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The Skinny on Flat Panel Computer Monitors

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RALEIGH — We've heard about them, maybe even seen one... thin television sets and computer monitors. They remain expensive, but prices are coming down. As WRAL OnLine reporter Tom Lawrence explains, there are lots of advantages to flat panel computer monitors.

Workers atIBM'sCustomer Call Center work in front of flickering monitors all day. IBM's Alan Petersburg says the big cubes take up lots of desk space, just like on your desk.

Listen toauorreal audiofiles."You have specially designed desks take up so much space. You about forget about what it means if you could have something which is literally two or three inches instead of two or three feet thick."TFT, or thin film transistor monitors, are the same technology used in high end laptop computers. Petersburg says only recently have prices for desktop TFT monitors dropped to $2,000.

Listen toauorreal audiofiles."With the 14 inch version of this TFT monitor that we just announced on Tuesday we purposely priced it under $1,500 to cross that barrier."Flat panel monitors weigh less, use less electricity and are easier on the eyes."Each one of the more than a million dots that you have on here, every single dot is turned on or off separately so you don't have the flickering effect."Flat panel technology is moving to TV sets too. A plasma panel set from Fujitsu>serves as a computer monitor and wide screen digital television.

Flat panel computer monitors are now used in crowded applications like the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. But soon you might find one on your desk.

IBM has just won an award for the design of its flat panel monitors from one of Europe's top industrial design institutions. In all IBM won thirteen design awards, more than any other computer company.

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Tom Lawrence, Reporter
Gil Hollingsworth, Photographer
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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