NEC-Mitsubishi LCD monitor prices cut by a third

The price gap between CRT and LCD monitors gets narrower

The price gap between CRT and LCD monitors gets narrower

The cost of a liquid crystal display (LCD) monitor looks set to fall even further after NEC-Mitsubishi Electronic Displays (NMD) announced that it was dropping the cost of its LCD range by up to 30 percent.

From this month, six of NMD's monitors will be between £120 and £400 cheaper. For example, the LCD1530V -- its 15-inch entry level model -- will cost £399 + Vat, compared to £549 + Vat previously. The price of the LCD1830 -- an 18-inch monitor which supports Microsoft's sRGB colour management technology -- has dropped from £1299 + Vat to £899 + Vat.

NEC-Mitsubishi Monitors' UK managing director John McGrath claims that the reductions are the first step in a move to bring LCD monitors to a wider audience. "By removing industry price barriers we aim not only to create better LCD accessibility for our traditional target audiences, but also to present the benefits of LCD technology to newer market sectors such as pharmaceuticals and call-centres," he said.

Apple is also doing its bit to increase the number of LCDs around. According to sources the company has been quietly telling dealers that bulky tube monitors will be phased out as it switches to sleeker flat-panel monitors.

A report released earlier this month by market research company DisplaySearch predicted that the price of a typical 15-inch LCD monitor will halve during this year. This could help to drive down the price of notebooks, as the cost of their displays represents up to 40 percent of their total cost.

Until recently LCD monitors came with such a high price tag -- compared to bulkier CRT (cathode ray tube) monitors -- that they were beyond the range of most home PC users. In the last twelve months, however, the cost difference between a CRT monitor and an LCD has declined rapidly.

For example, in May 2000 Philip's cheapest 15-inch LCD monitor would cost around £700 + Vat. A year later, and the same model can be bought for only £500+ Vat. In contrast, the price of an entry-level 15-inch CRT model has hardly fallen at all in the last twelve months, and is still around £100 + Vat for the cheapest option.

The big advantages of choosing an LCD monitor -- as well as the flat screen and the absence of flicker -- is that they are both smaller and lighter than CRTs, which made them traditionally popular in financial and broadcasting institutions where space is at a premium. There are also environmental and possible health benefits, as LCD monitors emit much less ionising and non-ionising radiation than CRT monitors. LCDs also draw less power, and therefore emit less heat.

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