Finding real portrait mode screens

August 15, 2008 by Dave Haynes

A client, and therefore me and my colleagues, have been having a hell of a time trying to find a smaller LCD panel — 22 inch-ish — than will give off decent viewing from both left and right.

The problem, if this is not familiar to you, is that most monitors that size are built to get plopped on a desk and sit there in landscape mode. So the viewing angles are engineered to be good coming from the sides and not so bad looking down. But there is no particular need to have the viewing angle to still be good looking up, except for all night-crammers who fall asleep on keyboards.

Trouble is, these things get used in our space here and there, and when they get rotated counter-clockwise, the view from the right (the old bottom view) looks like crap.

So our quest to find a screen that was good from all angles has led to several different models that advertised this … but aren’t.

I’m blabbering away about this for three reasons:

1 – I’m looking for some real world experience and ideas on what really does work

2 – I’m scolding the panel guys who are fibbin

3 – And I am encouraging the people who sell in the DS sector to get a little more educated about their product. They have to deal with a lot of changing SKUs and endless specs, but the experience in the last few days has been one of the sales guys insisting the viewing angles were good, but when pushed to actually try it out, coming back with polite, “Never minds.”

Much of out of home and retail poster work emulates portrait mode, so this viewingh angle thing is a requirement that will be increasingly common.  

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