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"Everything counts a little more than we think..."

09 November 2006 Thursday

A little (really not little) rant about (LCD) monitors

And the VTBook graphics card adapter works

slated in consumed at 2:24 am

A couple of weeks ago, a friend was looking at getting a new monitor, which prompted me to look at monitors for myself too…
Sylvia, my 20” Samsung Syncmaster 204t has been absolutely fantastic, but the built-in screen on Danium, my Toshiba Satellite M40 (otherwise a fine machine) is very, very dim especially compared to Sylvia, and bringing up the brightness reasonably to the level I currently have it at, not only remains unpreferably dim, but also washes out the colors.
So while the additional screen space is great and I can keep my menu bar and winamp and a couple other things sitting over there most of the time, it still doesn’t feel like enough, with Sylvia handling all the look-at-worthy stuff all on one screen.

So I was looking at an additional 20”.. has to hit at least 1600×1200, or if it’s widescreen it should hit at least 1680×1050.

In order to have this third screen (second external monitor connect to my laptop), I needed an adapter. For some reason, these adapters are very rare. Seems silly to me; they should be widespread and many brands and many types…
But I found basically two… One name I’ve forgotten, the other is the quite well-established VillageTronic VTBook (Notebook DVI Graphics Card (with VGA Adapter included)). These things run about $250 (basically the cost of a new monitor).
I picked up one on Ebay…not cheap, but definitely cheaper..
And it finally arrived today.

It works. It works it works it works. My third monitor is borrowed for a couple weeks… it’s a 19” Samsung SyncMaster 912n.
Now, seeing as it’s a Samsung (and a SyncMaster), that should make it pretty comparable to Sylvia, right?
text isn’t half as crisp, colors are drab (even with lots of manual adjustments… if I get the white to be right, then that washes everything else out).

My point is, all monitors are not created equal.
When I was looking at monitors to possibly buy a few weeks ago, helping my friend pick one out, I saw that they SyncMaster 204t (Sylvia) is priced significantly higher, even so many months after I bought it, than many of the other seemingly comparable monitors. I was wondering why I had paid so much (I’m usually pretty good at balancing quality with cost… I’ll shell out more than some would, but I’ll make sure I have a pretty damn good product that will hopefully span a few generations..) Well, looks like Sylvia is simply better than the others.

Which means… I need a really good new monitor to go alongside, and it’ll probably have to be at least 20” because 19” monitors do not hit 1600×1200 (stupid things. my old Satellite 5205-s703 (BabyBlueBytes, rest in peace) had a 15” lcd panel that hit 1600×1200 like none other. —Probably would’ve sit comparably next to Sylvia. They don’t make monitors like that anymore (they really don’t… NO toshiba laptops hit 1600×1200. it’s retarded. really. it really pisses me off. yes, things like this piss me off.). So..

My point is, the VTBook works, for anyone who wondered… and I need $350 now so I can buy a new good monitor. And Sylvia is awesome.

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