March 19, 2005 06:50 PM PST
There's been recent talk of dual monitors and flat panels. I recently bought Dell's Ultrasharp 2001FP
, and absolutely love it. It's my first flat panel monitor, and I have no idea why I waited this long (well, the price maybe). These monitors via coupons on techbargains.com
are typically $530 - $570 every couple of weeks. Nothing touches Dell on price/performance of LCD monitors.
I was initially torn between the 2005FPW (widescreen, 1680x1050, 12ms response), and the 2001FP (1600x1200, 16ms response). For games, and video cards that can't drive a full UXGA resolution, the widescreen might work out well. But for anything else, the 1600x1200 is the way to go. There's also a new 24" model that is 1920x1200 at 12ms, but it's about double the price.
I was worried the pixels (and hence, icons and text) would be too small - on a 19" CRT I run 1280x1024. An LCD, via DVI cable is so crisp that the size of the pixels don't bother me at all. Combined with ClearType for subpixel text antialiasing, this resolution is awesome. I was also concerned with the 16ms response, given that the latest panels have 12ms. I don't notice any ghosting at all on this display in common use or movie playback (don't have the video card for games yet).
The other obvious benefits of LCD are ease on the eyes, power savings and desktop footprint. My CRT looks totally blurry to me now that I'm used to flat panel. I'd almost suggest going LCD just to save your eyesight if you're a 8+ hour a day computer user.
This monitor also has some cool features like built in 4 port USB2 hub and vga, dvi, s-video and composite inputs that can be switched, and any input can be Picture in Picture. The monitor also rotates 90 degrees if you're into that.
The coolest thing about LCD via DVI is that you're looking directly at video memory
! No analog interpolation, or blurry dots. When you look at those pixels - you're looking at the bits, man! The bits!