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  • Available: Now

    Cost: lowest - US$ 2,850; retail - US$ 3,699

    I recently discovered how to become the envy of your co-workers. Just place a $3000 18.1" XGA (1280x1024) TFT active matrix LCDon your desk and watch everyone turn green. Sure, placing anything on your desk worth $3000 will probably have some effect, but 1040lbs of lutefisk ($3000 worth of skinless lutefisk according to the kind folks at www.olsenfish.com) just doesn't carry the same impact (though if they eat that much, they might still turn green). We're used to high-quality monitors from makers like Sony and Mitsubishi, but when we took a look at the Sony CPD-L181 LCD, we were very impressed.

    The first thing you notice with the CPD-L181 is the fact that it seems huge. At 18.1" diagonal, it has about the same diagonal measurements as a 19" CRT, but even on the best CRT, you need to leave a border around the edge to avoid distortion and the picture being covered by the bezel, so you get more effective space out of the CPD-L181. But it actually looks bigger than it is because, overall, it's so small. With a large CRT, you have a huge case that dwarfs the viewable area, but with the CPD-L181, you have a huge viewable area that makes the rest of it look small.

    At only 8.2" deep, most of which comes from its included stand, the CPD-L181 would make Elle Macpherson feel fat. Even space-saving CRTs with similar viewable areas usually take more than double the space. And at 19.82 lbs., far less than your average 19" monitor, you can easily mount the CPD-L181 on a wall to free up even more desk space. When the cost of square footage is high, a few square feet saved can pay off the CPD-L181's hefty price tag in a matter of months. (Try that on your budget-conscious requisitions department.)

    Active Display Size

    • Horizontal 14.1" (359mm)
    • Vertical 11.3" (287.2mm)
    Dimensions (with stand)
    • Width: 18.4" (468mm)
    • Height: 16.6" (422mm)
    • Depth: 8.2" (208mm), 3.5" (90mm) without stand
    • Weight: 19.82 lbs. (9kg)

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