With LCD monitors, big is in at Comdex trade show

LAS VEGAS—LCD flat-panel display makers were touting the biggest LCDs on the block
at the Comdex trade show here last week.

Officials of ViewSonic Corp. of Walnut, Calif., which makes both LCD and CRT monitors,
said buyer interest is shifting rapidly toward LCD monitors. ViewSonic’s newest LCDs
have a 160-degree viewing angle, which means images stay sharp at the sides. The top-end,
18-inch VG180 can show 16.7 million colors in native mode and suits almost every
application that used to require a CRT.

Samsung Electronics America of Ridgefield Park, N.J., went even bigger, with a 30-inch
LCD display scheduled for delivery next year. It, too, had an impressive viewing angle and
even higher resolution: 1,600 by 1,200 pixels. The production model will weigh about 30
pounds, but that’s featherweight compared with a CRT, whose practical screen size
tops out around 21 inches. The sky is still the limit for LCDs.

Some CRT vendors have struck back by shortening the electron gun responsible for most
of the bulk. Panasonic Communications and Systems Co. has reduced its gun length by about
three inches.

LCD prices are still high. The larger LCD monitors at Comdex had $3,000 price tags.
Sceptre Technologies Inc. of City of Industry, Calif., was one of the first to make an LCD
with a price of less than $1,000 and is about to list its products on the General Services
Administration Information Technology Schedule.

Other LCD vendors are adding Universal Serial Bus hubs to their monitors for easy
installation and digital self-correcting controls. When the user adjusts brightness, all
other controls automatically follow suit for maximum display quality.

Meanwhile, handheld computer and peripheral makers announced their plans for new,
faster miniature portables. NEC Computer Systems Division has set a January shipping date
for its 133-MHz Pentium palmtop with color display and Microsoft Windows CE.

LG Electronics Inc. of Englewood Cliffs, N.J., showed its 100-MHz Phenom with 32M of
RAM, 8-inch color VGA display and built-in 56K modem. The Phenom weighs only 1.8 pounds.

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.


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