First sub-$400 LCD monitors appear

IO Data Device has announced the first LCD (liquid crystal display) monitors to carry price tags of less than US$400, on the opening day of the World PC Expo exhibition here.

The LCD-A15N and LCD-A15NS both feature a 15-inch TFT (thin film transistor) panel with XGA (1,024 by 768 pixel) resolution and a conventional analog interface. Because the active area of an LCD panel is larger than that of a CRT (cathode ray tube), these no-frills monitors are said to give a picture of equivalent size to a 17-inch CRT monitor.

The viewing angle on the panels is 60 degrees in each direction, left to right, and 45 degrees from above and below. Brightness is 250 candela per square meter, contrast ratio is 300:1 and refresh rate is 45 milliseconds. The A15N will cost 43,800 yen ($375) and the A15NS, which has a built-in speaker, will cost 45,800 yen when they go on sale in late September.

The falling price of LCD monitors is a product of both quantities of scale, as their popularity increases, and the declining price of LCD panels. Monitor prices fell 28.4 percent in the latest quarter, according to data from Display Search Inc., and is expected to continue falling at least into the first quarter of next year.

In addition to the two models mentioned, IO Data also announced several other LCD monitors including a 15 inch XGA resolution monitor with digital DVI input in addition to analog, which will sell for 49,800 yen, a 15 inch UXGA resolution monitor for 89,800 yen, a 16 inch SXGA resolution monitor for 64,800 yen and an 18 inch SXGA resolution monitor for 178,000 yen.

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