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Buying a new monitor

Samson
Newbie
Posts: 1
Registered: 23-02-2008

Buying a new monitor

I use my pc mainly for web browsing and word processing. I don't play high-tech games or watch videos. I have a 4x3 17" crt monitor and want to change to a flat screen. The screen shape and size I have now suit me ok, but I notice that some web pages are taking on a widescreen shape and I wonder if I should go with the majority and change to a widescreen monitor. I calculate that to get the same screen area I would need a 19" widescreen, and to get the same screen height I would need a 21" or 22". Any comments, observations, experiences, recommendations etc. will be gratefully read. Thanks.
17 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
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Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Buying a new monitor

Did you really mean a 17" CRT, as that will be nearer 16" diagonal so a 19" flat panel will be much bigger (40% more!) in viewable area?
Personally I prefer non-widescreen aesthetically and at present pricing is such that you get more area for your money and it takes up less desk space. My 1280*1024 LCD (which is of course 5*4 not 4*3 so even squarer) cost about £100 from DABS and suits me fine.
Software like Outlook is using multiple panes horizontally, but that just conveniently leaves a bit of space above or below for "odds and sods".
And IE is filling up with toolbars (or can do) so again vertical space is under pressure.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Buying a new monitor

I bought a 22" widescreen and for normal word processing I find the big advantage is having two word  documents open side by side
lingbob
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Buying a new monitor

Quote from: Samson
I calculate that to get the same screen area I would need a 19" widescreen, and to get the same screen height I would need a 21" or 22". Any comments, observations, experiences, recommendations etc. will be gratefully read. Thanks.

Just by coincidence, I changed from a 17" CRT to a 19" Widescreen just a week ago. After just having done some measurements, I feel that your calculations are a bit out (if you don't mind me saying so).
17" CRT:
Diagonal = 15.75"
Width = 12.5"
Height = 9.5"
19" Widescreen:
Diagonal = 19"
Width = 16.25"
Height = 10"
For me, it's the extra width of the widescreen that I like most of all and, as you can see from the measurements, there's a slight gain in the physical height of the screen.
Hope this helps  Smiley
Regards .....
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
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Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Buying a new monitor

I've got an "old" 17" CRT that is totally flat and measures:
16" diagonal, 13" wide, 9.5" high. That's the visible window with it on.
They'll all vary a bit of course.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Buying a new monitor

Like Road Runner, I upped to a 19" widescreen (from a Samsung 17" what seemed to be square rather than 5:4) a short while ago, mines fixed to the wall on a VESA mount, which frees up a surprising amount of desk space (highly recommended if you're desk layout allows it) You have to remember though not to it mount too high up -which I did- or you'll get a serious crick in the neck, about the same height it would have been on it's foot mount is good, this in my case allows room for a scanner where the monitor once stood. I think you need to experience a widescreen to appreciate it's advantages. 
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
lingbob
Grafter
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Buying a new monitor

From my very limited experience with a widescreen monitor, I've already noticed that positioning is critical. I've found the best position is to have the top of the monitor in line with my eye-line and the monitor tilted back as far as it will go. Things just don't look right in any other position.
Regards .....
Community Veteran
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Buying a new monitor

Oh yes, the VESA mount allows a degree of tilt as well.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
Denzil
Grafter
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Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Buying a new monitor

I think the choice between widescreen and standard depends what you use the PC for. Watching films will be better on a widescreen, but, unless you have a big widescreen like Oldjim any work with documents will probably be easier on a standard one. Most documents are portrait format, so a widescreen leads to a lot of scrolling up and down.
I tend to think widescreens are often sold as a marketing ploy. To most people, 19" widescreen sounds bigger, but is. of course, smaller in area, and hence cheaper to make, than a 4:3.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Buying a new monitor

Quote from: Denzil
a widescreen leads to a lot of scrolling up and down

That's why I like my 19" 1280*1024, it's 12" tall visible, i.e. taller than A4.
(and 15" wide, which is 2 A4 page widths after removing the normal margins.)
Community Veteran
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Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Buying a new monitor

I got a 22 inch for Xmas and its great Vista sidebar has been a waste of time until now. I can have the sidebar open and still have a normal size screen for pc work and it only cost £120 which isnt much more expensive than a 19 inch
Community Veteran
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Buying a new monitor

As others have pointed out, it all depends on what you use the screen for. I have a big wide screen monitor, and for editing music scores I couldn't live without it - I can have about two and a half pages fully displayed without the need to zoom in to do any editing. Combined with the the fact my mouse can scroll sideways, it's a big productivity boost.
VileReynard
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Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Buying a new monitor

At my last job the networks team had a laptop connected to a full size widescreen television.
It was used to run an aquarium screensaver  Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin

N/A

Re: Buying a new monitor

My dentist has an aquarium screensaver running on a monitor mounted on the ceiling facing down above the chair - at least it gives you something to look at I suppose!
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Buying a new monitor

mind the water doesnt drip Grin