LCD Screens

In the last few weeks I’ve been contemplating buying a 12” Powerbook*. One of the reason for it is that they do screen spanning which the iBook I have doesn’t do.** So as a “side daydream” I’ve been taking peeks at 19” LCD screens. I’m noticing though that they only go up to 1280×1024, same as 17”s, why would you buy a 19” then? I want more pixels, not bigger ones. I’m sure there are other specs that only the bigger screens have but still, I’m disapointed at the resolution.

Has anyone shopped for those? What are the good brands (Sony, Viewsonic, Samsung?), models, things to look out for. Obviously I could find all that with some research but I’m looking for the quick and lazy answer.

While you’re at it. What are the good models for external Firewire hard drives? I’m thinking 80 to 160Gb, something like the LaCie d2. Having a place to dump a quick image of my laptop’s hd would be safer than just the 1.5-2 month CD backup I currently have. I could also rip all my cds on it and trash or sell my CD “collection”.

*I know, new models in January but by the time they are actually available the fiscal year might be finished.

**I know, there’s a hack. I don’t trust hacks like that and besides, I also want more speed.


aj November 1, 2004

The Apple displays are pretty darn good: the 23”, gives you true HD resolution at 1920×1200 – and is a relative bargain compared to similar models from LG etc, at least going by online prices. But then again it costs about as much as a computer!
And to use them with the iBook you’d have to invest in a VGA-to-DVI upconverter ($150ish).

Ultimately it depends on what you need it for.

Looking at analog LCDs, near the bottom of the price scale, the Samsung Syncmaster 913v is good quality and inexpensive, but its refresh rate tops out at 75Hz and only has a 25ms response time, not great for gaming or watching movies, for around $650.

As you go up the price scale, NEC-Mitsubishi have some good displays with 85Hz refresh, better brightness and contrast ratios, and that have VGA, DVI-D and DVI-I inputs, so you can use it with a PowerBook or PowerMac, for around $950 and up. Still has 25ms response time, though.

Once you jump up into 20” displays it gets a bit weirder; you have to look closely at dot-pitch, vertical refresh and pixel response; prices range from just over $1000 to well over $2000.

Other than the DVI-only Apple displays, the LaCie Photon 20Vision II is a good deal near the middle high end of the price range, with a thin bezel, multiple input types, 96Hz refresh (!) and respectable 16ms response time – plus excellent colour calibration, for about a hair under $2K.

LaCie D2 hard drives rock—you can’t go wrong with them. Prices do tend to shift quarterly, so buy the biggest drive you can afford now. If you don’t already have one, an external D2 DVD-R drive makes a great asset, super for burning backups (especially as Panther now comes only on DVDs). And the extra FireWire daisy chain port is a perfect place to plug an iPod dock.

karl November 3, 2004

For the hard drive don’t go two high or at least by pair. because if you loose data because of Hard drive crash, you will loose only half of it… or you can hope :)
LCD Screen ?

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