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Princeton VL1916 (LCD19D) 19″ LCD Monitor Review

May 12, 2004

Princeton LCD19DCostco is currently selling the Princeton VL1916 19” LCD Monitor for $569.  This is apparently the Costco-specific part number for the Princeton LCD19D monitor.

(see update at end—the LCD19D is now available for $299 from Amazon)

Since my trusty Viewsonic 19” monitor had finally given up the ghost (the screen had been getting dimmer and dimmer for months, until it was no longer viewable at maximum brightness in ordinary room lighting), I decided to take a chance on the VL1916.  The price was excellent, and Costco has a very liberal return policy. 

Nevertheless, given some of the “horror stories” around the past few years about lower-cost LCDs (this unit is about $200 less than many comparable units), I was a little hesitant. 

Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised…

The specifications are here, but the important ones (to me) are:

Contrast Ratio: 700:1

Brightness: 250 cd/m2

Response Time: 25ms

Resolution: 1280 x 1024

Interfaces: VGA, DVI

Viewing Angle: 170 degrees left/right, up/down

Weight: 5.9 kg

Setup was dirt simple—I plugged the (included) DVI cable into the DVI port of an ATI Radeon 9000, and turned it on.  XP Pro immediately detected it as a plug and play monitor.  (A VGA cable is also included)

The picture is stunning—rock steady, sharp, and DAMN this thing is bright.  I know I’ve been in “dim monitor hell” for awhile, but at 50% brightness, this thing is liable to give you a sunburn.  I had to turn the brightness and contrast down a fair ways because it was literally hurting my eyes.  I was also a bit startled at the size—19” CRT monitors tend to have a viewable area of “17 inches and some change”, so the full 19” viewable area seemed large—in fact, I do wish a bit that the native resolution was 1600 x 1280, but my eyes will probably be glad it isn’t.  I don’t seem to have a single dead pixel.

I’m not a gamer, but I did throw a movie up on the display, and didn’t notice any ghosting.  How well it works at 60 fps on your favorite first-person shooter, I have no idea.

The stand is solid, albeit somewhat simple.  There is unfortunately no up-down adjustment (which means I’m going to eventually have to find something to set it on), but the display will tilt enough to be fairly comfortable.  The back is configured for a VESA mount, so one could always put it on a swing-arm or other VESA stand.

On-screen controls for DVI include Contrast, Brightness, Color Temp (normal, warm, cool), Language and Volume (oh yes—it has speakers, although I won’t be using them).  VGA mode adds some frequency adjustment controls.  I’ve not tried VGA mode, although I played with it somewhat in the store, and quality appeared fine.

There is a lack of add-ons with this that you might find in higher priced monitors—no portrait/landscape swivel on the mount, and of course, no “pivot software” either.  There also is no color calibration software as is included with some monitors, although color calibration without a “spider” or “puck” is of dubious value.  No CD with anything was included with the package, in fact—a rarity in this day and age.

Power is supplied by a “power brick” with a cable to the monitor and a power cord.  Power consumption is rated at less than 45 watts operating, less than 3 watts standby.  My electrical bill will be happy.

Warranty—1 year limited.  Costco has a “lifetime” return policy, however (I asked), so this may or may not mean much.

Conclusion—if you’re looking for an excellent basic LCD monitor at a good price, you could do far worse than to check this out.  If you’re looking for a lot of extra bells and whistles, however, this may not be the monitor for you.

Update

Amazon currently has the LCD19D version of this monitor (same monitor, just non-Costco part number) for $299 after rebate.  Click here for more information.

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Comments

25 Responses to “Princeton VL1916 (LCD19D) 19″ LCD Monitor Review”

  1. Jasper on May 14th, 2004 4:33 pm

    I bought two Princeton VL1916 and

    one Princeton VL1716 monitors six months ago and have been very happy with them.

    I looked at many makes for much more and still liked the Princeton excellent image quality better than any of the higher price ones.

    It’s a great product and all of mine are used alot and still looks great and works flawless.

  2. Paul Harvey on July 6th, 2004 1:25 pm

    Just bought a VL1916 today from Costco.  Was the only thing I could find at its price point that had the speakers AND the DVI input.

