The plunging price of flat-panel monitors

Last week I mentioned the plunging price of USB flash drives. This week, while clearing some old papers, I discovered a really sharp indicator of how much monitor prices have dropped in recent years.

Back in April 2000, I bought a 15-inch TFT flat panel display with a native resolution of 1024×768. With tax and shipping, it cost $727.17 (that’s $880 in inflation-adjusted 2007 dollars.)

Earlier this month, I picked up a 24-inch LCD display with a resolution of 1920×1200 (1080p capable, DVI/HDCP input). It cost $377. On raw pixels alone, that’s nearly 6 times the display area for less than half the price. And we won’t even talk about the differences in color depth or high-definition performance.


12 thoughts on “The plunging price of flat-panel monitors

  1. Earlier this year, I picked up the Samsung SyncMaster 226BW — a 22″ widescreen item. $300, roughly, including shipping, at NewEgg. Supports HDCP and looks fantastically good. The highest resolution is 1680×1050, but at that price, I’m not gonna complain about losing a few pixels off the edges for HD playback!

  2. Serdar, I think the Samsung is a fine monitor. In fact, for someone my age, it might be a better choice, because a native resolution of 1920 x 1200 is awfully hard to use for day-by-day computing for anyone over 40. The 22-inch 1680×1060 display is like using magnifier glasses if you/re used to a 20-inch display!

  3. Not just flat-panel monitors. Big screen LCDs have also come down in price. Was looking at a wall of them in and couldn’t believe the prices. USB drives. Flat-panel monitors. What’s next?

  4. Ed, a 1920 would probably work well if it was 24″ or larger (in your case). I also sit fairly close to the thing in the first place…

  5. I’m holding out for the day I can get 2 30″ displays and have both of them effortlessly driven by a single mainstream graphics card. A single 24″ is nice, but I want to be almost surrounded by pixels.

  6. More than one display just seems like total overkill to me, unless you’re doing something specialized like stock trading or whatnot. I spend entirely too much time in front of a computer as it is — the last thing I need is another excuse to sit there!

  7. It’s good to hear screen size/resolution discussed as it applies to ‘old farts’. I see so many older adults buying pc’s with totally inadequate screens for their daily needs. I wonder is there a web site or resource that breaks down the myriad of screens into what works best for different users and purposes? Ed, you run a great blog!!

  8. Terry, I think a lot of people don’t know that a lesser screen resoultion can be had sense Windows automaticly sets up max resoultion.Most don’t know how to change the settings.

  9. Ray, Windows automatically selects the native resolution for an LCD. Although you can choose a lower resolution, there’s a price for doing so, paid in fuzziness. If you want to use a lower resolution than native resolution, you’re best off using a CRT.

  10. Ed, I have a LCD and a CRT side by side in my work area and I don’t see any difference. I even think the LCD is sharper. My main box and my daughter’s box seems sharper than a CRT. Maybe it is just my old eyes.

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