buying monitors

Wayne called about buying monitors: he was shopping for one…

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Some info from Smart Computing:

A perfectly flat screen is easier on the eyes…

According to IBM, the average life span of an LCD (liquid-crystal display) was six years versus three for a CRT (cathode-ray tube)…

A monitor’s advertised size is the size of the CRT measured in inches along the diagonal area. The viewable glass is generally an inch or so smaller due to the plastic casing surrounding the tube…look for the measurement of the viewable area.

Dot pitch: the space between pixels. The more closely spaced pixels are, the clearer the image.
The lower this number (generally between .24 and .28mm), the smoother the image will be.

Resolution is the measure of the number of pixels that can be displayed on a screen. This measurement is noted as the number of horizontal pixels by the number of vertical pixels (for example, 800 x 600, 1,024 x 768, and so on). Higher screen resolution accomplishes two things: since more pixels mean smoother edges, it increases the sharpness of text and images. Higher resolution lets you fit more information on the screen at once…

VGA (Video Graphics Array) resolution (640 x 480)
SVGA (Super Video Graphics Array) resolution (800 x 600)
XGA (Extended Graphics Array) resolution (1,024 x 768)
SXGA (Super Extended Graphics Array) resolution (1,280 x 1,024)

The larger your monitor, the higher the resolution you can comfortably use.
Graphics professionals and desktop publishers need monitors that support higher resolutions, such as 1,600 x 1,200. These high-end users should stick to 19-inch or larger monitors.

If the refresh rate is noninterlaced, it means the monitor updates every line of pixels during each cycle.
If the refresh rate is interlaced, it means the monitor updates every other line of pixels during each cycle.
The average user probably won’t be able to tell much of a difference between interlaced and noninterlaced monitors.
Monitors that offer noninterlaced refresh rates can produce higher-quality images and typically cost more.

Analog LCDs require incoming video data to go through a digital-to-analog-to-digital conversion, which may lead to on-screen flitters, fuzzy images, and other viewing problems. These viewing problems are not an issue with digital LCDs.

Broken Pixels…manufacturers vary in their definition of what constitutes a defective LCD display…find out what your seller’s or manufacturer’s policy is on this point before buying…

Talk to the salespeople and ask what extras come with each monitor.
Three year parts-and-labor warranties are considered to be the standard…a monitor should come with at least a one-year parts-and-labor warranty.
The manufacturer should provide a toll-free number you can call if you experience any technical problems or installation issues.
Find out if you’ll have to pay for the delivery of a large monitor and be sure to ask about the shipping price.

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Some other weblinks to look at:

http://tech.msn.com/products/article.aspx?cp-documentid=2746106

http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,125652-page,1/article.html

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