A brief history of computer displays

From blinking lights and punch cards to LCDs and 3D flat panels, we trace the 70-year history of the tech that users rely on to see what a computer is doing.

A brief history of computer displays prev next


The Beige-Box Era

In the mid-1990s, just about all monitors -- for PCs and for Macs -- were beige. This was the era of the inexpensive, color, multisync VGA monitor that could handle a huge range of resolutions with aplomb. Manufacturers began experimenting with a wide assortment of physical sizes (from 14 inches to 21 inches and beyond) and shapes (the 4:3 ratio or the vertically oriented full-page display). Some CRTs even became flat in the late 1990s.

Photos: Radius, ViewSonic

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A brief history of computer displays

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