30 inch (ish) screen recommedations

Tea

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One of my much-loved Samsung 21 inch screens is dying. Now you might think that 21 inches isn't very special, but these are real 21 inch screens - 4:3 aspect ratio, 1200 pixels high: better resolution than any Full HD / 1080p monitor ever made (1200px makes a significantly more detailed picture than 1080). And they are big: don't be misled by the 21 inch diagonal; because of the 4:3 aspect ratio the picture is 330 mm high. For comparison, the 25 inch "wide screen" monitor on my seldom-used spare computer is 300mm high.

Trouble is, no-one makes big 4:3 screens anymore. All iPads have 4:3 screens, there is a growing trend for better-quality Android tablets to have them too, and you can readily buy 4:3 screens in smaller sizes for business and point of sale tasks, but no bigger than 19 inches. I have no doubt that you will be able to get 4:3 photographic size screens as big as my wonderful old Samsungs or bigger sometime in the next few years - the trend has started - but you can't buy them today. (Actually, there is a firm that makes horrendously overpriced 4:3 screens for specialised medical and industrial use - we needn't go there; it's the sort of money you'd spend to buy a car.)

Now I'll see about getting the Samsung repaired, of course. It will be the power supply again. I've had both of them repaired before: the power supplies seem to fail every five years or so, and always at the start of winter when the room temperature drops below 10 degrees. It will cost maybe $300 to fix, which is well worth it. (New, these screens were $1400 or so, which was real money in those days.)

Nevertheless, I am going to buy a new screen in the next couple of days, and when the Samsung comes back it can either be a second screen on this system or replace one of the cheap, generic screens on the spare system.

I'm thinking 27 to 32 inches, maybe more, certainly not less, and vertical resolution must be better than the 1200 I have now - i.e., 1440 or higher: I'm not sure how practical the really high resolutions are, never tried one. In any case, I might run into problems with display drivers for them - I'm running these off a laptop with docking station and I am certainly not going to blow two or three grand on a new Thinkpad when this T530 is running so beautifully and has years of useful life left in it. (Horizontal resolution doesn't matter within reason, it's the vertical that usually restricts you.)

(By the way, we juiced the T530 up a bit the other day with a 500GB micro-SATA SSD boot drive (Samsung) and two Seagate hybrid data drives, 1TB internally and 2TB in the DVD slot. Goes like a rocket!)

This Dell looks like the sort of thing I'd like- http://accessories.ap.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=au&cs=aubsd1&l=en&sku=210-41434 - but at $2050 it's hellishly expensive. It has a 16:10 ratio (not 4:3 but noticeably better than the common 16:9), IPS (of course), has both Display Port and DVI inputs (DVI is the most convenient, but has max resolution limitations which might trip me up; if so, the Thinkpad has built-in Display Port which would be OK too - yes, you can get converter cables and so on, but I never really trust them, seen too many problems before.) It is reasonably energy efficient (not great but not bad) and of course it has good colour balance ex-factory. (I have a Spyder hardware colour calibration device but the better a screen's colour is in the first place, the easier life is.)

This 32 inch Samsung looks nice at around $1900 http://www.samsung.com/au/consumer/monitor-printer/monitor/uhd-monitor/LU32D97KQSN/XY# but it's a lot of money.

At about $1000 there is this Viewsonic: http://www.viewsonic.com.au/products/lcd/VP2770-LED.php#pSpecs

HP have this one at around $800 http://h20386.www2.hp.com/AustraliaStore/Merch/Product.aspx?id=M1P04AA&opt=&sel=MTO and about six different high-spec models in the $2000 to $3000 range.

Of them all, I think I like the Dell best at this stage, but surely I can spend a good bit less than that and get something pretty decent. Ideas and experiences please good SP people.
 

ddrueding

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After reading your post, I was certain I had great news for you. The new version of the Dell 30" that I have is a nice unit and is less than $1k! (Follow the link)...Ah. AU$. Sorry, not much to offer. You seem to have found the good'uns.
 

Handruin

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What about the 31" LG 31MU97-B? It's a bit older now so maybe it's in the price range you're looking for? I'm unsure it's a proper comparison for what you may be after but it meets and/or exceeds some of the requirements you're after. I don't know the typical outlets you may shop from in AUS to look up pricing so it may very well be out of range.
 

jtr1962

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I share your love of 4:3 screens. Right now I'm using an LG 1600x1200 20" monitor my neighbors gave me second hand as my primary monitor. I have a little more room for something larger. My ideal would be perhaps a 24" or 25" 4:3 OLED screen with 4096x3072 resolution. Barring that I'll just hold out for a 27" or so OLED widescreen with 4K resolution.
 

