Those of us who work long hours in front of a computer and are prone to headaches have probably already made the switch to a flat panel/LCD monitor. If not, this week's edition of Business Week offers a few tips for selecting a flat panel monitor that's right for you.
In a short article entitled, "Want a Flat Panel? Trust Your Eyes, Not the Cost" (June 28, 2004 edition), Stephen Wildstrom talks about how to choose a flat panel monitor.
One of the key points of the article is that the most expensive model isn't necessarily the best, and you should try them all and go with what looks best to you without worrying too much about specifications. He suggests simulating your work environment (i.e. lighting) if possible when shopping, or making sure the store policy allows for a return if you don't like the display once you get a look at it at home.
Wildstrom does mention that more expensive models often allow for greater adjustability (such as the ability to raise and lower height and swivel the monitor from side to side). For those of us who are into office ergonomics (and shouldn't we all be?), the more adjustable monitors may be a better bet, if we can afford them.
Bigger is better, he says. The larger flat panel monitors, though expensive, can be worth it to those who work with applications that, "need a lot of screen real estate." Also, the author mentions that while both 17 in. and 19 in. monitors usually offer resolutions of 1280X1024, the viewing area is bigger on the 19 in. version (duh) which in turn means that text is larger and easier to read (i.e. less squinting and eyestrain).
In summary, try before you buy and go with what looks best to you. This means going into the computer store and having a look. That doesn't mean you have to buy from the store, however. Better deals are often found online. Jot down the names of the models you liked, and search for the best prices. The cost of shipping is often offset by the fact that you don't have to pay tax on items purchased outside of your state (US).