Should You Invest in A Flat-Panel Monitor?

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

 »  Key to Instructions  
To help readers follow the instructions in this article, we used two different typefaces: Boldface type is used to identify the names of icons, agendas and URLs. Sans serif type shows the names of files and the names of commands and instructions that users should type into the computer.

 

Q. I’ve been seeing lots of advertisements recently for flat-panel computer monitors. I’m interested in buying one, especially because it would take up less space on my desk. But these monitors are nearly twice the price of the regular models and I wonder whether they’re worth the extra money? Is there any downside to replacing my regular monitor with one of these slimmer designs?

A. Except for price, I can’t think of a single reason why you shouldn’t make the switch. However, you’ll be happy to hear that their prices are falling—fast.

The flat-panel—or, more accurately, the liquid-crystal display (LCD)—monitors have loads of advantages over regular monitors, which use cathode-ray tubes (CRTs) for display. CRTs are the picture tubes used in conventional television sets, although some new TVs are coming out with LCD displays, too.

LCDs are more expensive because they are more difficult to manufacture, but as production techniques improve, prices are declining. Some advantages of LCDs:

They take less space on a desk.
They produce no flicker. Images on a CRT, on the other hand, need to be refreshed repeatedly, which produces the flicker effect.
They generate brighter images with greater tonal range (blacker blacks, whiter whites).
They produce none of the harmful radiation that’s emitted by CRTs.
They save electricity. One estimate puts the savings (if the computer is run 14 hours a day) at more than $50 a year.

SPONSORED REPORT

Keeping client information safe in an age of scams and security threats

A look at the Dirty Dozen tax scams and ways to protect taxpayer information.

TECHNOLOGY Q&A

How to create maps in Excel 2016

Microsoft Excel 2016 has two new mapping capabilities. J. Carlton Collins, CPA, demonstrates how to make masterful 2D and 3D maps in Excel 2016.

QUIZ

News quiz: IRS enforcement, a hot job, and audit value

The IRS’s 2016 Data Book, a “hot job” of particular interest at this time of year, and insight into how executive and audit committees view the insights from financial statement audits received attention recently. See how much you know with this short quiz.