The lowdown on monitors

Why buy one? They take up less space, markedly less for very large screens. They often reduce eyestrain, and they generate little heat and no radiation. Also, they're very cool, and prices for smaller LCD monitors are very reasonable.

Why wouldn't you want one? The size and weight advantage is most apparent with the big ones and, although big is beautiful, it also means that you are viewing the corners at a wider angle'move 40 degrees off center and you'll start to lose the edge. In addition, LCD monitors are very light, so theft can be a concern in public locations. Finally, LCDs still cost a lot more than CRT monitors when you need very large screens and high resolutions.

Must-know info? Be sure your computer supports the monitor. Many PCs lack the new DVI port. Don't be too concerned about the analog vs. digital argument; the quality is virtually the same, but an autosync button can be very handy.

LCD monitors are no longer just a status symbol. Prices have dropped, and quality has improved. Rebates are common, so be certain you recheck all comparable monitor prices at the last minute before purchasing.

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