Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New Dell Crystal 22-inch Monitor

Dell has just released a brand new 22 inch monitor called Dell Crystal. It’s award winning design makes this new monitor one of the best looking 22 inch monitors around. Winning best of innovations at CES 2008 this monitor has a very unique look with its polished metal tripod stand, and its outside frame of tempered glass. Both the buttons and the speakers are built into the outside layer of glass making it truly stand out from your everyday monitor.

Panel Performance
The Dell Crystal has a native resolution of 1650 x 1050, a lightning 2-millisecond response time, and a high contrast ratio of 2000:1. Crystal also features a 98% color gamut verses the typical 72% color gamut, making it have a much broader range of colors.

The monitor also comes with a built in 2-megapixel webcam and 4 integrated speakers.

Some drawbacks on a sleek monitor like this is obviously the price. Coming in at $500 (and that is on sale it normally costs $1000) it is about double the cost of a normal 22 inch monitor. Also with the tripod stand there is also no height adjustment on the monitor and the glass smudges very easily.

Overall a great monitor if you are willing to pay for the premium.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ghostbust Your Plasma

Ghostbusting Your Plasma TelevisionHave you ever turned off your TV or monitor and there was a ghostly image on the screen? This ghost is referred to as plasma burn. Plasma burn occurs when there is uneven wear in phosphors on a phosphor based screen, whenever a static image is left on the screen for too long; especially a high contrast image the potential for burn in is there.

Newer plasma based tubes include burn-in reduction features. Screen savers and pixel shifting help with the prevention of burn in. Pixel shifting is a slight unnoticeable shift in the image a by one or two pixels. If a ghost does happen many new sets can blast a burn-in with a white image for several minutes to hour. Cable and satellite service providers help with preventing burn in by giving you the option of changing pillar boxes that can also burn in by changing them from black to grey.

Potential for burn-in is greatest during the first 100 or so hours of use, during that time if you keep the contrast low and avoid showing static images or letterbox bars on the screen for long stretches of time it will help prevent any burn-ins. You might get some image retention once in awhile if you look hard enough after hours of static images, but even then it's temporary, not permanent. Video games may be a worry because of static logos that are in the corner of the screen but as long as you wait till after the first 100 hours before any long use it should be fine. Just keep mixing it up. Also, cheaper models of TVs are more prone to burn-in like the Insignia, but a good rule is not to go too cheap if you want to play it safe.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

LCD Monitor Picture Quality Challenge CRT Displays

LCD quality has improvedPicture Quality of LCD Monitors, Are We There Yet?

The days of heavy CRT based monitors weighing down your desk and occupying valuable workspace is pretty much an artifact of the past. The mass transition to the lighter and thinner LCD monitor is nearly complete. However, even as the last few holdouts cling to their favorite CRT, questions of picture quality still arise. While the LCD’s have replaced CRT’s on desks around the globe, the main complaints have been inaccurate colors and hard to read text. This was a serious problem in early LCD models, but gradual improvements of the technology behind the LCD’s have eliminated complaints from all but the most picky of consumers. So are we there yet?

Modern LCD’s have not only grown in screen size while decreasing in cost, but many have beautiful and functional displays as well. Screen brightness and refresh rates have nearly matched their CRT counterparts, allowing gamers to play the latest shooters, and artists and photographers work on their masterpieces using the latest technology. The latest models also offer nice extras such as USB ports and HDMI connections for video applications.

As with most things, it’s still a matter of “you get what you pay for.” There are still some cheap models that have the same issues that have previously plagued adoption of the technology. However, even most mid-priced models and above have overcome the majority of issues and are ready for prime time. There are even a few inexpensive gems out there.

Street prices for LCD monitors range from $99 on up, with the best values found in the $199 to $249 range.

So, are we there yet? The answer is a resounding yes!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Samsung SyncMaster 305T 30" LCD Monitor

Samsung SyncMaster 30-inch LCD MonitorEverybody loves things that are big. Big cars, big houses, big t.v.'s and now it seems that the love for anything big is spilling over to the computer world. Until recently, monitors didn't come in very large sizes like t.v.'s or anything like that. The biggest one you could previously get waqs around 24 inches. But our insatiable desire for big has driven us to upgrade.

Now you can get a computer monitor in a 30 inch size! There are only a handful of vendors in the market supplying this monster monitor: Apple, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Gateway, and Samsung. Samsung has come out with the SyncMaster 305T LCD monitor that is, obviously, 30 inches. Now unlike other monitors, the SyncMaster does not come with a ton of feature sets. Included with the monitor you get one DVI ort, a USB 2.0 cable for the integrated hub, and an AC power cord.

The SyncMaster sports a 2,560x1,600 resolution but in order to view it like this you are going to need a high-end video card and a dual-link DVI cable because if you use a single-link cable then your video card will not support it thus making the highest resolution 1,920x1,440. If you like to tinker with the settings of your monitor then you will be sad to know that the only thing you can alter is the brightness. To adjust something like contrast, you must access the monitor's panel which is locked by Samsung. However, if you have a video card that has these abilities then you can adjust them from there.

The video connections for the Syncmaster are also limited. Other than the DVI port on the back left side of the monitor there are no other connection options. There are, on the other hand, four USB downstream ports and one USB upstream ports. As expected with such a big monitor it supports HDCP. A downer for this monitor is that it does not have any HDMI or component video connections which greatly limits the number of devices the screen can be connected to. You can extend the height of the screen 3" and can rotate it 30 degrees to the back and 60 degrees to the left and right by way of a lazy susan design.

The SyncMaster 305T is impressive no matter what you use it for. It plays blu-ray and regular DVD's with incredible clarity boasting a 999:1 contrast ratio. The monitor also works gretat for gaming. The picture is so clear its like you are there in the game. This 30 inch monitor is top of the line all around. While it could come with a few more features it is definatley one to look for if you are in the market. The Samsung SyncMaster 305T 30" LCD monitor comes under a price tag of around $1,330 but can normally be found cheaper online, but $1,330 is still a great deal compared to some of the other models out there so you can't go wrong with the SyncMaster 305T.