questionswhats the best hd monitor to buy for the money?

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Do you NEED HDMI? Or is it just a desire due to cable clutter?

A while ago, I picked up a used 19" Dell monitor off of eBay for around $50. That, plus the sound bar that pairs with it, plus a monitor arm, and I have a really nice addition to my workspace for under $100. No, it isn't LED backlit, and it is 1440x900 resolution, however it absolutely gets the job done for what I needed - an additional monitor for work purposes. You can probably find a 1080p monitor around that price range there as well, again assuming you NEED the resolution.

Good place to check where you can see the monitor in-action is Costco, specifically for their no questions return policy (for dead pixels, etc) and the warranty, price being pretty good as well. If you don't need to see it in person, I'm sure that there's a monitor listed on here that fits your reqs.

Personally, I'd get a used good brand monitor over a new, cheap monitor. (New, cheap, good brand obviously being ideal.)

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Its a desire due to cable clutter and the desire for true hd. VGA cable's dont transmit picture as well as straight HDMI does, and that's what I'm looking for, the best picture. I do a lot of photo editing and movie viewing, I want this picture as crisp as possible. I'm looking on eBay and fry's and all the standard online websites, but I just cant make a decision. The best bet for me would be to find one on Fry's that I like and then find it cheaper elsewhere online because then I can just make them price match it and I can get it in the store.

What did you buy?

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All TFT panels (most common) are pretty much going to be the same, unless you want to opt for a more expensive (but better) IPS panel monitor. If you do the editing professionally, you might want to look into the higher quality IPS panel. Dell makes a few good ones that sometimes go on sale for sub $300, iirc.

If you don't want an IPS panel, they're pretty much all the same. Most monitors use DVI connectors, which are digital and the same thing as HDMI, except that DVI does not carry sound (which isn't necessary, most monitors don't have speakers and if they do, non soundbar speaks are usually bad).

I have a 21" acer 1920x1080 monitor hooked up to my laptop, I like it a lot. Here's the 23" version on newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009266

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@brad3326: Its not professional, just a hobby that I do quite often. I'm not quite sure how i'd go about making a dvi connection from my mac's mini display port. I'm trying to avoid the whole "you need this adapter which plugs into that cable but its not long enough so throw in this extender" situation.

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@discodiscoman: I'm not familiar with macs, but I think you might be SOL on your desire to avoid an adapter. But they aren't bad. My laptop only has HDMI and VGA out, so I use an HDMI->DVI adapter to connect to my monitor. How do you connect your current monitor? I can help you find what you need to connect to a new one

Your call on the panel then, depending on your budget. (Edit: Just saw your budget) Some people really like the IPS panels and say they can really tell a difference, but as a cheap college student myself, I'm sticking with TFT a while longer. (Especially since I prefer 2 displays, I'd rather not have mismatched monitors and 2x IPS is pricey)

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@brad3326: right now i have a mini display port (what mac's come with) to hdmi cable that i bought on ebay. I connect it to my 42" tv for movies and what not and it looks great, but i want a little screen companion on my desk because thats where I do most of my work, a 42" screen just isnt functional for working and what not, it's overwhelming. Thats another reason i want just straight hdmi, because I have the equipment I need for it and don't need to order this that and another thing. P.S. Amen to being a broke college student, I'm right there with you. It'll be my bday soon and dammit I deserve something nice =)

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@discodiscoman: Haha, definitely. Here's neweggs 21" 1920x1080 (1080p, Full HD, whatever they brand it as now) http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007617%20600012673%20600030647&IsNodeId=1&name=21.5%22&ShowDeactivatedMark=False

Or their 23"ers: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007617%20600012673%20600030617&IsNodeId=1&name=23%22&ShowDeactivatedMark=False

Depending on the stores around you, it might be preferable to check them out in the store, or just buy online. Microcenter comes to mind as a store with good bargains, or costco/samsclub aren't too bad either. Or a non-newegg site, depending on whether you have to pay taxes for it. I just prefer newegg for their search features.

For an adapter, pick up one of these for sub $3 and leave it connected to the monitor, http://www.amazon.com/Eforcity-HDMI-F-DVI-M-Adaptor-Contacts/dp/B000E8X5Z0, then use your mini-display to HDMI cable to plug into that

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@brad3326: both of the links for the new egg monitors ran searches that gave me tons of results and weren't links directly to products. but thanks for finding the adapter

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@discodiscoman: Bought this monitor:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270763669617&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT#ht582wt1344

It takes DVI, so you can absolutely get a digital signal, and if you only have an HDMI port on your machine, get a DVI to HDMI cable, Amazon has them cheap. (not adapter)
http://www.amazon.com/Cables-Unlimited-PCM-2296-06-HDMI-Cable/dp/B0007MWE1E

I'm sure there are similar, newer models, some maybe even with HDMI, but definitely don't rule out the used monitors. The one I bought is in better condition than the one (same model) I bought new, though that is my fault!

Note, if you get the sound bar, then longish connectors don't plug in without some bending. Still, works fine.

Monitor arm is from Monoprice, think it was $25 or so, their arms are good for the money even if they aren't an Ergotron or similar. I have two, they hold up great.
http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=109&cp_id=10828&cs_id=1082808&p_id=5402&seq=1&format=2

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@apfrehm: that cable wont work at all, i have a mac so hdmi out doesnt exist, its a mini display port. oh apple and their never ending ability to make technology difficult. im looking for an HD monitor however the one you bought does look nice.

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@discodiscoman: Monoprice to the rescue yet again. (helps make the ~$7.00 shipping more bearable to have more items anyways!) This sort of cable would probably be a good thing to have even w/o the monitor. Way better than a dongle.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10246&cs_id=1024604&p_id=5998

That + monitor (same or similar) + stand, assuming you found a monitor priced around $55 shipped as I did, would be right around $100.

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HANNspree has made me a bit nervous in the past, though that monitor is rated quite well. Good to know that that might be an option for me if I ever need to upgrade / add a monitor.

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@discodiscoman: I bought that monitor for my recent computer build - I love it. I can't speak for it's color accuracy (I have no way of checking), but it comes default being too bright (I currently have it set at 11 out of 100). It isn't LED backlit, but at that brightness level, it isn't putting out any heat, and I assume the bulbs will practically last forever at this output. It has a nice sharp picture and good overall performance.

Forget about the speakers, though - only good enough for an error beep.

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after all this work, and all your helpful tips, my friend sold me his apple cinema display for $20. That is truly the most bang for your buck and I couldn't be happier. I appreciate all your help guys! keep the woot community strong =)

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@discodiscoman: Good deal! You must have some nice friends.

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I can recommend the ViewSonic VX2250WM-LED 22-Inch (http://tinyurl.com/7lhszje)