Scientific studies are lacking, but flat-panel LCD (liquid crystal display) monitors do seem to put less strain on the peepers than those CRT (cathode ray tube) clunkers. These thin dudes free up an extra foot or so of desk space, and can be wall-mounted if desired. Shoppers beware: The tech jargon surrounding LCDs can be off-putting.


AG Neovo X-174, $949
PROS: Remarkable clarity and brightness across 160-degree viewing angle. CONS: The anti-glare, anti-reflection glass filter is good news, bad news: It certainly protects the screen, but adds weight and collects fingerprints. BOTTOM LINE: Analog, digital, and video connections, plus 17.4-inch diagonal viewing area, make this a worthwhile buy.
Samsung SyncMaster 152B, $479
PROS: Displays crisp text with wide range of viewing angles on 15-inch monitor. We like
the way the interface cables thread through the stand, which also folds back for use as a wall mount. Built-in speakers deliver decent sound. CONS: Smaller than the other choices. BOTTOM LINE: If you’re watching the budget and really short on space, this one’s for you.
BenQ FP 882, $935
PROS: This 18-incher from BenQ, formerly Acer Peripherals, provides distortion-free images. The “iKey” function automatically calibrates the input signal for the best display. A microprocessor feature lets you save different display modes and switch among them. CONS: The built-in speakers sound tinny. We also noted an odd humming sound when we adjusted screen brightness. BOTTOM LINE: A handsome unit with a three-year full warranty.