New Monitor


I’ve been using 21 inch graphics rated monitors for eleven years now. The first one that I bought (to support graphic development of computer game manuals) was in January 1998 for just under $1000. Weighing in at 60 lbs., it shown with truly lovely colors. I replaced it three years ago with a more advanced model that I bought for $10 at a garage sale here in Temecula – also 60 pounds with a lovely picture. The original owner was a gamer who had migrated to LCD flat panel monitors; the garage sale was held by his recently divorced wife.

And so it goes … (apologies to Kurt Vonnegut, RIP).

I made my first experimental foray into flat panel monitors when we were in Budapest last year. The inexpensive ASUS monitor was a complete failure. Despite numerous attempts to calibrate the color, even on the best settings, it was woefully inadequate for graphic development or even editing photos for this blog. Fortunately, my MacBook Pro has a truly awesome LED screen, so I could use that in a pinch.

My $10 monitor here at home started showing end-of-life signs. In the last week it was unable to hold a calibration, so it was time to replace it. Clearly, I needed to go in the direction of history and convert to flat panel monitors, but not make the same mistake as I did with the ASUS in Budapest.

Quick research showed that there are actually four technologies to flat panel monitors. Most common, inexpensive panels use a Twisted Nematic (TN) display. While the TN monitors are inexpensive and have fast pixel response times, most of them suffer from 6 bit color displays (rather than 8). This was probably the biggest problem with my ASUS monitor.

The problem with the other technologies is their pixel response time, which is so slow as to cause ghosting in games or movies. I decided to get the HP w2408h monitor. Sharp colors, good refresh time; not good for multiple people viewing (since colors, brightness and contrast change when not looking straight on), but that shouldn’t be a big problem here.

Click on the image above to see the full spread of the monitor. It’s huge compared to what I was used to. And the colors are simply amazing.

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