Why can’t I have nice things?

I’ve often asked myself that. Today, however, I am happy to announce I have acquired a nice thing. It’s a monitor/television, depending on what you choose to do with it.

I bought it to finally replace my old monitor. My old one weighs 31 kg or a bit more than 68 lb. I’ve been afraid for years that one day I would place some small item on the desk absentmindedly, such as a pen or coffee mug, and it would prove to be just enough to cause the desk to crack in half. Simply put, the monitor is dangerously heavy. It also probably consumes more electricity than I’d be happy to be aware of.

Here’s what it looks like, finally disconnected and off of my desk:

Despite it’s shortcomings, however, it must be said that CRT has served me well. It only cost 3 USD.

I made a ceremony of unpacking the new monitor. It’s an ASUS VH236H. I’ve never even seen, let alone used, a monitor this large before. I only paid 140 USD for it though, so it wasn’t a bad purchase at all, especially considering how well it’s worked out for me.

But it was because I couldn’t actually mentally picture what a 23 inch monitor would look like that I was so astounded at the size of the box it came in:
New monitor
Opening it slowly, savoring every minute of the experience…
New monitor
New monitor

A nice bonus was that ASUS includes more or less all of the cables and connectors you could possibly require right inside the box:
Box Contents

They included the power cable for the monitor, an audio cable, VGA cable and a DVI cable. The only other thing that might have been useful to include, that I can think of, would be a VGA to DVI adapter, but I already had half a dozen of those lying around.

The monitor itself is pretty damned elegant:
Pretty Monitor
Pretty Monitor

It’s a plug and play monitor. It worked right out of the box without any special drivers or anything for me in Windows 7 64 bit and Windows XP 32 bit. One of the really nice things about this monitor is that, while you have up to three devices connected simultaneously — one via HDMI, one via DVI and one via VGA –, you can cycle through the different inputs using the input select button on the unit itself. This is not just a novelty; it’s incredibly convenient. I hate having to disconnect all devices except for the one that I actually want to use. I like having all of my devices connected simultaneously so that, when I’m ready to use one of them, it’s already connected. I wish my television were like this. My television won’t work with more than one device connected. You need to physically disconnect all but the one device you actually want to use for the television to “activate” that input. If two or more inputs have something plugged into them, none of the inputs work at all. It’s extremely inconvenient. Switching between input devices on the ASUS monitor, however, is, quite literally, as easy as pressing a button.

The picture is just beautiful. Before today, I had never actually seen 1080p in my life, I don’t think (though I have seen 720p), so I’m certainly not qualified to say whether it’s a superior monitor to others that are comparable in price, but as a layperson, I’m still amazed that something like 1080p even exists at all. There’s no word for it other than “breathtaking”.

I haven’t used the speakers on the monitor yet, but from reviews I’ve read, they’re nothing spectacular. I imagine that’s probably true.

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