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Well, as one of those good 'ol country songs says... 
I have "Gone Out and Done It" today!

I pulled the trigger & bought an ultra-high resolution
30" IPS WQHD 2560x1600 Pro Monitor !

As many of my friends in SecondLife (as well as all those around me in real life) have already known, I am a budding digital artist for both 2D photo/image manipulation as well as my passion of 3D digital model / mesh development.  Like any craftsman in any area of interest, one is always dreaming of the biggest and best tools available to her/him in order to make it easier and much more enjoyable to practice in the craft.  

For a digital artist like me, one of the biggest items on our wishlist of tools for the trade would be the ultimate computer monitor to provide the largest and most crisp resolution and workspace to work with graphic programs like photoshop, Zbrush, photo-editing software, etc.  And since much of what I create for sale is at the target market of SecondLife and other virtual 3D worlds, a monitor of this class would take the experience there to another level as well.  

That class of monitor that has been on the market (although at very high price points for a few years) is commonly industry referred to as the WQHD monitors.  Technically there are many specific sub-standards within this QHD/WQHD standard but the two that are mostly sold are the  WQHD (2560x1440) for 27" monitors and WQXGA (2560x1600) for the larger 30" monitors.  Beyond 30", there is little out there for computer monitors of greater capacity and resolution.

In the past several months I have been researching these two classes of monitors (the 27" and 30") and learning about all the differences between the different manufacturers, the difference between the current IPS and the emerging PLS monitor standards, and the general price points for the two.  Prior to my discovery of the monitors being sold at monoprice.com, the general range for the 27" monitors have been slowly dropping down into the $600-$900 range and for the 30" monitors it has been in the $950 to $1,400 range.  As such, I have been constantly hunting for anywhere that a price break would happen for these two class of monitors.  As much as I wanted a 30", it was just too expensive to consider.  So I had already resigned myself to compromise and get the 27" monitor when one ever showed up with a good price and quality.

Before my story goes on, many of you are asking yourself now... "Why would anyone buy a 30" monitor for over $1000 when you can get monitors and even HDTV's much larger for a much lower price?".  The difference is the major change in resolution that these monitors are capable of.  Simply buying a 30" HD monitor of 1920x1080 (or 1200) resolution might give you a larger screen but it is simply stretching the same pixels across a larger space.  Not only does this not increase your actual desktop screen real estate (just makes it bigger) but it begins to allow pixelation to happen since the pixel must either get larger to fill the bigger space or small black space gaps expand.  With the larger resolution monitors, there are more pixels to stretch across the screen.  This makes the real estate of the screen bigger as well as more crisp.

Another real important note for anyone not familiar with these monitors and is thinking of getting one too... remember that you also need a graphics card with the ability to produce 2560x1440.  Although I have an ATI HD5770 card that can support it, I am considering an upgrade to the much larger/faster HD7900 series of GPU.  But, this means I also need to upgrade my motherboard to support this new card.... its like dominos :)

Now, back to the story.  I was not noticing any price shifts until I received an online promo from Monoprice.com offering me a discount on the next order if I would come back and buy something from them (I was a past customer).  I really didn't have anything I thought I wanted from them but I looked if they had computer monitors.  I FELL OVER when I saw they had an LG re-branded 27" WQHD monitor for under $400 !  I thought it was too good to be true and so I research the blogs on this monitor.  Sure enough most were saying at that price - its a no brainer!  I went to the site ready to buy two of them for this price.  BUT, they were out of stock.  I waited over 4 weeks and the stated ETA for in-stock slipped 3 times.  In fact I read blogs that said the monitors have been out of stock since early Jan.

Well today I did my regular check on the status of the monitor and although that monitor was still out of stock, I fell over again when I noticed they introduced two new larger 30" 2560x1600 monitors for sale and also at price points that were almost 1/2 of the general price for a 30" !!

I didn't hesitate at all.  I decided to take a chance and pull the trigger on buying the FVI interface only version of the monitor with a set price of $698.  I asked if I still had my "come back discount" of 20% but that expired.  But, the gave me a 10% discount which brought this monitor down to an amazing $629 - the price of most of the cheaper 27" monitors.

I can't tell you yet if I am happy with my purchase as it has not yet arrived and since I am from Canada, I shipped the monitor to a shipping address at the US border in order to majorly reduce the shipping cost.  LG is a good maker of monitors so although I don't expect it to meet the spec's of the top ranked of the monitors of this class, it will likely still be at a function and quality that I will be happy with.  AT LEAST I HOPE SO!

I will update this blog after I finally get it and have used it a bit.