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Archive for the ‘deals’ Category

An editorial on LCD panel quality and what to look for on your next purchase

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This editorial is an open response to AnandTech’s Desperately Seeking Quality LCDs article published last June 17.

For the last 2+ years there have been two developments in the LCD market that I know I’m not alone in disliking:
(1) Glossy panels, you either love them or hate them – I’m in the latter group.
(2) So-called LCD “post processing”, used on many high-end displays.

Furthermore, the response time race also known as the “ms race” has had a very negative effect on LCD quality. This somewhat relates to the megapixel race seen in point and shoot digital cameras, where marketing went crazy for higher megapixel counts at the cost of reduced performance in low-light conditions.

Dell 2209WA monitor E-IPS panel

It is a commonly known fact that 60hz is what most people will find a LCD pleasing to look at, and this is also close to what our eyes are capable of processing. 60hz is also what 99% of LCDs sold today operate at, with very few exceptions.

One second = 1000ms, thus a refresh rate of 1000ms / 60hz = 16.7ms.

What this means is that at 60hz the screen is redrawn once every 16ms. So why do we see LCD displays continuing to push below 16ms when there is no way for it to render that fast at 60hz? The answer is simple: marketing.
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Written by Per Hansson

July 28th, 2009 at 2:56 am

Offers from our partner Tradepub

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You may not know this but you can receive free technology magazines from our partner Tradepub. Apparently they also do trial software downloads along with technology whitepapers, some of which I have mentioned in the past here in the blog or in the forums when something really interesting pops up. Here’s a couple of new rather interesting offers that I received on my mail earlier today.

Free Trial: 60-Day Trial of Microsoft Office Project

Free eBook: The 7 Things that IT Security Professionals MUST KNOW!

Written by Julio Franco

October 31st, 2008 at 10:49 pm

Posted in blog,deals,software

Dell UltraSharp 2709WFP deal, at $699

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I was checking out today’s hottest deals in our deals section and noticed that my current monitor, the Dell UltraSharp 2709WFP is selling direct from Dell at a hefty discount. I paid about $1,000 at the beginning of the year and IMHO it’s worth every penny with its large size but not too extreme resolution, so things are not as tiny as in other 24 or 30-inch models.

Here’s the info straight from our deals section:

Dell LCD Display Price Check: UltraSharp 27" falls to $699, more (updated)

In the market for a Dell LCD? Dell Home dropped the Dell UltraSharp 2709WFP 27" Widescreen LCD Monitor by $200. It’s down to $699 with free shipping, the lowest total price we’ve ever seen for this display by far. Sales tax is added where applicable.

As for other models, Dell decreased and increased a few prices compared to our roundup a week ago. The other latest prices on Dell’s top LCDs, all with free shipping:

Written by Julio Franco

September 26th, 2008 at 9:00 pm

Something new is cooking…

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We are always working on new and improved features at TechSpot, whether it is fresh new content or new services to help you get the best information out of the web.

Call this the silent launch of TechSpot’s new deals section which is far and away improved over the aging deals we managed just until now. So check it out, here’s your reward for checking out this not-so-often updated staff blog :)

Written by Julio Franco

September 10th, 2008 at 5:23 am

Incoming: Dell 2707WFP 27″ LCD monitor

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There is no better advice to give than one you follow yourself… That’s what I was thinking when I finally bought a Dell UltraSharp 2707WFP monitor last week to use as my primary monitor and replace my older but still trusty Dell 24″ screen. Back in November I was the one who recommended to include this 27 incher in the holiday gift guide. This is what I wrote:

You can upgrade every single component in your PC but at the end of the day if you are still living with a crappy 19″ monitor or generic input devices, you are simply wasting your money and effort. Now, you may be asking yourselves why a 27-inch monitor and not 30″?

Well, bigger is not always better, and leaving all technicalities aside, many of today’s 27″ monitors are using a 1920×1200 pixels native resolution which is comparable to that of a typical 24″ monitor. The idea is that by upgrading to a 27″ screen you will get bigger text and icons, in the other hand 30″ monitors usually use a higher resolution of 2560×1600 which gives plenty of extra desktop space but makes stuff even tinier, so it’s up to you to decide what you prefer.

I know there is people that don’t have any problems at all with small fonts in large displays (24″ and up), so you may attribute my advice to premature eye problems on my part, though I don’t wear any glasses and last time I checked (a year ago or so?) I had near flawless vision. The thing is, I spend countless hours in front of a computer screen and I definitely think going up in dot pitch (what this 27″ monitor essentially does to keep the same resolution in a larger space) could have a very positive impact to my eye strain in the short and long run.

Add to that the fact that the monitor is currently on sale with $200 off, the $999 price tag is not a bargain but every bit helps. I actually ended up buying it from eBay (new) for $959 which is only slightly less money but it includes shipping and taxes, so that saves around $200 extra.

While on the topic, the latest 30″ monitors like the Gateway XHD3000 and Dell’s own 3008WFP, partially solve this problem by offering a built-in scaler chip. The panels’ native screen resolution is still set at 2560×1600, however these don’t rely anymore on videocard processing which reportedly reduces image noise considerably when not using the native resolution, as well as offers other benefits like no longer requiring dual link DVI. The feature obviously adds up to the price (think $1700+), making it a less attractive option today but a good hint of better things to come nevertheless. In the meantime, I can’t wait to receive my new 27″ monitor later this week and pair it up with my current 24″ for total desktop space that will measure 3840×1200 pixels.

Written by Julio Franco

February 4th, 2008 at 3:50 am

Posted in blog,deals,hardware

GeForce 8800 GT deal…

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Update: There is a newer deal on 8800GT that I posted here.

Wait a second… getting the almighty 8800GT for the actual $250 MSRP? And from BestBuy? When a majority of desperate gamers are overpaying as much as $70 for getting one of these cards, this almost sounds too good to be true. But according to the BestBuy website you can get one (only ONE, no soup SLI for you!) for $249.99 after an instant $30 rebate, plus free shipping.

The site goes as far as saying the card can ship within a day. This is not one to pass by, better be quick if you don’t want to be left out. (Thanks Mirob in the forums for the note).

Written by Julio Franco

November 19th, 2007 at 12:18 pm

Posted in blog,deals,hardware

Xbox 360 HD DVD drive bundled with Heroes Season 1 (for free)

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Ever since we started discussing the differences between Blu-ray and HD DVD, I always thought and assumed that when time came, I would jump to the Blue team bandwagon. After all, Sony’s format offers a larger technological leap and seems to be more data (PC) friendly…

Almost two years later, neither format dominates the market and it would appear that for the immediate future they will have to co-exist. Personally I had not been paying much attention to the whole format wars until recently that I bought a new HDTV and prices for the HD formats have been lowered to more reasonable ranges.

Making a long story short, I got myself a Xbox 360 a few months back making the upgrade to an HD DVD easier and less costly, so that’s the route I recently took. As many of you may be aware, there is a mail-in promotion offered by both Blu-ray and HD DVD manufacturers where you can get 5 free movies with the purchase of a player (this includes the relatively cheap Xbox add-on HD DVD – which also works with PCs via USB).

Well, only three weeks after I bought myself the Xbox HD DVD add-on, a new promotion is out for a limited time. Amazon and other retailers like BestBuy and Buy.com seem to be carrying it, the drive is being bundled with a free set of Heroes Season 1 HD DVDs. That’s a really good promotion if you like the TV show and were planning to buy it anyway, ahh.. too bad I missed it!

Written by Julio Franco

October 31st, 2007 at 11:21 pm