NEC MultiSync LCD 1510V
Putting aside the fact that the MultiSync 1510V is indeed much smaller than the 109S, the next most striking difference between the two monitors is the price.
The MultiSync sells for a whopping $1199 (plus tax), almost twice as much as the Philips/Magnavox model!
Unlike CRT monitors, however, which are partially blocked by plastic molding, all of the MultiSync's screen is visible; although the screen is only 15 inches across from corner to corner, it is functionally only 2.9 inches smaller in diagonal width than the 19-inch Philips/Magnavox.
A third way in which LCD screens are different from CRT screens is that they cannot focus; all of the pixels are fixed in place on the flat surface.
This accounts for the MultiSync's amazingly crisp picture.
The borders between the pixels are very well defined, and the individual pixels, which have a dot pitch of 0.3 mm, can clearly be seen.
The focus of the MultiSync's display is also consistent throughout.
Unlike some CRT monitors, it has neither a lower picture quality farther away from the center nor a distortingly curved surface.
The result of these factors is unsurpassed picture quality, so long as you can work in a 1024 by 768 pixel environment.
This brings us to the disadvantage of having an LCD screen.
In a perfect world, you would be able to use a single resolution all the time, and the MultiSync 1510V would be the perfect 15-inch monitor.
Unfortunately, this isn't the case in the real world.
Many programs, especially games and DOS applications, need to run at resolutions other than 1024 by 768.
Since all the pixels are fixed in place, LCD monitors have to simulate lower resolutions through interpolation.
In other words, some of the rows and columns of pixels are doubled so that the picture will still fill the entire screen.
Frankly, this makes certain applications look terrible, especially those involving a lot of text.
One feature that the MultiSync 1510V can claim that flexible-resolution CRT monitors such as the Philips/Magnavox 109S cannot is its pivoting ability.
You can pivot the MultiSync itself 90 degrees, and, using the included Pivot software, your Windows desktop as well.
This allows the monitor to display "sideways" resolutions such as 768 by 1024.
Using the pivot mode is great when height is more important than width, such as when viewing web sites, because more information can be displayed on the screen at once.
In addition to pivoting, the screen can be raised or lowered approximately 2 inches from the base and can be pivoted vertically for different viewing angles.
The screen can also be removed from its base entirely and mounted on a wall to save space.
Overall, the combination of quality and features make the MultiSync one of the best LCD monitors currently available.
However, if forced to choose between the MultiSync 1510V and the Philips/Magnavox 109S, we would definitely select the Philips/Magnavox 109S.
While bulkier and less flexible, it has a larger screen size, a lower price, and an exceptional picture quality that is almost as good in only a few situations and better in all the rest.