Costco has been carrying Sylvania conventional and flat screen monitors for a while now – and they’re perfectly good, in my experience. Today, though, the 17” monitors in stock were manufactured by Princeton Graphics – with fabulous specs, and on sale dirt-cheap at $129.99. And they’re black, so they color-coordinate with your new Dell or Gateway. A particularly good buy if you need a new monitor.

Also don’t forget the student edition of Microsoft Office XP Standard, available at Costco for $127.99 and at Office Depot and CompUSA for slightly more. It’s the full Office suite, with Word, Excel, Outlook, and Powerpoint, at a significant discount from the usual price of $300 or more. Your license is only valid if you’re a student or teacher, but Costco doesn’t seem to be checking student IDs (wink, wink).

And make a note that the 2003 software upgrades are starting to appear. New in the stores: Quicken 2003, Norton Antivirus 2003, and several others. No information yet on whether they’re compelling upgrades – just make you get the latest version if you were going to buy one anyway.

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