Cheap Monitor Showdown – Fall 2016

This post is for my friend Tami. Tami contacted me recently because her Windows PC made all the noises, sounds, and did the things computers do, but nothing showed up on the screen. She was able to determine that her monitor died. She asked me if there was anything to look out for when buying a cheap monitor. So in this post we’ll explore some cheap monitor options.

A cheap monitor will come with compromises, but there’s a few things that Tami needs that can’t be compromised: The monitor needs to be at least 20″, must to get good reviews, and have a VGA connector. Here are three cheap monitors I’ve chosen that will do the needful. They range from about $80 to just over $100, and represent the playing field in cheap monitors in the Fall of 2016

Budget Monitor #1: ViewSonic VA20555SA, 20″ LED

Cheap Monitor: ViewSonic VA20555SAIf budget is an all out concern, this ViewSonic 20″ LED monitor will fit the bill (pun intended). It’s available from most outlets for around $80. It’s 1080p, so you get full resolution when watching HD video or playing video games. There are no built in speakers (which are usually not very good anyway), but it has the needed VGA connector. The downside here is that it only has a VGA connector- no DVI or HDMI for future upgrades. But as I said, there’s always a compromise at this price point. This monitor gets great reviews and it’s a ViewSonic. ViewSonic a brand known for high quality displays since the 1990’s. Click Here to get current pricing and availability.


Budget Monitor #2: AOC e2425SWD 24″ LED

Cheap Monitor: AOC e2425SWD 24" LED

AOC is a brand associated with being budget friendly but also reliable. I’m using an AOC 23″ monitor that’s about 6 years old as I write this. So, I trust the brand. This 24″ monitor has both VGA and DVI connections, and includes speakers for casual use. The 1080p resolution is just right, and it’ll work great for almost any application. This cheap monitor gets great reviews, and can be found for about $100. It has all the features you’d need except for HDMI inputs. For the price, the only thing better than one of these monitors would be two of them! Click Here to get current pricing and availability.


Budget Monitor #3 AOC I2267FW 22″ IPS Slim Bezel

Cheap Monitor: AOC I2267FW 22" IPS At just a little over $100, this AOC monitor tends to make compromises of a different kind. At 22″, size is sacrificed, but it’s an IPS display, so the colors are brighter and more accurate, and the viewing angle is much better than the equivalent LED display. It also has a super slim bezel, and so if you wanted to put two of these next to each other, the gap between screens would be much less than most monitors. It’s 1080p and has VGA and DVI inputs only. There are no integrated speakers. Click Here to get current pricing and availability.

So, which cheap monitor should you buy?

The AOC e2425SWD 24″ LED monitor is the clear winner. At 24″, and at $100, it has the size you want and will work great for almost every application. You could save a few bucks and get the Budget Monitor #1, the 20″ ViewSonic, but it’s a lot less monitor. If you’re doing heavy graphics work (editing, photography etc) then the IPS display would be worth the trade in size for the AOC 22″ display. Happy shopping!

Slow HP Printer: A fix for HP Wireless Printers

Slow HP Printer? You’re not alone!

Recently I had a couple of computer repair customers who had HP OfficeJet Pro 8600 series printers. One was an OfficeJet Pro 8600 and the other the OficeJet Pro 8620. They were both experiencing similar issues. Both complained about a slow HP printer, and both were using Wireless networking to print, and experienced rather severe problems aside from slowness. One would simply refuse to print until either the computer or the printer were restarted. The other would print fine for a few pages and then stop for sometimes several minutes before it started back up. This made printing long documents very difficult for the customer.

I tried various fixes including using older PCL-only drivers, and OfficeJet 8600 drivers on the 8620. The problems persisted. Finally, I gave up and called HP. Slow HP Printers, specially wireless, are apparently a real problem, since they were able to identify the issue immediately and fixed it in just a few minutes.

Since I could find no documentation on the web regarding this easy fix for a slow HP printer, I thought I would write it up for you here. This fix should also work on other models that are similarly configured, such as the newer OfficeJet Pro 8720.

The Fix

The general idea is that we’re going to configure both the printer and the computer to use Port 9100 printing instead of the default configuration. Once configured, the slow HP printer should be a fast HP printer.

Step 1: Find the Printer’s IP Address

Use the control panel on the printer itself.

  • Touch  Settings > Wireless > Display Network Configuration > Display Network Summary (or similar).
  • It should display at least 4 lines: Hostname, IP Address, MAC and SSID. If it shows none of those things, then it isn’t connected to a network, and this isn’t the guide you’re looking for.
  • Write down the IP Address It’ll look like “” or “” or something similar.

Step 2: Log In to Printers Web Interface

Now, open up a web browser, and enter the IP address of the printer in the Address bar, and press Enter. You’ll be presented with the HP Embedded Web Server. That’s great! We’re getting there.



Step 3: Set a Static IP Address

Normally your router will assign your printer an IP address every time it reconnects. We’re going to bypass that. Click the “Network” tab, and then select “IPv4 Configuration” on the left column. Change the setting under “IP Address Configuration” on the right side so that “Manual IP” is selected instead of “Automatic IP”. Don’t change any of the IP information. Your router is smart enough not to assign that IP to another computer, so we’re not going to worry about changing the IP. We’re just ensuring it doesn’t change. DNS Address Configuration should be changed to “Manual DNS Server”. Click Apply.

Step 4: Change Bonjour Priority

Click the Advanced Settings option on the left column. Several options will show themselves. Select “Bonjour”. Bonjour should already be enabled. Open the “Bonjour Highest Priority Service” drop down, and select “9100 Printing”, then click Apply.

Step 5: Enable TCP Port 9100 Printing

Still under Advanced Settings in the left column, click “Port 9100 Printing”. Enable it on the right side, and click Apply.

Step 6: Configure the PC for Port 9100 Printing

While I am presenting these steps as done in Windows 10, they are almost identical between Windows XP, 7, 8, and 10.

  • Open the Control Panel, and go to Printers (or View devices and Printers).Slow HP Printer: Configure TCP/IP Port
  • Right Click on the slow HP printer and select “Printer properties”.
  • Select the “Ports” tab, and then “Add Port…”.
  • Select “Standard TCP/IP Port”, and then click “New Port…” and click Next.
  • Type in your printer’s IP Address, and let Windows select the Port Name. Click Next.
  • Close the “New Port” box.
  • Click on the new port, which says “Standard TCP/IP Port” and click “Configure Port…”
  • Click the check box labeled “SNMP Status Enabled” and then click OK.

Now, try printing a document. You may need to cancel any documents you’d tried to print previously, but even those will likely start printing.

This should fix your problem with a slow HP printer. It changes the networking of the printer to use a more tried and true TCP/IP connection on port 9100, which is how network printers have been printing since, well, forever.

Did this work for you? Please let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear your experiences with this fix for your slow HP printer!



Tech Tidbit Deal of the Week – 120GB SSD under $50

Reliable SSD under $50?

It used to be that it was impossible to get a SSD under $50. The first ones that came out were pricey and unreliable, not to mention small in capacity. But these days it’s possible to get a SSD under $50, and the capacity and reliability are very, very good. I was discussing that today at work, and one of the guys at was astounded that you could get an SSD drive under $50. Here it is, in all its glory:

It’s a Kingston, and gets excellent reviews all around. If you don’t need a lot of storage, or if you use a secondary disk to store large files, then you can have a SSD under $50! 

Truly a great deal if you don’t need a lot of SSD storage or are content to put lots of data on a second disk. The 240GB is also a great price, well below $80.

© Ryan's Techs Tidbits
Optimization WordPress Plugins & Solutions by W3 EDGE