TG Gift Guide 07 – Video Cards & Displays

by Matt Serrano on December 17, 2007 in Editorials & Interviews

Our Gift Guide continues with an exhaustive look at the entire spectrum of available video cards for all price-ranges. On top of that, we also give our top five list for monitors which range from the reasonably priced to the ultimate drool-worthy. No matter your budget, we have you covered!

Page 3 – Displays – Our Top Five

Monitors have become cheaper than ever. It’s become far easier to pick one up on a whim instead of saving up for one over weeks or months at a time, which means less shock to your wallet if you want to pick one up for loved ones or friends.

Finding a quality gift is hard to come by considering the market is littered with products that under perform or have quality control issues. It’s unavoidable to a certain extent, but no one wants to unbox a monitor to only have to ask for the receipt because it has an issue or doesn’t look as good as it should.

Most monitors in production today are using cheaper components on the inside, which means a hit on the image quality for the end user. Sure, you could buy that $200 22″ monitor, but trust me, you don’t want to. Put the credit card down and back away slowly.

Samsung 226BW ~$270 USD

For about $270 online, you can pick up Samsung’s 226BW. It doesn’t have any extraordinary inputs like component or HDMI, but it should offer a decent bang for your buck if you’re looking for image quality. A word of warning: different model numbers of the same 226 family stand for different panels. The best choice would be the “S” or “A”, but the “C” model should be avoided.

Despite being a TN panel, this monitor has proven to offer great image quality. To add to that, the response times should be fast enough tp satisfy even your most avid of gamers.

Soyo DYLM24D6 ~$250 USD

If you’re looking for a budget 24″ monitor and are willing to sacrifice image quality and a few degrees of head movement, Soyo’s competitively priced 24″ monitor should be close to perfect. It can be had for around $250 to $400 in some brick and mortar stores, primarily at Office Max. It may be hard to come by (and some stores may have the price marked up), so unfortunately your mileage may vary.

Again, you’ll only get DVI and VGA inputs, but its shortcomings are excusable at the price range. It’s not meant to replace a quality monitor, but it’s certainly usable if all you want is 24″ of screen real-estate. If you’re looking for something higher-end, keep reading.

Westinghouse L2410NM ~$350 USD

Much unlike the 24″ Soyo monitor, the L2410NM is closer to the Dell 2407WFP, rather than purely being a budget monitor. You’ll also get inputs like HDMI, VGA, component, composite and S-video inputs, with 1:1 pixel mapping (meaning connecting a game console or anything else that doesn’t use the native resolution should be a breeze).

There are higher-end 24″-ers out there, but for the price I wouldn’t hesitate to put this one near the top of my list. The color representation is excellent the addition of HDMI is simply a bonus. The specs are correct though, you won’t see any DVI ports here (strangely enough), but that’s hardly something to complain about when a HDMI-DVI adaptor can be purchased for next to nothing. Anyone receiving one of these should not be disappointed.

NEC LCD2490WUXi-BK ~$1200 USD

The price tag on this 24″ monitor may seem odd, but I’m not crazy. NEC’s LCD2490WUXi-BK is considered by many to be one of the best damn 24″ monitor out there, and it’s a testament to for people who prefer quality over affordability. Gamer’s shouldn’t bother, but anyone doing any professional work that needs accurate colors will love it.

The monitor uses the same panel as the 24″ iMac, so anyone who’s ogled that display should know what they’re looking at (despite a few differences due to the technology inside them and protection layers on top of them).

Gateway XHD3000 ~$1700 USD

This Gateway monitor has been mentioned plenty of times on Techgage, but I simply can’t excuse it. What makes the XHD3000 so special is its internal scaler, the Silicon Optix Realta HQV, which is able to take a non-native resolution and stretch it out to its native 2560×1600 resolution.

The plethora of inputs, speaker, remote, awesome image quality and drool worthy screen size make this an awesome gift for almost anyone. If you have the cash, don’t feel bad about picking one up for yourself either.

That ends our video cards and displays gift guide. We hope that it helped you in your purchasing decisions this season, and if you are left with any additional questions or comments, please feel free to post in our related thread! No registration is required to post within this thread. Happy holidays!

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