A few more words on buying a monitor

Ruined Tower

The major thoughts I got from the lazyweb was that I really wanted a display with an IPS panel type. And preferebly the LED backlight. Of which, there's exactly one example of, the Apple LED Cinema Display. I feel awfully silly buying the Apple display for a PC desktop, especially because I'd then also need to purchase a cable adapter set for it to work with my graphics card. On the other hand, they had one the last time I needed something from Fry's and it looks awfully good.

There is also a less expensive alternative which doesn't have the LED backlight, just fluorescent, in the form of the Dell U2410. Same type of panel, same wide gamut display, same contrast ratio, etc. And it's almost half the cost.

The problem with the U2410 is that it has color fidelity issues. Some users are fine with it, others are really ticked off. The first issue is dithering around the black end of the spectrum in sRGB and Adobe RGB modes. The second issue is a green/magenta (otherwise known as a "green/pink" split from one side of the screen to the other. The official Dell word on the subject is that:

All received captures were tested and are within manufacturer specifications for Color Gradation. Because this is a normal panel characteristic and not a hardware failure, exchanges will no longer be offered for this complaint since a dispatch of another display cannot be guaranteed to resolve the complaint...if you are not satisfied inspite of the RGB adjustments, contact Order Support and request a CRA or Refund.

Now, I recognize that I do not have golden eyeballs. I do not have the attention span and visual acuity to do pre-press work or monitor reviews. But I do have enough visual sensitivity to find displays without enough blacks or whites, with color tints, or otherwise to be objectionable.

There are two new monitors on the way. Dell is releasing the U2711 and HP is releasing the ZR24w. The U2711 is a 27" display that fixes the flaws of the U2410, according to CNet. The only problem is that it's also quite expensive and I'm not actually sure if my video card is able to drive that big of a display, so the price may need to include a new video card. Were it to be the same size as the U2410 with the flaws fixed, I'd have no problems at all. The ZR24w is the display that might be like the U2410 but with all of the flaws fixed. Or it could be exactly like the U2410 with just a HP logo instead of a Dell logo... nobody's gotten their hands on one yet. It's going to be shipping in February.

Thus, it would be very nice if I could buy a new LCD display fairly soon... because, honestly, the whole business where I can't be sure if my CRT will be cooperating at a given moment or not is getting a little old. It's ruining my enjoyment of photography. On the other hand, it would be nice if I could hold that off until February so I could see if the ZR24w is any good. Also, this month I picked up a bunch of lighting gear when I had another batch of gear failures.

But right now, my CRT is getting increasingly flakey, so I'm not sure if I can make it till then. I did check and found that 2-day shipping isn't that expensive, so I'm inclined to wait at least a bit longer. I can go for a few days without a functioning desktop. Also, one of the perks of my present employer is that they share the corporate rate on Apple, Dell, and HP hardware with us, so the online coupon that expires tomorrow matters not.

I also placed yet another giant online order in the aftermath of a photo shoot. See, one of my 622's died... outside of the KEH used warranty but not especially long after I purchased it. So I was down a light yet again. I decided to fight fire with fire and picked up two more 622s (the Super version this time, with even more power) and another 285HV. So I'm really trying to not spend much more this month for that reason as well.

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