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So I currently have a setup which has two monitors. Recently I have been thinking that this setup is less than ideal, because there is no primary monitor right in front of me for me to focus on, I end up choosing one of them arbitrarily (the right one seems to win most of the time) and then I get some pain from looking to one side most of the day. So, I want to get a third monitor. The problem is: I can't buy a third monitor which is the same dimensions as the two I have, because everything is widescreen nowadays.

The monitors I have right now are a pair of Dell 2001FPs. This gives me a great resolution of 1600x1200, and I want to have optimally 1200 resolution in the vertical, so that it will match. I'm fine with the new one being widescreen - in fact it makes sense to have a primary as widescreen to me and off to the sides have 4:3s. The problem is that none of the specs online will tell me how tall the viewable area is. I've found a number of monitors with 1920x1200 resolution, but I don't know which size (diagonal) to get.

How can I find out how tall physically a monitor will be so it matches with the ones I have?

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Can you post the panel size of the monitors you have and anything you're looking at? It should be listed as a diagonal value, and make sure its only the panel size, not the bezel size (as bezels can be differently-sized but adjusted to be taller or shorter to match another monitor's panel). – Andrew Scagnelli Aug 6 '09 at 13:35
My current panels (2001FP) is 16.1in by 12.1in, or at least that is what it says on the spec sheet. I can measure more accurately when I get back to them. – jamuraa Aug 6 '09 at 13:38
up vote 4 down vote accepted

If you know the diagonal viewable length (of the existing 4:3 monitors), and you know the aspect ratio is 16:10 (for the new monitor you'd like to purchase), then this becomes a problem in math, i.e. solving a system of equations for a single unknown. Or, try out the TV Calculator until you get something that works.

I played around with it, and it seems you'll need about a 23" (diagonal) 16:10 monitor.

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23" is ideal, unfortunately, most 23" monitors only offer 1680x1050. It won't be perfect, but 24" monitors are 1920x1200, and should work better for you. – Andrew Scagnelli Aug 6 '09 at 14:10
Agreed -- if finding a good 23" at 1920x1200 is difficult, then 24" is the next best. There do exist such 23", but question is: with so little selection, are any of them any good? – Chris W. Rea Aug 6 '09 at 15:08

Take a tape measure and go visit your local computer screen store.

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