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Tracking LCD Display Trends

(September 2007) posted on Wed Sep 12, 2007

Bigger is in, wider is better.

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By Molly Joss

Related to the trend of using LEDs for backlighting is the trend just noted in the NEC model: manufacturers are creating LCD monitors that can display more than 90% of the Adobe RGB color space. These monitors are on the high-end of the professional curve and the high-end of the price curve as well. Still, if mission-critical color is vital to your business success, selecting such a monitor might be worth the investment.

Exactly how much beyond 90% of the color space that you want a monitor to display is probably more a subjective and budget-dependent decision than anything else. A few percentage points is the spread in the specifications from various manufacturers. Other factors, such as cost and how much you want the included accessories may help in making the final decision. For example, the NEC LCD2690WUXi, a 26-in. LCD monitor displays 93.6% of the color space while the Eizo ColorEdge CG 221, a 22-in. monitor boasts 98% coverage of the color space. The 25.5-in. LaCie 526 displays 95% of the Adobe color space and 98.5% of the ISO coated color space.

Critical features

Monitor manufacturers that cater to the graphic-arts market are well aware that graphicarts professionals are not technology geeks and would rather spend their time doing their jobs and not fussing over their monitors. So, they are always working to make it easier to calibrate monitors and make them easier to use overall.

Swiderski notes that more people are interested in accessories that make color calibration easier. "A lot of people are buying hoods, for example," he says. Some monitors designed for the graphics-arts market come with hoods, although these tend to be the more expensive models. Colorimeters and color calibration software are also included inthe purchase price of more expensive monitors. Manufacturers and third-party vendors sell accessories such as hoods and calibration software for use with less-expensive models.