“This monitor is specifically intended for working in MS Office professionally”,
A speaker at a press-conference
The epithet “professional” is among the favorites of any hardware manufacturer, not only when it comes to computers. The customer is given to understand that professionals, i.e. people who a priori have a deeper grasp of the given matter than himself, would prefer this very product. But this epithet has almost lost any practical meaning as it is now being hung on every item that is somehow different from others in characteristics or price. There’s a lot of “professional” equipment, from frying pans to computers, in every shop.
So before trying to talk seriously about professional-class products, we should first define what we mean. I’d put forth this definition: a professional-class monitor is a monitor with such characteristics and capabilities that make it a perfect tool for performing narrowly-scoped tasks, but are excessive for common tasks. It’s like with vehicles: a bus is suited perfectly for transporting a large number of people from one place to another, but won’t do as a personal car.
If we take this definition, quite a large share of monitors that are called professional by their manufacturers fall out of our consideration. For example, ViewSonic’s Pro series differs from other product series of that company in using MVA or S-IPS matrixes (and not in all of the models even) and adjustable-height stands. I don’t think that ordinary users don’t need a convenient stand and good viewing angles those matrix types provide. On the other hand, such monitors won’t interest people who are professionally engaged in color correction.
Professional monitors can be different. It can be models with very high brightness intended for medical applications. There are models with black-and-white matrixes capable of displaying 1024 grades of gray (as opposed to the ordinary monitor’s 256) and also intended for medical applications – you don’t need colors to examine an X-ray photo, for example. There are models with high-resolution matrixes like the IBM T221, a 22” LCD monitor with a colossal resolution of 3840x2400 pixels.
Yet these monitors don’t meet the ordinary user’s needs. They are mostly intended for narrowly defined applications, their price is far from affordable, and they often put forth very specific requirements to the graphics card.
So I guess there is only one class of professional monitors that can be easily met in shops. I mean monitors optimized for work with color. As you know, the inaccurate reproduction of color is a problem of many consumer LCD monitors, so some manufacturers produce special monitors for applications that demand that the color on the screen was the same as that very color in real life.
It’s about such monitors I’m going to talk here. A couple of models from NEC, a well-known brand in this field, and a new SyncMaster XL20 model, which is the first attempt of Samsung to enter the market of monitors for professional color processing.