*just notices that he got a bit too excited and posted several VMs in a row*
Hmm... The monitor was set up with dynamic contrast enabled out of the box, named "SmartContrast". For some reason I never noticed the backlight intensity changes, unlike the Samsung display I had with my now-dead desktop. Guess given time, even that becomes good and worthy of being left on.
*plugs in stereo speakers to the monitor's audio out*
For a moment, when I pulled a black-to-white gradient on Paint.NET, I saw lots of steps.
Zooming in reveals that the display is showing the difference between, well, pretty much every step, and that the display is displaying it as-is without dithering. All the ugly truths uncovered by a better monitor. This got verified when I went to monitor test sites. (Paint.NET is not capable of dithering gradients, unlike GIMP or Photoshop)
Pretty much the only fault I have with the monitor is nitpicky - calibration is loaded using a separate program at boot, so the display uses the accurate colour profile after the computer boots completely, unlike how Windows "fixes" my MacBook Air's screen as soon as I log in.
Yep. 1366x768 is horrible. I even prefer 1280x800, because there's extra height and it displays 720p content without scaling (and 2560x1440 works similarly being 4x720p), although there is letterboxing, but that leaves space from controls/menus.
The Pros have much better screens from a quality perspective - I think it's the anti-glare coating on the Airs that cuts down the saturation. Though I don't understand why the 13" Pros STILL have 1280x800. 1440x900 should be a MINIMUM, although I expect 2560x1600 retina displays on them soon, which are incidentally the same res as the 30" Dells.
Couldn't say. It's certainly a big component of the power usage, for sure. Most of that is actually the backlight. I never really gave much time to using my mac on an external screen, as mine and my old 22" 1080p monitor don't get along and I have no intention of forking out for a Dual-Link DVI adapter for my current screen.
Sounds nice. :D I couldn't go back to anything with less that 2560x1440 resolution for a desktop screen, though. And they're still so hard to get.
Can't help you with calibration, sorry. I've always used the Windows default tool to make it look right for my eyes and left it at that. Either way, an IPS screen will have much richer colours than cheaper TN panels even without calibrating. :cer_nod:
I just bought a Philips IPS monitor in-store along with adaptor after I got hooked on what I'm looking at, and at SGD 250 including HDMI cables, DVI cables, VGA cables, and a miniDisplayPort-to-HDMI adapter... (I use my eyes to pick monitors. I don't deal with online reviews. Some things are best seen in person.)
In fact, I'm using it right now, and my eyes feel much better now, having things to be bigger AND having more screen real estate.
(Even more el cheapo than your monitor, and comes with three years of warranty.)
6-point colour calibration, on the other hand... HAEEEEEEEEEELP