The lowdown on high-end monitors

What is it? A high-end monitor is built with CRT or LCD technology and combines large screen size with high resolution and the best features of both technologies.

Which technology is best? CRT displays have traditionally dominated the market for monitors handling demanding graphics, computer-aided design, video editing and other high-end applications. LCD technology provides especially rich colors and clear text rendering, so LCDs are used extensively for text-based applications such as desktop publishing. But recent improvements in LCD technology are beginning to level the playing field.

How much should I pay? LCDs are still more expensive than CRTs, but the price gap is narrowing. You can buy an excellent CRT for under $500 if you shop carefully. Expect to pay $600 to $1,000 or more for most high-end LCDs. In either case, you can spend several thousand on a specialized high-end unit.

Must-know info? Because of improved performance, dual analog-digital connectivity options, expanded viewing area and portability, LCD monitors could outsell CRTs by the end of the year. Unless you are a graphic artist, engineer or other professional already wedded to advanced CRT technology, a new LCD monitor might be in the cards for you.

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