15" LCD Comparison Part III: Better and Cheaper


The article first appeared in Tom's Hard News Email Newsletter

Good news for the fall - LCD monitors are becoming much more affordable. The price is down by up to 21% on the latest Samsung model launched this summer. The wave of price reductions is gradually affecting all of the manufacturers. One of them called us to announce reductions of 10%, 15%, 20%, and even 25% on certain products! The shortage of monitors experienced in late 2001 and the first quarter of 2002 seems to be over, and the prices of LCDs seem to be dropping so that they are within everyone's reach.

At the same time, the new monitors are much better than those of the past. The angles of vision are wider, and the casing is of better quality. Even the trail left on the screen is greatly reduced and has become only a minor problem. In fact, it is soon forgotten, in view of the bright colors, the larger screen area, the energy savings, and the ease of installation for the new screens. But best of all, there is an astonishing sharpness of images and characters. It is even rather disconcerting at first. It takes a week to get used to the new type of display, but in the end you realize that all CRT screens, even the high-end models, are actually soft focus. Hard to understand why we never realized this before.

Europe is gradually catching up with the United States, pricewise. The prices, minus VAT, are the same on both sides of the Atlantic, being in the vicinity of $450 US without tax, or 550 Euros including VAT. Some monitor series are even available in Europe before they are on sale in America. This is the case for three of the manufacturers whose wares are under review in this comparison, as opposed to one of them, for whom the opposite is the case.