A Clearer View

Now, Ear This

Flat-screen LCD monitors might be all the rage, but CRTs aren’t necessarily down for the count. True, prices of LCDs have been dramatically reduced and quality has greatly improved, but if you’re still on the fence, a display like KDS’ XF-7b might be your best bet. The 17-inch (16.02 viewable) DynaFlat CRT is for those who don’t want to sacrifice image quality for cost, particularly those in the graphic design field.

The XF-7b features a .20mm horizontal dot pitch that provides sharp images at resolutions up to 1,280 by 1,024 at a 60Hz refresh rate. Edge to edge, the monitor’s flat screen provides clear images with little or no blurring at the corners, as is typical with CRTs. The monitor is a hefty 40 pounds, but its sleek, silver and gray design and tapered back make it a smooth (and attractive) fit for any office environment. Additionally, the monitor is compatible with PCs and Macs (a Mac adapter may be required).

Perhaps the monitor’s biggest selling point, however, is the three-year limited warranty, which includes the KARES (KDS Advanced Replacement Express Service) program. The service lets users quickly receive a replacement unit should they have problems with the current one, rather than waiting weeks, which could seriously affect a small business’ productivity. The KARES program is available only in certain areas, however, so be sure to check your agreement (www.kdsusa.com, $169).

Plantronics’ MX100 cellular headset is a stylish twist on the traditional earbud design. Geared toward those on the go, the headset features the Flex Grip, a rubberized “tail” that fits behind the ear. But it does take some getting acclimated to, particularly if you wear earrings. In our tests, we found that the earbud wasn’t exactly the most comfortable fit and took a while to get used to, but once we removed our ear accoutrement, it fit like a glove.

The headset is compatible with most cell phones, including Samsung, Motorola, Audiovox, and Kyocera (www.plantron ics.com, $24.95).

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