Friday, February 8, 2008

Dell 30 inch LCD Monitor - Says it all, doesn't it...

Yes, indeed (new phrase that's been coming up lately)...

In the middle of 2007 I invested in a Dell 30" LCD monitor and a new computer for my home office. This replaced what I had been working on for so long - my 1600x1200 Sony laptop display. Don't get me wrong - the Sony was okay for day-to-day work, but I do a lot of programming and the more stuff you can fit on a screen the better!

So, I broke down and bought it. I couldn't make up my mind at first. At a bit over $1000 (refurbished) it's a lot of money for a monitor. The manufacturers have their own ideas, but I did the math on the true cost of a small monitor. See if this doesn't strike you as truth:

With my smaller monitor at 1600 x 1200 resolution:

  • $55 per hour (you plug your own "value" here) = 1.53 cents per second
  • 300 times per day scrolling up and down @ 5 seconds each = 300 x 7.65 cents = $22.95
  • 100 times per day scrolling side to side @ 3 seconds each = 100 x 4.59 cents = $4.59
  • Total cost of scrolling = $27.54 per day
With my ginormous monitor at 2560 x 1600 resolution:
  • $55 per hour = 1.53 cents per second
  • 200 times per day scrolling up and down @ 5 seconds each = 200 x 7.65 cents = $15.30
  • 10 times per day scrolling side to side @ 3 seconds each = $.46
  • Total cost of scrolling = $15.30
So, my savings per day is $12.24 in productivity cost. Clearly, no one is paying me that... shame... At a cost of $1100 for the monitor, the break-even is only about 90 days.

It seemed reasonable so I took the leap.

When I got the monitor I found that I needed a new video card because the one built into the computer simply couldn't push the resolution that this monitor boasts. $200 later I had my new NVidia GeForce 88xx card and I was ready to go.

How'd it all work out? The investment...
I won't go back. I liked it so much at home that I bought one for work. Why? Well, every Monday through Friday we spend more hours at work than we do sleeping. We spend more hours at work during those days than reading a good book, eating good food or spending quality time with our families. An investment in making those hours more enjoyable and more effective is a good investment. Why make those hours more difficult than need be?

The productivity...
As you can see from my carefully measured success metrics above, an investment in a 30" monitor saves money - money that you'll see magically appear in your pockets. Okay, not really, but the time really is saved. Couple that real time not scrolling to find something with the immeasurable benefit of being able to keep your thoughts together because they aren't broken up by the arbitrary end of a screen, this huge monitor is a huge benefit.

The fame...
No one more important than normal has come to view this hugeness. But, it is bigger than my 27" TV and it has a better picture. Strange, but since I'm a geek trapped in a jock's body, having a big monitor feeds an unconscious need to do and have geeky things. No big screens here to watch the game - just a big monitor to program a Bayesian filter or something. Now doesn't that sound fascinating?

If you spend more than 4 hours a day at a computer screen or you do a lot of word processing, spreadsheets, web site browsing, programming or anything that is typically bleeding off the edges of your screen, check it out. The Dell 30" 3007WFP monitor.

More on what I like...
  • Big, big big
  • High resolution - 2560 x 1600 (more on display resolutions)
  • Built-in media card (CF, xD, SD, etc.) on the side
  • USB hub built-in
  • Can mount an optional speaker system beneath it
  • Looks good
  • Adjustable stand with a basic built-in cord manager
  • Buy refurbished for less at the Dell Outlet
What about you? Have you had a great experience with the Dell 3007WFP monitor or would you swear by another?

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