A powerful CPU or tons of RAM can certainly improve your computing power, but few things help you feel more productive than a big, wide-screen LCD. A large monitor lets you spread your work out, open several windows, and multitask like the best of them.
And big monitors keep growing even bigger. Just a year ago, a 24-inch display might have been considered luxurious. But the biggest size yet to hit the market--30-inch LCDs--are the new rage. They offer so much screen real estate, you can't help but feel like you've hit the big time when you're using one.
We took a look at a crop of 30-inch wide-screen LCDs to see what the new displays have to offer. The three monitors we tested--Dell's UltraSharp 3007WFP-HC, HP's LP3065, and Samsung's SyncMaster 305T--all delivered excellent image quality in our tests, with incredibly sharp text and vibrant colors. In addition, each offers features such as built-in media card slots or multiple DVI ports.
See our chart on these three monitors.
(We also looked at an interesting hybrid--a huge monitor that can handle text display but also has a built-in TV tuner. For more, see "A Big Monitor That Includes TV Capability.")
HP's LP3065 earned our Best Buy, thanks to its outstanding image quality and various extras, such as multiple USB and DVI ports. The Dell and Samsung came close on its heels, as they also delivered notable image quality and other appealing features.