Which is the better choice: Viewsonic LCD 19" Wide or a standard 19" LCD?
I say wide
Some movies are played wide
I think it's personal choice
I say wide.
Took a while to get used to wide screen, but now would never go back. Many web pages won't fit 4:3 screen horizontally and you have to continually scroll across - not a prob with wide. Also very handy when opening multiple folders at same time.
The advantages of widescreen have already been pointed out, but it is also worth noting which has the better refresh rate, especially if your going to be using it as a gaming machine or watching movies. Anything above 5ms is only really good for normal day to day office like work, and i would not recommend for games or movies, 3 ms is about the standard for gaming machines, often you will find that some of the cheaper monitors on the market have refresh rates of 8 ms which is rubbish for games and movies.
Actually, gaming on an 8ms or less LCD should be fine - as long as that latency doesn't jump up above 16ms or so at other colors. A nice 8ms screen should be able to easily produce 60 distinct frames per second - but the problem is that some monitors that claim an 8ms screen can only do so at unusable settings.
I'm another vote for WS - though you will get a few frustrations from game companies that don't know what year it is yet. EA is good for making games that seem to lack widescreen support. Search the forums for ways of making non-widescreen games support 16:10 anyway.
WS v Standard
I'm running a 22 inch WS Samsung 226BW with 3000:1 contrast and 2ms refresh rate and have found it brilliant for either gaming or standard text documents, PDF etc. No problemo. Was sceptical of Samsung until I bought this one, but now a convert.
A standard 19" monitor (1280 X 1024) actually has more screen area that a 19" widescreen (1440 X 900). The display of the standard monitor is actually higher, so it's probably better for photo editing. With a widescreen 19", you can't display an 8X10" photo at full size in the verticle or "portrait" orientation).
I understand that budgets are what they are but, I wasn't happy with either of the 2 19" widescreens I had, (sold one, returned one), and I'd suggest trying to hold out for a 22" panel. The price difference isn't that great nowadays, and you'd be much, much, happier with that size display.
I agree strongly with captaincranky - 22" or bigger if widescreen.
As mentioned in my previous post, I'm now running a 22 inch Samsung Widescreen.
Originally had a 19 inch Samsung, but as Captaincranky said, it's not truly the full deal. You really need 22 inch.
I run an Acer 19in widescreen LCD. Its a big improvement over the Dell CRT i used to use! My brother however has a 22in Widescreen LCD and i have to say I like it better. But this monitor is great for what i use my Dell for.
Now when i build my gaming/media rig....thats a different story...then its giant widescreen monitor time!
My advice, if you going to be web-browsing and working with files go with the 19in widescreen. As mentioned by the others above me...things such as gaming would be better on a 22in or higher. But really you don't need any bigger. My brother played FarCry on his 22in on the highest setting and it looked sweet.
DVD movies are 16:9 widescreen. Computers (typically) use a 16:10 widescreen. It's even more wider. Which means your movies now have black bars on the top and bottom of the screen.
I have two 19 wide's at work. Hate them. As stated above, they're only 900 lines tall. And since you scroll up and down on most things, being a wide screen is useless.
Having a choice, 19" in 4:3 is superior.
I also have a 22" widescreen at home. And LOVE it.
I vote for Wide.
I have a 1680x1050 wide (2 of them actually), and at the time it was a good buy, but I think if I didn't have wide now and I was in the market, I would choose not to get anything that can't do 1080p HD. That for the most part means you need a 1900x1200 monitor. I just don't think its really worth the 'upgrade' to Wide at this time if you can't watch full HD on it. When I bought mine it was pretty uncommon for people to have a computer that could even play 1080 content. Now its much more common, and I think buying a monitor that can't do that probably isn't worth buying if you've held off this long.
Along with getting at least a 22" (24+ would be best so you can do 1080+) widescreen I'd recommend making sure it supports HDCP.