The Best Monitor To Start With, Period

Written on May 11th, 2013. We've got comments, too!

“What monitor should I get?” is probably the most common computer question I don’t have an answer for. While I can happily answer most computer-related queries (favorites being “yes”, “no”, and “pizza”), this one’s tricky. Monitors range from the cheap to expensive, have a million attached buzzwords and come in all shapes and sizes.

Thankfully, especially for my Indonesian friends, I’ve got an answer now. Bhinneka, the online electronics store, has started selling the Dell U2312HM: An Ultrasharp series screen with pretty much everything you could want. Get it. Get it now.

It’s gorgeous, amazingly flexible and gets the job done. Here it is next to my 21.5” iMac at my home office:

setup

While most monitor and TV manufacturers go gung-ho on random (and often insignificant) metrics — like contrast ratios and response times — this thing doesn’t cut corners. Let’s see:

  • It’s huge: 23 inches huge. 52x29 cm of screen space. And yes, bigger is better. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
  • Swivel — you can rotate it vertical. I can’t overstate this enough. For programming, you can fit an absurd number of code lines on one screen.
  • 4 USB ports, and accepts VGA or DVI input.
  • Dell’s Ultrasharp line is their professional series of monitors. It’s for graphic designers, gamers and content creators. It’s one of the best out there.
  • Great (and by great, I mean accurate) colors. It took me a bit of calibration to be perfect, but it was close out of the box.
  • IPS. Well, E-IPS, but not a problem. You’ll have good viewing angles.
  • It’s so cheap even I was skeptical. It’s Rp 3,700,000 on Bhinneka, although it’s at $200 on Newegg.

It’s still pricy for a monitor — cheap office-level monitors can come for half the price. But this is Dell’s professional line, and it can do all sorts of acrobatics your average monitor can’t. There are a few drawbacks you may want to look out for:

  • No HDMI input. Could be a game-breaker, but not for me.
  • There’s an anti-glare coating. Some people might find it distracting. It practically vanished for me after using it for an hour.

Of course, better options exist if you want a bigger screen… Which, uh, would be the bigger Ultrasharps and Apple displays. It also doesn’t sport the best color accuracy out there, but it’s still excellent, and for a really tough price to beat.

Even if you already have another primary screen you love, consider this for your side monitor. It works even better that way.

If you’re on the fence for a new monitor — or you want a solid starting point to pick a display from, this is it.

Get it here from Bhinneka. I trust these guys very well.