Follow-up on the Insignia NS20EM50A13 monitor

After about a month with an Insignia NS20EM50A13 monitor, I still mostly like it, but can note one annoyance. When booting up a system, the monitor sometimes likes to switch from the DVI input to VGA, without warning. If you happen to be sitting there when it happens, you notice it and can switch it back. But more than once I’ve rebooted, walked away, come back a few minutes later and wondered why I have a weird black screen in front of me instead of a logon screen.For someone who understands what’s going on and/or has gotten used to it–I’m not quite used to it yet–it’s a minor annoyance. But if I gave one to a family member (I’m the only IT professional in my family), I would expect a few phone calls asking why the monitor just went dead.

One workaround, if you’re using the monitor in a dual display where your system uses a VGA port for one display and a DVI on the other, is to use the Insignia on the VGA input, and set the VGA input to the system’s primary display. Then it won’t switch. But that’s not always practical. In my case, my secondary monitor only has a VGA connection, so I can’t do that. And besides, the DVI input is something you always pay extra for, so it’s annoying that the monitor doesn’t stay on DVI when you put it on DVI, that it doesn’t allow you to set the default to DVI like my costlier HP 2009 monitor does, it doesn’t default to whichever port is receiving a signal, and that the default is factory hard-coded to VGA.

If I could pick another one of these up for myself on sale for $80 or less, I would be tempted, but I certainly can’t recommend it without reservations now, and I’m certainly not interested in another one at full price, or anywhere near full price. For the right person, this monitor is a bargain when it’s on sale, but for the wrong person, it would be a source of frustration. Given that Micro Center almost always has HP or Acer 20-inch monitors for sale for right around $100, I’d be more inclined to go to the store, check the display model to make sure it’s possible to set the default input, and buy a model that lets me instead. Or, to save a trip, I could search online for the user’s manual of whatever monitor I was considering, and look for that feature there.

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