Handruin

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I'm actually ok with a widescreen monitor now because most of the content I've been working with formats to this orientation. Whenever I need to add or enhance a working experience with more vertical space, I'm fine with adding a second monitor that has been rotated 90 degrees from it's widescreen orientation. This typically happens with anything coding or documentation.
 

Tea

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Thanks guys. I've chased down the maximum res of the graphics chip on my T530, which is 2560 x 1600 if I use the Display Port interfaces. So anything higher than that is out of the question. Your LG, Doug, which looks very nice and has a RRP in Oz of $1400 (probably get one for 1300ish, given that) is thus a non-starter.

I was about to press the buy button on the Dell - horrorshow cost notwithstanding - but on the off-chance I hunted around and found the same model at Mwave for quite a lot less. They advertise it at $1760 but by the time you add freight and fees it totals $1845 - still $200 cheaper than buying it from Dell direct. Go figure.

(Compare with Lenovo (who don't make anything even slightly interesting so far as monitors go) where you pretty much just buy from their website every time - their on-line direct retail prices are usually quite a lot lower than the wholesale prices bloody useless Ingram Micro offer.)

Anyway, Dell 30 inch model on the way. I'll post again with my impressions - though I can't imagine there would be anything much not to like about it. At that price, you have every right to expect perfection!
 

time

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Whenever I need to add or enhance a working experience with more vertical space, I'm fine with adding a second monitor that has been rotated 90 degrees from it's widescreen orientation. This typically happens with anything coding or documentation.
Ditto. 1920 lines @94dpi is my standard code viewer. You need a 1920x1200 monitor to achieve sufficient width when rotated. Not sure about US models - I bought a handful of Samsung S24C650 for this purpose and am not at all disappointed.
 

time

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I was about to press the buy button on the Dell - horrorshow cost notwithstanding - but on the off-chance I hunted around and found the same model at Mwave for quite a lot less. They advertise it at $1760 but by the time you add freight and fees it totals $1845 - still $200 cheaper than buying it from Dell direct. Go figure.
I had always assumed that MWave were scammers, ie. advertised loads of stuff they didn't actually have. Keep us informed as to when you get delivery.
 

Tannin

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Tea is going to be very pleased when she gets home. The new screen is ready to ship, should be picked up on Monday and arrive here about mid-week. I am surprised how fast that was - it's not a stocked item, so I thought it might take them a week or so to get it in (assuming Dell themselves had stock). With any luck, on this cold evening, she will be inspired enough to make one of her famous apple crumbles. Yum!
 

Tannin

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It didn't happen. :( Maybe tomorrow. Tea's apple crumbles are worth waiting for. She uses a unique recipe: apples, pears, chopped lemon or lime, a little other fruit as it comes to hand and seems like a good ideas at the time, rolled oats on top, very hot oven. No spices, no sugar, absolutely nothing except beautiful fresh fruit. She says the secret is the quality of the fruit. Mostly, it's out of our own gardens.

(Not the pears yet. Come back in about four years for our own pears. I planted four pear trees about this time last year. They won't fruit for another year or two, and won't be producing enough to cook with for a couple of years after that. All different: Williams (known as Bartlett in the US), Beurre Bosc, Beurre D'Anjou, and Red Clapp's Favorite. Tea can't wait! Me neither.)
 

Tannin

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I must have misread the order status email. I thought they said that the order was ready to ship and was waiting for courier pickup. Well, it will be waiting a long time because the screen isn't even in their warehouse, it's on my desk and I'm using it to post this. Arrived first thing this morning. Tea will be pleased. (Actually, I suspect that it was drop-shipped - i.e., Dell sent it direct to me on Mwave's dollar rather than to Mwave for them to reship.) First impression? I think I need a bigger desk.
 

time

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Three working days = I'm impressed. Good to know - I will take MWave more seriously in future, they have a huge catalog.
 

Clocker

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I got a new monitor and I love it!

HP OMEN 32" 2540x1440. $430 shipped free direct from HP. It was on sale at Costco for $300 over the holidays but I missed it. I upgraded from a 28" Viewsonic 1920x1080. The pixel pitch is noticeably better. Don't think I will be planning for an upgrade any time soon because there is no room :) .

Don't have much time for gaming but maybe I will look at an AMD card after the next gen comes out to take advantage of Freesync.

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