    I did have to return the first one I got due to a dead pixel almost dead center, but Costco gave me no hassles and the 2nd one I got (today) doesn’t have any.

    I got this to reduce desktop clutter and it will do that nicely. 

    I listened to a CD through the speakers this afternoon, and while of course the sound doesn’t compare to the Cambridge Soundworks setup I’m giving up, it was satisfactory.

    I’m very happy.

  3. Carlos Taylor on November 3rd, 2004 11:13 am

    I just purchased the Princeton LCD19D from PCMall.com for $449 – $100(mail in rebate).  This model has a 3yr Warranty.  I am still awaiting my purchase, but I just wanted to give everyone a heads up on a better value.

  4. Dennis Barlow, Sr. on November 14th, 2004 8:39 pm

    I just bought the VL1916 at Costco and it is fantastic. Easy to use, perfect graphics and about $200 to $400 cheaper than comparable name brands. In my opinion, the Princeton bested Sony in my comparison and $275.00 cheaper. Considering that and Costco makes it a no brainer. Try the Princeton, it is great.

  5. Bob on November 19th, 2004 10:54 pm

    I was at Costco today, Nov 19, 2004 and they had the Princeton VL1916 for $439.99.  After reading the reviews in here, I’m going back tomorrow and buy on.  Thank you for the information.

  6. Matt Chalmers on November 22nd, 2004 1:43 pm

    Just a heads up to the people out there looking to buy this model at Costco, it is going to have a $50 instant rebate this week end.  Might want to wait till Friday or Saturday to pick it up.

  7. Don on November 24th, 2004 3:47 pm

    I haven’t the slightest idea of what this site is supposed to to, although I will check it out when I get done with this message.

    I simply found this web page when I searched with Google on the 19” Princeton monitor Costco has for sale at a very attractive price to begin with, and with $50 off for a couple of days after Thanksgiving.

    Bottom line is that I will be at Costco when it opens on Friday morning.

    Thanks,

    Don

  8. Ken on November 25th, 2004 4:36 am

    Thanks for the reviews guys! Here I am 2:35am on thanksgiving searching for reviews for this model because I too saw the ad for Costco this Black Friday. I can’t wait to get my hands on this! But do I want to wait early in line in the cold on Friday morning? Or should I spend $12.00 extra to have it shipped from the web?? hrm… decisions.. EEK!!!!

  9. Lenard Milholland on November 27th, 2004 7:17 pm

    Just bought the Princeton VL1916 at Costco after reading this review and a few others.  How can you really go wrong with Costco??  FYI, the $50 coupons are at every register.

    This is my first LCD.  Always thought they were a novelty, but now I have a desk and can’t image going back to CRT.  For $415 w/tax, this monitor is a smokin deal.  No dead pixels, sharp image.  Speakers suck, but work well for stupid windows sounds.  Windows ME figured out what it was immediately with zero issues.  It is ready for future upgrades to DVI too!  Give it a try, you might like it.

  10. Lord Sausage on November 27th, 2004 7:21 pm

    just Bought 11/27/04 from PCMAll.  Thanks for the heads up.  New egg and e-cost both have a similar 100 dollar rebate, but you save $5 more getting it though pc mall due to free shipping.  Im cheap and Im proud.

  11. Ken on November 27th, 2004 8:37 pm

    I too got it at Costco. I was the first one there to grab one and first one out the door. $415 w/tax. I LOVE IT! NO DEAD PIXEL : ) Didn’t even both trying the built in speakers since I already have speakers : ) I’m VERY SATISFIED!

  12. Nikola on November 29th, 2004 12:54 am

    I bought VL1916 in Costco, but I bought also Samsung SyncMaster 912N for the same price at Frys, I turn them on at the same time and I can tell you Samsung is as much, much better. Yes Samsung does not have speakers but who is using it anyway.

  13. Anthony on December 6th, 2004 5:35 am

    I’m surprised that so many people are claiming to have found no dead pixel.  I’ve been able to spot several bad ones on my second VL1916 after having returned the first one to Costco for the same reason.

  14. RacerX on December 10th, 2004 11:11 am

    I just purchased the Princeton at Costco for $379 plus there is an extra $50 rebate, so my final cost is only $329, that is a heck of a deal!!!  I love this monitor no dead pixels and my pictures look great on it.  I also really like how the rebate can be easily applied for at Costco.com.

