Display Devices

Monitor quality varies, and you usually get what you pay for. If you can afford it, invest in large 21" displays and graphics cards that support high resolution and color depth. Monitors usually last through at least two or three computer replacement cycles, so their value can be amortized over a longer period. (A seven-year service life is safe to assume for top-level manufacturers.) Flat-panel liquid crystal displays (LCD) render sharpness more clearly, while cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors render blurriness more effectively; each type has its strengths and weaknesses, so having both is the best option.

TIP The Cintiq interactive pen display is the ultimate display device, combining input and output technologies. It features a pressure-sensitive tablet transparently overlaying an 18" color LCD display (about $2500 U.S.). Find out more at www.wacom.com.

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