This morning, I arrived at my trusty desktop computer in my home office, only to discover that my 24-inch monitor is going bad. (I have a 24” and a 22” sitting next to each other.) I’ve got a bunch of vertical lines of different colors running through my desktop, and I’m sure it’s only a matter of time until it fails on me. I’ve had this monitor for over 5 years though, so I suppose it’s gotten a good amount of use.
So I headed over to Dell’s website this morning to see what the prices on monitors had dropped to. 5 years ago, the concept of a 30-inch monitor was almost unheard of, or you had tons of money to throw at one. I was sure that the price had come down a bit by now.
I was sorely disappointed. $1299 ON SALE for a 30” monitor. Crap! Over the years, I have hooked up my laptops to many different televisions in my home, and it’s been a pretty enjoyable experience, I know that a 30” HDTV CAN’T be more than a few hundred dollars.
So, I asked this question on Twitter this morning:
I got quite a few responses, and they all had a pretty common theme: refresh rates, max resolution, and contrast.
So, I decided to do a little research, and below are my results. I am comparing a 32” Vizio 1080p HDTV with Dell’s top-of-the-line 30” UltraSharp monitor. My question for you, dear reader, is why would I get the monitor over the television?
|Product Type||32” 1080p LCD TV||30” Monitor|
|HDMI/DVI/VGA Ports||3 / 0 / 1||2 / 2 / 1|
|Optimal Resolution||1920 x 1080||2560 x 1600|
|Pixel Response Time||6.5ms||7ms|
|Brightness||500 cd/m2||370 cd/m2|
|TV Tuner||Analog & Digital||None|
|Weight||22 lbs||20.4 lbs|
|Color Depth||16.7 million||1.06 billion|
|Viewing Angle||178 degrees||178 degrees|
|Dynamic Contrast Ratio||50,000:1||100,000:1|
|VESA Mounting Support||100 x 100 mm||200 x 200 mm|
|Viewable Area||31.5 diagonally||30” diagonally|
Some other thoughts:
Resolution I am currently running my 24” monitor at 1920 x 1080, and I can’t imagine those icons getting any smaller. Is 2560 x 1600 a useful resolution for a work machine? Seems like overkill, especially when I get to the price.
Color Depth Once we’re in the millions, what’s the difference between 16.7 million and 1.06 billion colors? Remember, I play almost no games on this machine. It’s for work.
Dynamic Contrast Ratio I’m not sure if I’d notice the difference between those two values in Visual Studio, Powerpoint, or TweetDeck. Maybe if I turned all the shading on in World of Warcraft, but I doubt it. Mind you, my current 24” monitor has a 3000:1 ratio, so I’m betting either will seem like an improvement.
Pixel Pitch This one’s actually got me a little concerned. Does .1 millimeter between pixels matter? I sincerely don’t know, but for a $900 savings, I’m probably willing to find out.
Display Ports I am currently running one video card that supports VGA, DVI and HDMI outputs. It can handle any two of them at a time. I am only using the VGA and DVI outputs right now. I would expect to use the HDMI with either of these displays.
I’d love to hear from everyone that knows more about this stuff than me (which is pretty much everyone but my mom, I’d bet.) What am I missing?