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24”+ Monitors

Monitors with a screen diagonal longer than 24 inches fall into two distinct groups: with a diagonal of 30” and with a diagonal from 25.5 to 27”. I’ll deal with both groups at once as they include not many models.

Junior models with a diagonal of 25.5-27” (the manufacturers often round this number up, e.g. the NEC MultiSync LCD26 90WUXi has a screen diagonal of 25.5 not 26 inches) have the same native resolution as 24” models, namely 1920x1200 pixels. So, they are compatible with any graphics card that has a DVI output, but the quantitative advantage in the size of the screen does not result in a qualitative advantage of being able to display more information. The largest of such models, for example Samsung SyncMaster 275T and Dell 2707WFP also have a very large pixel pitch, making the user move away from the screen so that the image looked less grainy.

That is why I think such monitors are meant for watching movies in the first place. Professional applications are not their priority because it is the native resolution rather than the sheer size of the screen that is more important for work as a means to display more information. And 27” models do not differ from 24” ones in terms of native resolution.

If you need a very high resolution, you should consider 30” monitors such as Samsung SyncMaster 305T or Dell 3007WFP. The latter comes in two versions, just like the Dell 2407WFP, the version with an extended color gamut being called 3007WFP-HC.

30” monitors have a native resolution of 2560x1600 pixels, requiring a graphics card with support for dual-link DVI. This support is formally offered by all ATI Radeon 1xxx and 2xxx series chips and by Nvidia’s GeForce 7xxx and 8xxx series but I had problems with inexpensive graphics cards which would be unstable in dual-link DVI mode and produced a noisy image. So, if you are going to buy a 30” monitor, you may have to upgrade your graphics card to match it.

I won’t give you specific recommendations in this section. The market of such monitors is rather small as yet and we haven’t tested too many of them in our labs. The prices are high enough for such models to have no clear leaders and losers. They are all good enough and will satisfy most users – if you don’t mind the price.

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