It’s been a good handful days in terms of purchases thanks to the return I received from the Tax Man, Mr. SARS, including a brand new baby car seat for Jessica (for a whopping R1,400!), a Preacher graphic novel for a ridiculous R5, and second hand copies of Dante’s Inferno and Red Dead Redemption for next to nothing. And taking into account the money made from my successful little trip to Cash Crusaders on Saturday and then deducting the R900 or so for my tooth extraction, the end result of it all was that I had a little bit of spare cash available to me which I decided to spend on myself for a change – so I went out in search for a new desktop monitor!

Although I didn’t strictly need a new monitor, my 19″ Acer LCD is still going strong, the sudden loss of my laptop has deprived me of a standalone Windows machine, and seeing as my little Ubuntu server box is currently sitting quite underutilized at the moment, it would make for a perfect second desktop machine – and because I have such a huge desk space in the study, there’s no reason not to buy a second monitor instead of succumbing to the space saving KVM switches route!

So during lunch on Tuesday I raced out to the mall, and quickly did a fair bit of shop-hopping to determine what monitors are available, in what sizes and what would actually fit my admittedly fairly tight budget. As it turned out, the best monitor I could get for the amount of money I had to spend is actually the exact same monitor I recently got at work, the fantastic Samsung SyncMaster SA300 20″ LED monitor. I found if for R1,200 at both Game and Dion Wired, opting to purchase it from the latter seeing as I’ve never purchased something from them before and was keen to give them a chance.

The monitor itself is a thing of absolute beauty. Ultra thin and lightweight, the SA300 monitor impresses with its clarity and brightness, with an unbelievably wide viewing angle that basically allows you to see what is being displayed on the screen no matter which angle you approach it from!

According to its stats it is hugely power efficient, and like I mentioned before, Samsung’s dynamic contrast technology results in some of the brightest and most clear images that you can imagine for something not running in HD. It is in a widescreen format with suggested resolution running at 1600×900, a plus for me as it provides me with more screen real estate when programming in pane-heavy IDE environments.

Oh, and it comes with a standard year warranty in case you were wondering.

Needless to say, I’m pretty happy with this one! :)