Pros: Flat, light, pivots, bright, vibrant, autoadjusts
Cons: expensive, DFP plug requires rare videocards and converters
Sick and tired of that relic sitting on your desk? I'm talking about that Cathode-Ray tube monitor you've got. Don't be under the electron gun anymore, when there are options like LCD displays around. Sure they cost almost 3x, but do you always get the whole picture behind the marketing rhetoric?
Well, let's discuss some of the merits of the VPD150.
First off, this monitor is digital. Not all LCD's are, some are analog. If you like your vodka straight up, then you'll like digital because the signal sent from you computer is straight up, not converted to analog, meaning minimal loss of screen precision. I'm not saying analog is bad, I've read many good reviews about analog but large investments like these requires you to look at them in person (and don't look just at those dvd movies the stores usually play...look also at text).
The good thing about analog is that you won't need to buy a special type of video card.
You: What?!?! You mean I need a new card?! I'll slap you right now!
Me: Yeah, if you go digital, you're going to need a digital output from your video card. Most cards output analog. But with the VPD150 I have, it demands even more! You're going to need a DFP type output port. The standard these days seems to be DVI so good luck finding a DFP card that's modern and fast!
So what's the point of getting this paperweight if the video card is so rare? Well, the VPD150 weighs like only 10lbs. so they make lousy weights. However, there is salvation...you're going to need to find a converter DFP-DVI to use it on a modern DVI video card like the Hercules Prophet DVI.
Did I mention those converters are hard to find too?
Of course, these converters don't seem to work perfectly...sometimes I need to turn off my monitor and turn it back on if it's blank. And with the power switch on the back of the monitor, it doesn't make it any easier. I can't believe some designer would place the power switch in a hard to reach place. It could be the converter's fault but I've heard some people get a DFP-DVI cable direct from ViewSonic (much pricier than a cheap converter) and have had better success.
This sucker is bright. I know some LCDs out there don't have that much candle power but this thing does.
You'll never have to focus another image again. The screen fits edge-2-edge. No matter what resolution.
It comes with pretty decent speakers. They look puny but the sound is pretty high quality. It can only produce high ranges well so bass is nonexistent.
The thing can pivot! You can switch to portrait mode, imagine the possibilities. You can mount the monitor to a wall! Run a screensaver of portraits and have a dynamic painting!
For those of you that are paranoid about electromagnetic fields, LCDs generally produce very little of that stuff compared to their CRT counterparts. So you won't have to worry about becoming an X-men if EMF is discovered to be harmful latter on.
Expensive, $900 range.
Don't tell me this thing is comparable to 17" CRT monitors. I measured it and it's a few centimeters off! You may not notice it, or you may.
Fixed optimal resolution. LCD monitors are usually created to work best in one resolution setting, in VPD150's case, 1024X768. I hate that resolution because it makes everything look so small and Windows don't seem to have any large high resolution fonts. You'll get more viewing space however. You can go down to 800X600 or less, but that's when things don't seem as sharp anymore. In it's native mode, the thing is sharp (or gives the illusion of being sharp since it doesn't flicker at all, and it's so bright making all the colours look more vibrant). Text begins to get a bit hazy when in lower resolutions, but is still readable. But at least unlike laptops, even when you downsize, it'll fit the whole screen.
The LCD effect. It's hard to describe but you know how sometimes comic strips can fool your eye into thinking you're seeing Heathcliff when all you're seeing are a bunch of red and green dots? This is not an exact analogy but you're eyes will sometimes realize what it's looking at isn't what it really is. This is noticeable when the whole screen is white; your eyes will think the screen has a slight shimmering effect. Well, let's not waste my breath describing something you may not notice. You can accept the illusion or reject it and live with it.
The pivot software doesn't work with win2000 and the upgrade at viewsonic's site doesn't upgrade my version.
Well, that's the lowdown. Viewsonic could be making these in DVI inputs these days but if it's still DFP, I would seriously consider the hassles that would come with that. If you upgrade your video card a lot, wouldn't it suck if your next-gen video card doesn't have digital ports? I suggest looking for LCDs that come with dual inputs (analog, and digital) so you'll never be stuck in that situation.