Dell’s 24″ widescreen monitor is possibly the most satisfying product I’ve ever purchased. The difference in crispness and readability between this and the old CRT is far greater than I expected. (Anybody want a 20″ CRT that weighs 80 pounds? I’m sitting by the phone waiting for offers . . .)

The Dell UltraSharp line continues to be a good choice for flat screen LCDs. A 17″ Dell Ultrasharp is usually about $300, and a 19″ is frequently on sale for about $400. Treat yourself to the bigger size! And don’t try to save a few dollars by buying a cheapie at Costco – even flat screen monitors can have a mediocre, fuzzy display.

The widescreen format is becoming more popular. Certainly it’s great for movies, but it also allows several windows to be displayed onscreen simultaneously. But don’t everybody rush off for the 24″ widescreen (just under a thousand bucks when it’s on sale). It requires a video card capable of displaying 1920×1200 resolution with up-to-date drivers – pretty hefty specs.

But hoo boy, is it satisfying if you’ve got the hardware to support it . . .

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