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Unlike most other parts of the PC, another issue that is important when evaluating monitors is their physical size. Some monitors, especially the larger ones of course, can be surprisingly bulky and heavy. Imagine how surprised some people are after making the big decision to get a new 20" monitor when they get it home and it doesn't fit on their desk! The picture tube of the monitor is large and many people don't think about the depth required by a larger screen, which can approach two feet.
Warning: There is also a bit of
a safety issue here, when dealing with the larger screens. They can be very heavy.
It is not unheard of for a 21" monitor in its box to push 100 pounds. In addition to
posing a risk to you if you lift it, you also threaten your PC if you use a desktop box
and put the monitor on top of it. While this is fine for smaller monitors and sometimes OK
for larger ones, I wouldn't personally put a 100 pound weight on top of my PC. This is
even moreso if you are using one of the small slimline boxes, which tend to be cheaply
made with tightly packed components.
Of course every monitor has different physical dimensions depending on the manufacturer. The table below shows some approximate dimensions for monitors in each size category:
There is one other issue as well: screen location. The conventional PC setup has the monitor located only a couple of feet away from the user's face, on a desktop. When you are dealing with a 20" or 21" monitor, this is generally not a reasonable option, because the monitor is just too large!
Next: CRT Characteristics