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Buying advice: 17" LCDs


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Buying advice: 17" LCDs
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Luca
ಠ_ರೃ
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2004-07-09, 00:56

I think it's about time for me to get an LCD for my PowerMac. I do have a very good CRT, but LCDs are better, and I need to save as much space as possible because I'm moving into a fairly small place in a month or so. Unfortunately, it's pretty damn hard to shop for third-party LCDs. Normally, I just go to NewEgg when I need something. In the rare case that they don't have the lowest price on something (hard drive, DVD burner, RAM, etc), they're within a few bucks, and their customer service and fast shipping more than make up for any difference. But I've heard from many people that NewEgg is not the place to be getting an LCD. Their official policy on dead pixels is to not allow a return or exchange unless there are 8 or more dead pixels! That seems amazingly bad to me.

So, if I don't buy from NewEgg, where do I get one? There are few places that offer a wide selection combined with lots of customer reviews and good prices. Then again, I wouldn't expect a random internet retailer to have a better dead pixel policy...

So does anyone have advice? If not where to buy it, then at least maybe some advice for which brands to avoid? I was thinking about getting the lowest priced Samsung available, since I know it is a good brand. It's a bit under $400. But there are plenty of others as well, many of which are still pretty good and a bit cheaper than the name brand one.
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FFL
Fishhead Family Reunited
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Slightly Off Center
 
2004-07-09, 01:06

Samsung is pretty good, and ViewSonic has some good values in their midrange to upper end line.

Don't buy the cheapest model available if you can avoid it. Try to go at least one model up into the midrange.

A big box place like Best Buy or CompUSA might be your best bet to insure an exchange if you get bad pixels, especially if you discuss it prior to purchase.
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naren
snail herder
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: in the midst of the mightly mississippi...
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2004-07-09, 02:44

Ironically I was at the MOA two weeks ago and I found a 17" Apple Monitor at the Apple Store for $399.00, some kinda crazy mark down, they had a iBook 14" for $700 and loads of other stuff. Of-course the ADC would have put it at $500.00, but still, a good deal. I didn't buy it for....ah.... some unknown reason.....

The future is tomorrow!
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dfiler
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Pittsburgh
 
2004-07-09, 07:35

You might also want to check out 18" and 19" LCDs. They have the same resolution as 17" displays yet spread the pixels out over a larger area. Depending on your tastes, you may find the slightly magnified image to be preferable. I find a 18" screen better suited to my viewing distance especially for reading text.
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Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: NSA Archives
 
2004-07-09, 09:29

Based on the research I've done, any of the high-end screens from Samsung or NEC-Mitsubishi are hard to beat in the 17-19" category. Large contrast ratios, fast response times and most have nice looking chassis as well. Not to mention they have better warranties than what Apple and others offer. I think NEC is 3 years right out of the box for example.

As for where to buy, I would pick a couple models you like

Samsung

NEC-Mitsubishi


...and then compare availability and prices at Buy.com, Outpost.com and CDW (if you don't live in Illinois). Macmall also carries 3rd party monitors I think.

...into the light of a dark black night.
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Escher
Sub-PowerBook Lobbyist
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Washington, DC
 
2004-07-09, 10:41

Luca: I absolutely love my ViewSonic ThinEdge VP171b, which I bought from Amazon for ca. $550. It has dual-VGA and single-DVI inputs, so I can share it between my PC box and my PowerBook. It has a very nice thin bezel, thinner than the new ACDs. It also works in portrait/vertical mode, but so far only with Windows. Finally, it has the longest/tallest adjustable stand I have seen on an LCD. (I have a tall upper body but don't want to prop up my monitor on phonebooks or the like.

As dfiler suggested, I would check out the 18" and 19" LCDs that feature the same 1280x1024 resolution as the 17" screens, assuming you have the cash. I didn't have the budget to go larger, but 1280x1024 on my 17" has been just fine.

Escher

I've been waiting for a true sub-PowerBook for more than 10 years. The 11-inch MacBook Air finally delivers on all counts! It beats the hell out of both my PowerBook 2400c and my 12-inch PowerBook G4 -- no contest whatsoever.
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Luca
ಠ_ರೃ
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2004-07-09, 11:27

No, I don't have the money. The 17" LCD offerings I'm seeing are already stretching my budget to the limit, but I think I'll thank myself in the end if I buy one. And I can always sell this CRT of mine. It's very nice and I'm sure someone would be willing to buy it for $100-$150.

What's funny is that NewEgg seems to be one of the only places that can even compete, price-wise. I checked BestBuy.com and they had a bad selection and even worse prices. Amazon seems to have a good selection, but it's terribly organized and the prices are just okay.

The model I'm considering right now is the Samsung 710N. Not snazzy or high end at all, but it's not the lowest end either. $427 shipped from NewEgg, 12ms response, 600:1 contrast ratio.

I'll take a look at that ViewSonic you recommended. Sounds like a nice one, and $550CA might be in my price range (though $550US is a bit too high).

EDIT: Well, it's $550US from Amazon, and $525 from NewEgg... meanwhile, the one I'm looking at is still much more expensive from Amazon than from NewEgg. I might end up buying it through NewEgg after all. I mean, I don't expect Amazon or really anyone else to be very forthcoming about a return or replacement, and a local retailer will charge me up the ass while also adding sales tax. I might go check some out today but I think I'll just order from NewEgg.

Last edited by Luca : 2004-07-09 at 11:38.
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Escher
Sub-PowerBook Lobbyist
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Washington, DC
 
2004-07-09, 14:10

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luca
I'll take a look at that ViewSonic you recommended. Sounds like a nice one, and $550CA might be in my price range (though $550US is a bit too high).
EDIT: Well, it's $550US from Amazon, and $525 from NewEgg...
Luca: I've only heard good things about NewEgg, so there's nothing wrong with shopping there to save some cash. The warranty is by the manufacturer, so it shouldn't matter where you buy it from as long as it's not a gray or black market product (shouldn't be at NewEgg).

When I bought my ViewSonic ThinEdge it was quite a stretch. But I wanted to get the dual VGA and DVI inputs in anticipation of my 12-inch PowerBook. Now that I have the PB as well, the earlier investment is paying off. Not to mention the fact that my eyes thank me every day.

Escher

I've been waiting for a true sub-PowerBook for more than 10 years. The 11-inch MacBook Air finally delivers on all counts! It beats the hell out of both my PowerBook 2400c and my 12-inch PowerBook G4 -- no contest whatsoever.
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