  15. Anthony on December 10th, 2004 11:37 am

    Again, how is it that I am so unlucky compared to you guys?  I bought a different LCD from Costco.com after returning the 2 Princeton monitors because of dead pixels.  Even this new one has a dead pixel.

  16. John on December 27th, 2004 12:51 pm

    I bought a VL1916 a few months ago and was content with it … it had good price performance and I wanted to have the DVI input. But somehow I wasn’t “knocked out” by the graphics, unlike when I saw other large LCDs at my friends. Eventually I needed another LCD for another computer and I decided to buy a Samsung 910T (similar price, also has DVI), and I can tell you that the Princeton is not as good as the Samsung. The Princeton lacks the visual sharpness and colour quality of the Samsung.

  17. Scott Ross on February 5th, 2005 10:01 pm

    i got the princeton VL1916 lcd moniter and after about a week of use it warmed up and when i played unreal tournament it waz fast. almost no blur. if u need a cheap efficant moniter get this 1

  18. Patrick on February 12th, 2005 5:22 pm

    Bought a LCD19D from Amazon.

    After use pixel testing screen

    http://www.gdargaud.net/Hack/DeadPixels.html

    I found one dead pixel (Princeton offer replacement for 4 and above)

    The picture is comparable to my Viewsonic but you need to use 75 HZ refresh rate instead of 60 as recommended.

    For $299, it’s not great, but better than average in the market.

  19. sheldon burk on May 23rd, 2005 11:42 am

    I have had a VL1916 for 5 months.  My wife got it at Costco for my Birthday.  I did miss my Trinitron, but came to appreciate the LCD Monitor.  Yesterday a problem occured and continues.  I now have a HORIZONTAL BLACK LINE across the top portion of the Screen. From absolute left to absolute right.  I would post a screen shot but the line will not show up when I take one.  But it is there on my screen and very bothersum.  Does anyone know what this can be, and how i could correct this.  Thanks for your advice in advance.

    NDNCHIEF….

  20. Chuck Lawson on May 23rd, 2005 11:52 am

    Sheldon,

    If it were me, I wouldn’t hesitate to take it back to Costco.  One of the big selling features for me was that Costco has a =lifetime= return policy on computer accessories (I think it’s limited to a few months on computer systems themselves).

    I even verified this at the checkout when I bought it; unless they’ve changed their policy recently, they should exchange it for you no questions asked.

  21. Robert Adofo on July 12th, 2005 2:56 pm

    The monitor is great. However everytime i plug it in the volume bar goes down automatically, its pretty annoying. Don’t have this problem with my friends monitor with my computer, im convinced its this monitor, anyone know a fix to this?

  22. Zach Griffen on October 3rd, 2005 6:52 pm

    I am running two of these monitors on a dual output card and am very happy. The first one I got about 18 months ago at Costco, and the second I purchased from TigerDirect a couple weeks ago. After working on dual displays, I don’t know how I ever worked on a single 15″ CRT. Sweet!!!!!!

  23. Dougoug on October 17th, 2009 3:08 pm

    I have a princeton VL-1616 and it did not come with a driver cd or a power cord. Does anyony PLS can anyone or will anyone help me…PLEASE Doug Corey douglascorey@hotmail.com
    Thank You VERY MUCH
    .-= Dougoug´s last blog ..Fix Firefox Font Rendering Problem in Snow Leopard =-.

  24. Kevin Kintz on December 30th, 2010 3:39 pm

    I would like to know if anyone out there can possibly help me out finding the Driver for my Princeton VL1916 (LCD)Monitor, there has to be a reputable Princeton dealer in the area or does someone know where the address isthis monitor still has a good picture but I thinkit needs an driver Does anyone know where they can get new onesthat are under warrenty.Are these things hard to find
    You can get in touch with I check it several times a dayme with my Email. SO EVERYONE ENJOY AND HAVE A GREAT DAY

  25. LUI on July 27th, 2011 3:12 pm

    Please let me know how can I get the audio to work in my PRINCETON monitor VL1916 my system is WINDOWS 7. I appreciate your help very much.

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