3.134.534.934.834.633.916.2515.13
Samsung S27C23020141080p2.936.036.636.136.118.1014.97
Vizio E470VL (vga)20111080p22.039.039.039.039.09.008.00
Samsung LN32D4032012720p20.941.258.942.440.740.75.5014.83
TCL50s42320214k14.042.075.042.042.042.013.0015.00
Dell U2410 (sRGB)20101080p20.542.862.445.043.143.16.1316.13
ACER AT326520121080p19.543.862.745.343.843.88.0016.27
sony XBR 43X800D20174k24.544.346.546.044.644.75.0014.83
Element elst5016s20171080p21.445.163.546.445.145.38.0015.73
RCA L40FHD4120101080p20.346.665.048.047.046.09.6816.63
Sony 40VL130 (game)20081080p22.847.366.349.047.347.39.0815.43
Polaroid FLM-373B2007720p28.049.082.049.049.049.07.0014.00
Philips 42PFL3603D/F720091080p29.050.084.050.050.050.05.0016.00
Sony KDL-40V300020081080p22.250.168.450.650.549.811.0016.93
LG 42LC2D2006720p28.350.654.650.850.46.3015.95
GPX TDE3245W2016720p28.051.0102.051.051.051.08.0015.00
Sony KDL-46EX40020101080p28.052.087.052.052.052.08.0016.00


This list is sorted by real lag for each display's native resolution and max refresh rate. Since this display can only do 60hz at native resolution it doesn't get any boost in this ranking from the fact that it can also do 75hz at lower resolutions. I've cut the list off at 35 entries for space reasons, but the total list is 54 long, and all the removed TVs are even slower. 

Even at 60hz it's the 2nd fastest monitor on my list, and the only one that's IPS. Very impressive. And it would be #1 if you put it into 75Hz mode. That is largely due to its very fast response time of 5ms. Keep in mind, that the numbers don't communicate how clean that 5ms response time is, either.  It has zero overdrive artifacts, making motion look very, very good. It would be an excellent and affordable choice for a gamer (if somewhat small). 

That said, almost all the PC monitors I've tested are within 4ms of the same total lag. Yes, this better, but any of them would be a fine choice. 

Other comparable displays

Planar also sells a PLN2400 and PLN2700. No points for guessing what size those are ;-). They are from the same era, and have matching specs, so I would expect they would perform the same as the PLN2200.

The hidden cost of wifi

I just replaced the wifi router for our cable internet. The new one, TP-Link Archer C9, consumes 9W just to provide WIFI and Ethernet (that is, without any devices (hard drives, printers, etc) attached. Seems exorbitant. That's about $22 a year at current southern California electricity prices. This is my measurement using a Kill-a-Watt. Some sources (https://hexus.net/tech/reviews/network/80878-tp-link-archer-c9/?page=5) show it as shockingly (is that a pun) higher, but I think they must have included the power consumption of having something else plugged in. 

The last time I took any measures (https://alantechreview.blogspot.com/2018/02/the-hidden-cost-of-internet-power-cable.html) my old wifi router consumed about 6W. While not an amazing difference, that's still very much a measurable difference in price, saving me about $7 a year, which is enough to push the needle on total ownership. 

Meanwhile a raspberry pi 0w consumes 2-3 watts.  Makes me tempted to use it as my wifi router instead. Although a pi using external usb adapter w/ antenna and Ethernet port might make more sense (such as the 3b+), although no pi is as efficient as the zero. 


Dell E228WFP review: input lag and response time tested using the piLagTesterPRO

This 1680x1050 PC monitor from 2010 uses a TN panel for very fast response time/low lag, but has limited viewing angles. It runs at up to 75z but only at 1440x900, and would be a fine (budget) gaming monitor.

Image quality

The set has no options to adjust cropping/scaling. There is mild aliasing outside the native resolution and no way to adjust the aspect ratio.

Because it is a TN display, the viewing angles are more limited than for most TVs or any IPS display

The display has VGA and DVI inputs. I tested DVI using a passive HDMI adapter.

Input Lag Results

I used a piLagTesterPRO to measure input lag. This device sends a frame of video over HDMI and measures how long it takes to display it. This display does not have a game mode.

I report two kinds of values. 1st response measures how long it takes for the TV to start responding (I use a 5% change in display brightness). This overly optimistic value doesn't tell how long it takes to see anything useful, but matches what other reviewers call input lag. full response is a more realistic measure of lag, and requires the display to reach 80% of full brightness. This combines both input lag and response time, and is closer to what you would actually experience in a game.

topbottom
Resolution1st (average)full response1st responsefull responsescan out
480inot supported
480p4.69.621.526.516.9
720p4.89.821.726.716.9
1080pnot supported
1440x1050x603.08.019.224.216.2
1440x900x752.97.916.121.113.2

The recommended resolution and refresh rate for this display is 1680x1050x60,  but it also supports 75hz at slightly lower resolutions just as well, properly syncing with the vertical refresh to produce constant, steady input lag. Looking at the data at the bottom of the screen, you can see faster refresh rates really do help overall lag, reducing it by about 3ms in total. Unfortunately the lower resolutions do suffer a bit from aliasing, but in a FPS or any 3D twitch game I doubt you'd notice. It's interesting that the panel is able to do 75hz no problem, but the rendering unit can't keep up with that data rate (pixel clock) at native resolution. It's so close, with 75hz working at 1440x900 and 1400x1050. Makes you wish Dell had splurged just a tiny bit more on the rendering unit, making this a true 75hz display. 

I also tried some unlisted 80hz modes but the monitor refused to sync to them.

It cannot handle an interlaced signal in any mode, and it can't downscale from 1080p, but it seems to be fine upscaling from any resolution below 1680x1050.

