Upgrading your computer's hardware isn't the only way to feel like you have a new machine. A new monitor can go a long way towards making your computer more fun to use and more functional. At the same time, there are hundreds of displays out there by dozens of companies at all different price points. Still, we're only interested in the best, and here's a look at the top five, based on your nominations.
When it comes to picking the best computer monitors on the market, features, value, and screen size … Read more Read more
Dell UltraSharp U3011 30" Display ($1049)
Dell's flagship 30" U3011 display is a gorgeous IPS panel that leads Dell's UltraSharp performance line if monitors. It sports a 2560px by 1600px 16:10 display, and comes packed with inputs, including 2 HDMI, 2 DVI-D (with HDCP), 1 DisplayPort, 1 VGA port, and Component connectors, making it ideal for use with multiple devices at the same time. Dell's UltraSharp displays have always been popular with people looking to connect multiple computers or game consoles to one or two large monitors at a workspace, and the U3011 is no different. It also packs a USB hub and a 7-in-1 card reader mounted on the side, just as an added bonus. It's a pricey panel, but Dell is well known for giving out coupon codes like candy and hosting online sales and discounts that would bring the cost well under the $1000 mark, so keep your eyes peeled if this is on your wishlist.
Yamakasi Catleap (and Variants, approx $400)
Yamakasi is a Korean company, and the Catleap is a display that's earned the love and devotion of many monitor enthusiasts, mostly because they're the same LG IPS panels that Apple uses in the 27" iMac. They're $700-$1000 displays that are easily available for half the price, and to get them all you have to do is be patient and give up some of the features you may get from other monitor manufacturers. Yamakasi's displays don't come with bells and whistles, but they do come with stellar panels. The Catleap is a 2560px x 1440px 16:9 display, and you get a single DVI-D (with HDCP) input (Some models have a VGA input as well.) It's not available through traditional retail channels in the US, it is available easily via eBay. and the people who have taken the jump and ordered one absolutely love them. If you have trouble finding one of these, there are plenty of variants to look for, including the Achieva Shimian 27" (which earned high marks from PC Perspective ) and the Auria EQ276W 27". They're all variants and use similar (if not the exact same) glass, all at amazing prices.
Apple Thunderbolt 27" Display ($999)
Apple's 27" Thunderbolt Display is a stellar IPS panel, boasting a 2560px by 1440px 16:9 LED backlit display, a built-in Facetime camera, and a ton of built-in ports (audio inputs and built-in speakers, Firewire 800, Thunderbolt, and 3 USB ports) to connect any device you choose to it. The Thunderbolt port can also be daisy-chained to other Thunderbolt devices, like external hard drives and NAS enclosures. The display is clearly designed for
use with Mac OS desktops and laptops, and even has a built-in MagSafe charging port to keep your laptop juiced up when you connect it for a little added real estate. The limiting factors? Price, for one, and it's only fully compatible with Thunderbolt-enabled Mac desktops and laptops. Still, Apple is known for buying some of the best glass in the industry and for amazing colors and calibration in their displays. For many, it's worth the cash.
Dell UltraSharp U2410 24" Display ($450)
The 24" Dell U2410 is a great IPS display for people looking to add a nicely sized screen to their laptop, or for someone who wants more real estate but thinks that 27 or 30-inch monitors are a little much. It sports a 1920px by 1200px 16:10 display, and comes with a wealth of inputs for connecting multiple devices, including a DVI-D (with HDCP) input, a VGA input, a DisplayPort input, as well as component and composite inputs. It also has the UltraSharp line's trademark USB hub and card reader mounted into the side. Again, it retails for about $450, but Dell's display line is often on sale, so with some research you can do better before pulling the trigger.
ASUS PB278Q 27" Display ($699)
ASUS has earned a place in the hearts of many monitor shoppers for being a budget-friendly brand, especially compared to some of the other bigger display names out there, and even though the PB278Q is ASUS's flagship 27" panel, it still comes at a price that many other displays can't match. It's a 2560px x 1440px 16:9 PLS (a Samsung-developed update on IPS) display with Samsung glass, has a pair of built-in speakers, and sports a dual-link DVI (with HDCP) input, a VGA input, a DisplayPort input, and an HDMI input, along with a pair of audio ports (headphone/microphone.) The display is a bit spartan in design, and less flashy than some other models, but it gets the job done and function reigns over form in this case. If you're looking for warranties and support, it's an affordable and highly functional 27" display.
Now that you've seen the top five, it's time to put them to a vote to decide the winner.
This week's honorable mention goes out to Dell UltraSharp U2711 27" Display . which runs about $999 retail and sits nicely between the U2410 and the U3011, for people who want a 27" panel. It's a 2560px by 1440px IPS display that comes packed with inputs and a USB hub and card reader, all like you would expect from Dell. Here's a secret: it also uses the same (a slightly later model, the LM270WQ2 compared to the LM270WQ1) glass that's used in the Korean panels we mentioned earlier.
Have something to say about one of the contenders? Want to make the case for your personal favorite, even if it wasn't included in the list? Remember, the top five are based on your most popular nominations from the call for contenders thread from earlier in the week . Make your case for your favorite—or alternative—in the discussions below.
Every good computer needs a good monitor, and this week we want to know which monitors you think… Read more Read more