Wide is all the rage these days. I can understand why: enhanced productivity with dual-window viewable capability, DVD viewing, looks sexy, etc. But I also don’t understand why: with 1440 x 900 or 1680 x 1050, you don’t really get close to 100% dual-window. You get about 85-90% for 1680 x 1050 and much less for 1440 x 900. So productivity is enhanced, but in my opinion, the user is more frustrated than anything because both windows need to be scrolled left and right, or downsized (but that defeats the purpose of having two windows that are viewable). DVD? DVD resolutions are wide 480p. With a high-resolution screen like the ones that are popular today, a lot of scaling needs to be done. But without good scaler chips built into the LCD monitors (they are good in LCD TVs), DVD look pretty darn awful. You’ll need to watch HD content (Apple’s movie preview section is a good start). But unless you have a LCD monitor with 1920 x 1200 resolution, you’re really limited to 720p content, in which case, a 17″ wide (1280 x 768, but hard to find) or just a standard 5:4 17″ (1280 x 1024) would do.
That’s where Sony’s SDM-HS75 LCD monitor comes in. It is a very stylish monitor: looks just as good turned off as when it is turned on. According to Pricegrabber, the cheapest pre-tax and shipping price for the SDM-HS75 is $189.99, a very good price considering the brand and design. User reviews are very good at 4.5 stars that shows strengths as: good color, good design, and crisp images. The weaknesses mentioned were: no DVI, no height adjustment, no built-in speakers, slow response times, and a wide bezel. For me, built-in speakers on a monitor is a joke. The sound quality would be poor due to size and thickness limitations and monitor makers will not necessarily be good at making speakers and vice versa. If you want good quality sound, stick to a company that makes good speakers. The lack of DVI is valid. With most decently powerful desktops that are new, a digital-to-digital makes for a better connection. However, analog connections have come a long way and not many people would be able to decipher the difference from it and a digital connection. The response time at 16ms is nothing to brag about, but if you’re thinking about playing some games, you should be looking for something a bit faster in the range of 8ms or less. I really like the stylish design and for basic tasks such as email, web surfing, Office applications, etc. the screen performance does not disappoint.
Here are the rest of the specifications: 16.2 million colors (32-bit: 8 each for R-G-B), 250 cd/m2 of brightness, 500:1 contrast ratio, and 160-degree viewing angles.