Monitors monitors monitors! What’s with 16:9 and shiny plastic bevels?

After Microcenter rudely and unceremoniously canceled my in-store pickup order of the Samsung 2343BWX (errors in their inventory database…). Apparently this monitor is pretty hard to get – 23″ and 2048×1152 for $199 is such a sweet deal – that neither Fry’s, Central Computers or any of the online retailer could even get me this monitor (although there were some refurbished models around).

At this point I’m very happy with my dual 20″ Samsungs, both at 1680×1050, but I had some reason to add another two screens to my setup. The 16:10 aspect ratio of that resolution is really great for coding with side-by-side editor windows. They’re just not big enough to prevent me from constantly resizing windows. And whenever I work at home on my dad’s 1920×1200 screen, I have significantly less of these issues. My preferred coding setup is two sets of 80-characters-wide text screens with a project explorer and outline view flanking them. This just fits well with 1920 by 1200 pixels. Which is why I’m out shopping for a good pair.

Fry’s had one of the 2343BWX on the showroom floor so I had the opportunity to see it in bad light running at a shitty resolution. Hmm, the 16:9 did look a little less “coding-friendly” than what I currently had, and the incredibly shiny bevel looks plasticky next to the matte bevels found on monitors aimed at professionals. Since I didn’t want to order a monitor online and find that I didn’t prefer its features. So right now I’m looking at a comparable Samsung 2233 monitor ($199). Also shiny bevel, also 19:6 but a lower resolution of 1920×1080 (compared to 2048×1152) and I find that my worries were unfounded.

The shiny bevel, although nothing to be excited about, becomes unnoticeable against the very bright screens and impressive contrast of the latest Samsung releases. The 16:9 is great for movies, but since a 1080p monitor has less vertical than the 16:10 monitor of equivalent width. After messing with Eclipse on the 1920×1080 resolution, I came to the conclusion that upgrading would only be worth it if I gain a decent amount of pixels both vertically and horizontally. So I’m taking these back and waiting until the larger 23″ 2048×1152 monitors are back in stock.

Of course, the real answer comes in a much simpler package – 30″ of pure viewing bliss like the monitors in the Graphics lab!

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