Computer monitors have been around for decades, but they’ve really started to get interesting in the past few years. Across the industry, manufacturers are adding innovative touches to make their monitors more than basic display units. These are some of the super-monitors you may want to make space for in your office.
The 30-inch Gateway XHD3000 is a big monitor with an even bigger list of features, including myriad connections. It’s got six USB 2.0 ports and DVI, S-Video, component, composite, analog, and audio inputs. What really makes the XHD3000 stand out is its large, vivid display. It has 2560-by-1600 maximum resolution and boasts excellent sharpness and color quality. Its 1000:1 contrast ratio, 400cd/m2, and 6 millisecond response time also contribute to a superior viewing experience for movies and other entertainment. But make sure you have a high-end video card; otherwise the display won’t live up to its full potential. The monitor also has a built-in DXP eight-speaker system.
With a $999 price tag, the XHD3000 isn’t for the thrifty, though the monitor has come down considerably in price since its debut less than two years ago. It’s definitely worth the splurge for graphic designers and other users relying on great visuals. Be warned: The monitor does generate a lot of heat. Plus, you better have a big desk to set it on.
If you’re into the green movement, you may want to keep an eye on Asus’ Green VH192C and VH196 monitors. Asus hasn’t released much information about pricing or specs, but these monitors will probably be available sometime this year. Announced in March, the monitors are constructed with low levels of mercury and have just two lamps, which cut down on power consumption by more than 20 percent. Some energy-saving monitors don’t display as well because they aren’t as bright, but these two utilize advanced optical film for better image quality. The VH192C has a Color Shine glare-type panel, which the company says enhances image color density and saturation, clarifies borders, and increases image clarity. Both monitors have an aspect control feature, so users can select the full screen mode or 4:3 ratio.
At the same time, Asus announced what it says is the first wireless computer monitor. The display, vaguely titled Wireless LCD Monitor, is part of Asus’ EzLink series and can be used for desktops or notebooks. It connects via either a wireless host controller interface or a wireless USB host wire adapter. Asus says the monitor will have the same image quality as its wired counterparts. Neat freaks will have to keep biting their nails in anticipation though because as with the Green monitors, Asus has released little information on availability.
One of the most innovative monitors for personal use actually comes with the whole package. HP’s touch monitors can be found in the brand’s TouchSmart PCs, which have varying levels of features. The top-of-the-line model, the IQ816, is wall-mountable and comes with a 25.5-inch monitor, Pocket Media Drive, TV tuner, Blu-ray, and built-in Web cam. Using N-trig touch technology, the screen is responsive to the drags and taps of your finger. The monitor is all about presentation and moving photos, slide shows, and videos around with the flick of a finger.
Indeed, it may be perfect for meetings and business presentations. It has 1920-by-1200 maximum resolution and a 1080p display, with sound image quality. The $2,099 IQ816’s monitor is one of the only nonretail touch screens widely available, but there should be more developments in touch screens in the near future.
Monitors with built-in speakers cut down on the amount of clutter on your desk. If you don’t want to shell out a thousand bucks for Gateway’s XHD3000, take a look at Acer’s moderately priced H243Hbmid 24-inch monitor, which comes with stereo speakers. It’s listed at $279.99 and has 1920-by-1080 maximum resolution, 300cd/m2, a 2ms response time and a 40000:1 max contrast ratio. The display quality of the monitor is fantastic, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a similarly priced model with the same great picture.