Larger LCDs At Lower Prices Gain Appeal

In years past, the most likely candidates to purchase LCDs larger than 17 inches were customers in vertical markets, such as real estate agents, who would use the monitors in sales presentations; financial institutions, which relied on visual information to conduct business; and CAD/architectural firms. High prices prohibited mainstream businesses from incorporating the larger LCDs into their infrastructures.

But as prices plummet and LCD vendors saturate the market, the larger flat-panel displays are becoming more attractive to a wider range of organizations.

Both BenQ America and Philips sell 23-inch flat-panel displays for less than $2,000 and are targeting professionals in mainstream businesses who need larger screens with higher resolutions.

The FP231W from BenQ, for example, is a 23-inch wide-screen LCD monitor that measures 18 inches wide x 13.4 inches high. The unit features VGA, digital DVI, S-Video and composite video inputs, along with corresponding audio inputs. The audio inputs work with the optional speakers.

Sponsored post

The vertical viewing angle of 176 degrees provides a super-wide view, and the unit has a native resolution of 1,920 x 1,200. There is a picture-in-picture function that allows the viewing of input from two sources simultaneously.

The touch-activated on-screen controls are easy to use, and an automatic-setup feature makes it easy to fine-tune the image according to the characteristics of the input signal. A powered four-port USB hub is built in, but one port is reserved for an optional WebCam. The monitor's stand tilts and swivels but does not pivot.

Overall, the monitor is well-suited for presentations and could also be easily adapted for kiosks. Of course, those involved in graphics, engineering and Web design will also appreciate the huge workspace.

Philips' Brilliance 230W5 is comparable to the BenQ LCD and also sells for less than $2,000. Like the FP231W, it has a native resolution of 1,920 x 1,200 and a viewing angle of 176 degrees.

The 230W5 features a Digital Video Interface digital input, which can accept either digital or analog input signals. The dual-input monitor also features a separate analog input using a standard VGA connector. This unit has audio speakers built right into the bezel. The stand tilts and swivels but does not pivot. An auto-setup function tweaks the image for best quality. A built-in USB hub provides easy connection to various USB peripherals. Like the BenQ monitor, the Brilliance has a picture-in-picture function.

Test Center engineers were pleased with the 230W5's performance. The display exhibited vivid colors and good white-scale reproduction.

Both companies provide sales support and technical assistance to resellers and offer literature, training, demos, promotions and giveaways. Both back their monitors with three-year parts and labor warranties as well as toll-free technical support 24x7.

Flat-panel displays are an attractive technology, especially when customers need to save space in cramped locations such as investment firms and medical institutions. Falling prices and high quality mean there are many more opportunities available now for solution providers to create attractive bundled solutions. Display vendors are taking steps to educate and train integrators to ensure that solution providers are fully prepared to market large flat-panels.

The days of flat-panel displays being just for a handful of businesses are over. No matter what the industry, flat-panel displays are moving in, and solution providers can use this opportunity to make decent profits on the technology.

COMPANY: BenQ America
Irvine, Calif.
(866) 700-2367
PRICE: $1,999
WARRANTY: 3 years parts and labor in first year

COMPANY: Philips Consumer Electronics
Colorado Springs, Colo.
(719) 667-4849
PRICE: $1,999
WARRANTY: 3 years, with 48-hour replacement guarantee in first year.