Should I buy TN LCD as second monitor to my current S-IPS?

For some time now, I’ve been using HP LP2475w, which is quite superior S-IPS LCD.

Now I’m thinking about buying secondary LCD, mainly because I tend to have a lot of things open at the same time and I’m constantly switching between them. I also work a lot on two things simultaneously and compare them, like two photographs etc.

I was thinking about buying a cheaper TN LCD as my secondary, since LP2475w is pretty expensive, but I’m not sure if that would be wise.

I’ve read some people say that TN has smaller gamut and contrast range. When I compare the HP S-IPS to my Lenovo R61 display, it’s really huge difference, but I’m also thinking that higher quality TN should also be significantly better than laptop display.

I do a lot of graphics and photograph post-processing, so I do care if there is significant difference.

In a nutshell, my question is:

Is it wise to have one LCD superior and the secondary just average, or should I rather invest in superior secondary and which one would you recommend?

Usually when it comes to secondary displays - I usually have them open for code, or chat windows, restricting my quality center display for things like image work…

Though my ‘quality’ display is also TN, fact is not all TN’s are created equal. In the center I’ve got a Samsung 2433BW - No backlight bleedthrough around the edges, full 16.7 million color reproduction (actual), even the black level is acceptable. It’s a great all-around display.

On the right, I have a crappy el-cheapo 24" Envision, that has bleedthrough around all edges, you can see color striping and dithering meaning it’s only 16.2 million color or less - Pretty much it’s total CRAP - but it’s entirely adequate for working on code and putting my taskbar over on in portrait mode.

On the left, I have a pair of 17" Viewsonic VP171b’s in portrait mode that I’ve had for years. Honestly, In terms of color reproduction and black-level I’d stack them up against S-IPS … They’re just as good in viewing angle, color reproduction and overall image quality. The high end smaller TN displays - especially those with a pivot, tend to be just as good.

If you are looking for a TN, plan on spending at least $300 for anything decent. You might want to look at the current ASUS 25.5" 16:10 displays ($310 at newegg) - buddy of mine’s got one and it’s brilliant. I’m thinking on picking one up to slide my samsung over where the envision is, and toss that pile of junk down in the garage to replace the old 21" IBM CRT I’m using down there.

Really I’d say as long as you verify your work on the good display, and use the good display for those times where it’s absolutely warranted, there’s no problem mixing and matching.

Thanks for great response.

I have one big concern. If the secondary display will be crappy, isn’t it distracting? I mean, if you keep looking from the good one to the crappy one and back, do you have to “readjust” yourself?

I tried having 24" with my older laptop and I had pretty big problem with focus, since there was huge difference in display quality.

Well, when I say crappy it’s a relative term. In normal use for things like text editing or the taskbar, it doesn’t really matter and for ‘joe sixpack’ they’d probably never see the difference.

It’s also HELPFUL to have a display of lesser quality… That might sound weird, but think about it: TESTING. Sure your images look great on your $500+ display - but what happens when your normal shmoe looks at it on a Walmart special?

Just something to think about.