Response time was about 5ms. It's fairly independent of the amount change between frames, but does have a overdrive artifact where it moves very quickly to about 70% of the final brightness, pauses a frame, and then jumps the rest of the way. I choose to set the response time as the point when it finished that first step, otherwise the value would be more like 20ms(!). From a lag perspective, that first step is a valid place to measure, as you can clearly see that level of brightness, but from a motion clarity perspective the 2nd value has more validity.  

Results compared to other displays

To allow quick comparison between many displays I've summarized the results across all the displays I've personally tested with the piLagTester Pro. Min lag is the time to the first response, measured where the screen starts drawing (typically, the top); real lag is the time to the full response, measured where drawing finishes (usually the screen bottom), i.e. input lag + scan out + response time. Numbers in red denote average values that can vary by up to 8ms between power cycles.

This list is sorted by real lag for each display's native resolution and max refresh rate. Since this display can only do 60hz at native resolution it doesn't get any boost in this ranking from the fact that it can also do 75hz at lower resolutions.

DisplayYear made (TV?)Native Resnative min lagnative real lag480i real lag480p real lag720p real lag1080p real lagnative response timenative scan out
Dell E198FPb20081024p2.720.439.035.05.0012.70
Samsung 2494sw20111080p2.822.726.526.526.58.0013.30
Vizio VO370M20101080p2.523.683.049.047.024.35.4715.67
Dell S199WFP2009900p3.624.228.527.827.327.18.0012.60
Dell E228WFP20101050p3.024.226.526.75.0016.90
LG W1953T2010768p2.625.628.728.710.0013.00
Dell U2410 (game)20101080p4.026.262.228.326.526.56.0016.20
TCL 40S32520211080p6.527.360.629.027.927.76.0014.83
TCL 49s40320184k6.130.276.830.930.330.78.0016.13
AOC/Envision G19LWK2010900p3.131.239.538.738.437.815.5012.60
Dell E2211H20141080p3.033.634.734.534.133.815.0015.57
Panasonic TH-58PE75U2008720p28.034.034.034.034.034.06.000.00
Dell 1907FPc20081024p3.034.035.934.815.0016.00
Panasonic TH-42PX75U2008720p28.034.034.034.034.034.06.000.00
Panasonic TH-50PZ80U2008720p28.034.034.034.034.034.06.000.00
Corprit D157 (hdmi)20211080p3.134.534.934.834.633.916.2515.13
Samsung S27C23020141080p2.936.036.636.136.118.1014.97
Vizio E470VL (vga)20111080p22.039.039.039.039.09.008.00
Samsung LN32D4032012720p20.941.258.942.440.740.75.5014.83
TCL50s42320214k14.042.075.042.042.042.013.0015.00
Dell U2410 (sRGB)20101080p20.542.862.445.043.143.16.1316.13
ACER AT326520121080p19.543.862.745.343.843.88.0016.27
sony XBR 43X800D20174k24.544.346.546.044.644.75.0014.83
Element elst5016s20171080p21.445.163.546.445.145.38.0015.73
RCA L40FHD4120101080p20.346.665.048.047.046.09.6816.63
Sony 40VL130 (game)20081080p22.847.366.349.047.347.39.0815.43
Polaroid FLM-373B2007720p28.049.082.049.049.049.07.0014.00
Philips 42PFL3603D/F720091080p29.050.084.050.050.050.05.0016.00
Sony KDL-40V300020081080p22.250.168.450.650.549.811.0016.93
LG 42LC2D2006720p28.350.654.650.850.46.3015.95
GPX TDE3245W2016720p28.051.0102.051.051.051.08.0015.00
Sony KDL-46EX40020101080p28.052.087.052.052.052.08.0016.00
Toshiba 40L2200U20141080p30.056.074.056.056.056.010.0016.00
Vizio E261VA2012720p19.359.061.160.459.258.925.0014.67
Emprex HD 32022007720p27.066.0126.051.050.062.024.0015.00
Samsung LN32B3602010720p37.660.062.161.860.560.18.0014.40
Vizio VO22L FHDTV10A2008720p28.061.094.061.061.061.018.0015.00
Vizio E261VA2007720p28.062.095.062.062.062.018.0016.00
Samsung P2570HD20101080p37.062.062.062.062.062.010.0015.00
Sharp LC-C3234U2009720p33.064.683.666.664.615.0016.60
Samsung LN46B61020121080p53.066.082.066.066.066.05.008.00
LG 42PT35020121080p63.567.785.968.967.767.74.200.00
Mitsubishi LT-4614420081080p51.068.075.068.068.068.09.008.00
Toshiba 46L5200U20131080p55.071.089.076.071.074.08.008.00
Sony 40S20L12007720p48.472.090.172.973.49.6014.00
Samsung LN46C63020121080p54.572.190.790.388.572.310.007.63
SANYO DP507492010720p67.075.0103.094.079.075.07.001.00
Samsung HP-T425420111080p69.775.794.176.075.75.001.00
LG 47LW6500-UA20121080p66.680.7149.7149.081.780.92.2711.83
Vizio E470VL (hdmi)20111080p69.086.0128.095.095.086.09.008.00
Vizio xvt4735v20111080p67.688.688.889.288.688.69.0012.00

This monitor is very high on the list, as would be expected by the fact that it's a TN computer monitor. In fact, if we had used the performance from a 75hz mode it would be tied for the fastest monitor I've ever tested. That is largely due to its very fast response time of 5ms. Keep in mind, however, that this monitor has a two-step response time curve, and if you used the 2nd final step as the measure it would be closer to 20ms, which would make it one of the slowest pc monitors (but still way faster than most TVs). As to which is more fair, I don't know. It certainly responded very fast in that first step, but the slower second step does mean moving stimuli are less clear.

 

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