CRTs have their drawbacks but still score big

The GCN Reader Survey is intended to provide data on trends and product preferences. This survey on CRTs is based on a telephone survey of 100 government readers who on their subscription forms identified themselves as IT or systems managers.

Users of CRT monitors tend to have two views of the displays they use every day.

They abominate the hulking, heavy presence of a CRT on their desks. But for the most part they still see their CRTs as trusty and steadfast, a GCN telephone survey found.

'I've never had any problems with it,' said a National Guard purchasing agent in Mansfield, Ohio, who uses a CRT from Dell Computer Corp.

'It works fine'it's dependable,' added an Air Force mechanical engineer at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., who wishes only that his 17-inch Dell display were larger.

CRT monitors are reliable, said a Geological Survey computer specialist in Tucson, Ariz., who uses monitors from Dell, Gateway Inc. and Sony Electronics Inc. during the course of his workday.

What bothers them most is the burdensome weight and desktop-devouring bulk.

'It's got a large color screen but it's big and cumbersome,' said a Selective Service logistics supervisor in Arlington, Va., about his Gateway CRT.

'It's reliable but it takes up too much room and generates a lot of heat,' said a National Weather Service data acquisition program manager in Columbia, S.C., a Dell user.

As for overall quality, 90 percent of Gateway users rated their CRTs as either excellent or good. Some 87 percent of Dell CRT users put their monitors in the excellent or good category for quality.

Large display size and overall image quality were the most important features for users in a monitor. Among the 52 percent who said their monitors could be improved in some way, many wanted brighter, crisper images.

For most users we talked with, there is eventually one way out of CRT ambivalence: Get an LCD monitor.

'I would like to go flat panel,' said a Justice Department office automation clerk in South Burlington, Vt., who currently uses a Sony CRT.


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