I remember getting my first computer with its 13-inch green-phosphor monitor. It displayed only uppercase text with no graphics and yet...
I remember getting my first computer with its 13-inch green-phosphor monitor. It displayed only uppercase text with no graphics and yet it was the coolest thing I had ever owned (along with the attached Apple II computer, of course).
Then color appeared and my 13-inch color screen was great. Then I went to a 15-inch screen, then a 17-inch. When I got my 19-inch screen, I thought I would never need anything bigger. Wrong.
Next came the 21-inch model with its TV-like 4:3 aspect ratio. Basically it was a square screen. Then my 23-inch model went to the more rectangular, theater-wide 16:9 aspect ratio and all was right for a while. Today I own a 30-inch flat-panel, LCD diagonal computer monitor that can display HDTV images.
I left out a screen I once owned because it was short-lived. It could pivot, but the company that made the screen and the special software faded from view.
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Still, it was really very different, and I was wondering when I would see something like it resurface.
Hewlett-Packard is now making it available, so if you’re looking to upgrade your computer’s monitor, you might consider it.
A monitor that rotates used to have limited value, in that it was primarily used by those who wanted to view large spreadsheets at a glance or with minimal scrolling. But with the advent of desktop publishing and page-layout software, the ability to rotate the screen to display entire pages at a glance proved to be a valuable commodity.
Unfortunately, the makers of those screens and the special software drivers that would automatically adjust the desktop to fit either position faded from view. HP offers its pivoting screens in two sizes and also provides the rotational driver software.
Being able to rotate the screen from landscape to portrait comes in handy if you do lots of Internet browsing.
Putting a 24-inch screen in a portrait position, so that it’s taller than it is wide, makes viewing a typical Web site more natural. Chances are that you will see the entire Web page without having to scroll up and down. Also, looking at two entire pages sitting next to each other in a word processor makes things a lot easier to follow in an editing session.
The HP w2408h Widescreen Flat Panel Monitor ($500) is a 24-inch-diagonal flat-panel monitor that has a nice, contemporary look.
It sits on a small, integrated stand that incorporates two joints. One lets you raise and lower the screen while the other lets you tilt the screen to a comfortable viewing angle to reduce any glare. The native resolution is 1920 x 1200 with a sharp, 1000:1 contrast ratio.
The pivoting ability is pretty straightforward. Just install the special driver and when you rotate the screen 90 degrees, everything being displayed will momentarily go dark and then reappear in the proper orientation. An open window that was too tall for the landscape position will now be properly displayed.
Open windows will remember their last open size, so if you open one that fit perfectly in the other position, you’ll have to rotate the screen to accommodate it or you’ll just have to resize it again.
If a 24-inch screen is just too big for you, HP also makes its HP w2207h 22-inch, 1680-x-1050 pixel, Widescreen Flat Panel Monitor ($330).
Both screens are for computers running Microsoft Windows only.