PC flat screens get cheaper

TFT technology is getting less expensive, enabling more business PCs to come with flat-panel displays

TFT technology is getting less expensive, enabling more business PCs to come with flat-panel displays.

The convention that TFT screens are common with mobile PCs but rare with standard desktop models may be changing. UK PC manufacturer Evesham.com last week released its desktop Platinum D750S PC with a 15in TFT screen for £699+VAT, and PC manufacturers such as Gateway and Dell also sell flat-screen PCs in their standard ranges, albeit at a higher price than CRT-screen equivalents.

TFT is a type of LCD flat-panel display in which each pixel is controlled by one to four transistors. TFT technology is widely regarded as providing the highest quality resolution of all flat-panel technologies, but it is also the most expensive.

Standard CRT monitors have disadvantages in terms of size, power consumption, and emissions, but they have been popular because they have been relatively cheap.

Evesham said it can now bundle the TFT monitor because the technology is becoming cheaper, and added that it expects TFT to become the standard for its business PCs within 18 months.

Bryan Norris, senior partner at display industry consulting company Bryan Norris Associates, predicted a rapid rise in sales of flat screens over the next two years. "We are forecasting that in the UK, LCD monitors will take 10 percent of the total monitor market in 2001 and nearly 17 percent in 2002," he said.

Current 15in LCD screens include Dell's 1503FP at £405+VAT, NEC's MultiSync 1530V at £348+VAT, NEC's MultiSync 1510+ at £724+VAT, Philips' Brilliance at £560+VAT, and Philips' 1024X768 TC099 at £737+VAT ­ more than the price of the Evesham Platinum D750S bundle with PC. All these prices are for screens bought online.

Evesham's Platinum PC has an AMD Duron 750MHz processor, 128MB RAM and a 20GB hard drive. Evesham sells the monitor alone at £319+VAT.