This is pretty simple. I’ve been watching 22-24″ 1080p LCD monitor pricing for the past year. I decided way back when (when you could occasionally find deals for these monitors for close to $200) that I would buy two or three to replace my current two monitors when the price dropped to $200 apiece. What I’ve found is that every deal I’ve come across (most recently, a Viewsonic LED for $165) is that it is missing at least one spec I want and don’t want to compromise on.
Here’s the spec list:
- 1080p or higher resolution (1920×1080 or 1920×1200)
- 22″+ (24″ preferred)
- Non-glossy/glare screen (I work right next to a window… no way I want the mirror finish)
- LED backlight (Recent addition and the #1 reason this monitor is impossible to find — it has about 1/2 of the power usage of a CCFL backlight, but I want to go ahead and get exactly the monitors I want in order to cover all the bases. It will save on long-term electricity as well as produce less heat for the summer A/C to cool. My current 20″ LCDs use 80-90W combined. These will use about 50W combined even though they are bigger)
- HDMI input (So I can connect a camcorder or PS3 to them with no adapters, plus it’s easier to find DisplayPort-to-HDMI adapters than to DVI)
- Built in speakers (This is one spec that I hate myself for since I know built in speakers are almost useless, but I know how convenient it would be to grab a monitor and the PS3 and hit the road. I wouldn’t have to carry anything else. Theoretically, such a monitor would also have an audio output jack for headphones. Otherwise, I either have to carry a pretty big speaker setup or buy an iPod-type dock for the audio, plus I still have to get to the audio if there is no audio out on the monitor)
- VESA mounting ability (And this spec seals the deal on my impossible wishlist. The reason is that manufacturers see how much thinner LED monitors are and want to make the whole package as thin as possible so they leave off the VESA mounting hardware on the monitor to emphasize THIN. Unfortunately, because these are the perfect monitors for me, I want to keep them for a long, long time and I love the idea of mounting them on a stand that can go portrait or mounting them to a swivel stand on the wall or whatever.)
And the monitor that meets these specs, regardless of price is….. NONE OF THEM.
The primary reason is that LED backlit monitors are still fairly new so all the permutations haven’t been created yet. If I left that spec off, I’d have no problem meeting the rest of the criteria for the price. The recent Viewsonic VX2250WM-LED for $165 deal was the closest to what I want. It had everything on the list except HDMI (!?!). That’s especially frustrating since if you’re going to make a new monitor and put speakers it it, there’s no good reason to leave off the HDMI input.