The great 8-bit monitor conundrum

— 10:44 AM on September 4, 2008

I have a pair of 20" 1600x1200 LCDs on my desk, and I really like this arrangement.  Both are Dell displays, and the older one of the two (a 2001FP) has begun to fail.  Most of the time, it has a two-inch-wide strip of flickering, garbled junk running down the middle of the screen.  The easiest path for me would be to order up another 20" LCD to replace it, but here's my worry: both current displays are true 8-bit panels with good color reproduction, a must for web work.  How do I replace this bum monitor with a new 8-bit display of the same size and resolution?  Has everything reasonably priced shifted to 6-bit panels?

A related question would be: can I find a wide-aspect monitor to plug in next to my other 20" display that has the same height and pixel pitch?  Looks like the closest match would be a 24" 1920x1200 monitor, but that would have a slightly larger pixel pitch (0.27 mm) than my 20" 1600x1200 display (0.255 mm).  Perhaps that would be a better place to hunt for an 8-bit panel, even if it's not a perfect match?  Hmm.

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