Despite having reviewed many gorgeous monitors over the last few years, I've yet to make the leap and actually buy one for myself that costs more than £200. This is a bit of a crime really as I'm always preaching to the other members of Custom PC that monitors, like cases, are great investments. The technology generally moves a lot slower than that of graphics cards or CPUs, meaning that they'll be far more future proof.
In fact, a good monitor could still be worth holding on to five or ten years down the line. Why then do we make such a fuss at paying more than £200 for them when we do itwithout thinking for the latest graphics card, which will be obsolete in just a couple of years?
Monitors especially, can make a huge difference to every aspect of how you use your PC. You look at it every second you're using the PC and a good one can make photos, movies, websites and games look much better. A size and resolution upgrade usually leaves you buzzing for weeks - something I found when I was lucky enough to review the Dell U2711 this year. I was totally in awe of its size (I found it to be just right for gaming, without being overwhelmingly big like a 30in) and image quality.
Antony covets the awesome Dell U2711 Display
However, the downside to the U2711 was the cost - at nearly £1000 it was well out of my price range. The U2711 has come down a lot in price since then, but it's still twice as expensive as a high end graphics card. If ever there was a product I'd wish could find its way into my Christmas stocking, this would definitely be it.
Clive - Good times with family
At some stage in your life, you realise that you've got enough cash and work hard enough that you can justify treating yourself a bit more regularly than every birthday and Christmas. This means that when my considerate relatives ask what I'd like for Christmas then I sometimes struggle to think of things, though this isn't a problem that bothers me too much.
It isn't even a problem that, when I'm prompted to think about things that I'd like, I typically only come up with fairly expensive ideas. I want a NAS box and a couple of really quiet hard disks, for example, but I obviously can't ask my friends and family to splash that much cash.
There are plenty of big, expensive things like this that I want, such as an Amazon Kindle (non-3G, I already have a smartphone). I want a Synology DS211j too (review soon, snow permitting) as well, for example.
Clive just wants a quiet Christmas with his family
Equally, I'm reminded that my current screen is a bit crap, so Antony's suggestion of the Dell U2711 or even the ViewSonic VP2365wb springs to mind as Things I Want. The latter is a really good 23in IPS screen for around £200, if you haven't heard of it previously.
All of these things would be nice to have, but what I really want for Christmas is to spend time with my family, the friends from home that I don't see nearly enough of, and for the holiday to be filled with smiles and laughs and general good-will. It's not that I'm anti-materialistic or some kind of hippy, it's just that I can buy all this kit whenever I like and enjoy it whenever I want. Christmas is pretty much the only time of year where everyone I know can focus on having a great time though, so all I want for Christmas is for it to live up to that expectation.