New Gateway 21" Widescreen LCD at Best Buy

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Phila, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. Phila macrumors newbie

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    Feb 9, 2005
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    Champaign, IL
    #1
    EDIT
    I thought I'd update this post now that Gateway has the monitor up on their webpage. Interestingly, they offer an extension to a 3-yr warranty for only $29 versus $119 from Best buy. Does anyone have any experience w/ Gateway warranties? I'm going to read the policy myself, but my legalese to english translation probably won't be perfect.

    The accessories page for this monitor:
    http://accessories.gateway.com/Acce...4/20_D1_21+inch+LCD_381955/7005483_ProdDetail

    /EDIT

    I've been reading these forums for about a year now, and this is one of my first posts. I apologize for its length.

    I've been keeping my eye on the larger LCD monitors for a while now, planning on upgrading from my venerable Samsung 955DF 19" flat-screen CRT when the time was right. I finally made a purchase on Monday after coming across a brand new Gateway model at Best Buy. This is partially in anticipation of buying my first mac for personal use (I have a work supplied powerbook G4).

    I was hesitant to buy this particular monitor because I could not find a single review of it online. In fact, I've only come across two links concerning it.
    The best buy page :
    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage...t&productCategoryId=cat01012&id=1125466651583
    And the user's manual online at Gateway:
    http://support.gateway.com/s/manuals/Desktops/8511026.pdf

    The price is $599, and it includes more features than the Apple or Dell displays, here are some of the specs:

    * 21" TFT active matrix S-PVA with Anti-glare coating
    * 1680x1050 native at 75 Hz
    * 16:10 aspect ratio
    * 300 cd/m^2 and 1000:1 Contrast ratio
    * 178 degree horizontal and vertical view angles
    * 16 ms or 8 ms (gray to gray)
    * 16.7 million colors (that means it isn't 6-bit, correct?)
    * Rotating Display

    And lots of inputs:
    * 15-pin mini d-sub VGA (usual CRT input)
    * Digital (DVI-D) with 480i,480p,720p, and 1080i w/ HDCP support
    * Composite Video
    * S-Video
    * Component Y Pb Pr (480i, 480p, 7220p, and 1080i)
    * 4 USB 2.0
    * Optional Audio Speaker Bar (haven't seen any info on this yet)

    So far I'm very pleased with the purchase. I have no dead pixels, and the picture is significantly better than any of the other monitors on display at Best buy. To my untrained eye, it matches, if not exceeds the quality of Apple's Cinema Displays, though, admittedly, I've only seen a few of these and never had the chance to use one for an extended period of time.

    I see this monitor as a direct competitor to Dell's 2005FPW and the 20" Apple Cinema Display. The reason I chose the Gateway are
    a) price - although I've seen the Dell for less, $600 is still very competitive
    b) DCDi - I'd never heard of this until I began reasearching this monitor, but it is basically an upsampling algorithm which improves the smoothness of low resolution signals. See here for more info:
    http://www.av-outlet.com/en-us/dept_335.html
    c) HDCP support. Supposedly this will be required to view future High Def. content in Windows Vista. I wouldn't be surprised if it turned up in future versions of OS X as well. Here is some info on that:
    http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=26703
    d) Picture-in-Picture. This is supported on a variety of input combinations, and there is a button on the monitor to swap the full-screen and the small-screen inputs.

    Ok, well this post has gone on long enough. Best Buy has a 15 day return policy. There is no restocking fee if the monitor is defective, I'm not sure otherwise. I did have a scary experience where the monitor lost the signal once and kind of froze. It wouldn't display the on screen menus, or even respond to the power button. I resorted to flipping the switch on my power strip. Although the incident was isolated, I'd feel justified in return the monitor. $600 is a lot for me to spend, so I expect it to work 100% correctly. So, I'm looking for advice. Has anyone else even seen this monitor? What do you think about the specs, and my reasons for choosing it over the Dell and Apple options? Any advice is appreciated. The monitor will be my main display for at least the next 4 years.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. maxterpiece macrumors 6502a

    maxterpiece

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2003
    #2
    wait out the full 15 days and see how you feel about it. YOu have good reason to be careful because it has apparently just been released and sometimes there are problems with products when they first come out.

    If you are still really nervous about it at the end of 15 days then give it back and get something you will feel more comfortable with. Otherwise, gateway is a big company and I'm sure you'll have support if anything goes wrong.
     
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Location Location Location
    #3
    I had actually thought they went out of business. :p

    Good to learn of another inexpensive, but decent LCD provider.
     
  4. Gmac07 macrumors member

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    Jul 13, 2005
    #4
    Yea i work at in the computer department at Best Buy and we just put this baby on display and i was truly surpised by the crisp picture it has. It can be used as a HD TV and a computer monitor, most lcd hdtv's we have just dont have the resolution to be a good computer monitor but so far this is the best blend of LCD TV and computer monitor I've seen. plus all the inputs and technical specs listed above make it very versatile. yea its brand new so you never know if there will be any bugs still to be worked out but just wait until the end of the 14 days, also did you buy the service plan on it? I would recomend it because the second that thing breaks Best Buy will replace it. you got the 14 days to buy that. but good luck with it, Id buy it if i got a better discount than $70 off.
     
  5. Phila thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 9, 2005
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    Champaign, IL
    #5
    I bought it at the Best Buy in Champaign, IL, where do you work? I just received a 10% off coupon which works for TV's. I didn't even think about using it for the monitor until just now. It is basically an HDTV as well as a monitor, so do you think they would accept the coupon?

    I haven't bought the service plan yet. It costs $119, which is just plain ridiculous. If the monitor were $100 less, the srvice plan would be $49. The manufacturer's warranty is for 1 year, so for that to be a good buy, there would have to be an almost 1 in 4 chance of the monitor going bad during years 2 or 3. It is an even worse option when you consider how much the price on the monitor will have dropped by then. In reality, the monitor would probably need a 33% failure rate over years 2 and 3 for the service plan to be worth it. Of course, my decision not to buy the service plan is being factored into my decision to return it or not.

    Thanks for the advice everyone who has resonded. Right now I'm leaning towards the return, although going back to my CRT would be tough. This is one of the first LCDs that I've seen with a significantly better image.
     
  6. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

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    #6
    Don't mean to rip on you, Gmac07, but does anyone else find it amusing that the Best Buy employee shows up and immediately asks if they purchased the extended warranty?

    You had solid input into the discussion and I'm sure you are actually trying to give good advice here, but in light of Best Buy's well known extended warranty pressure tactics, I found it a bit humorous.

    I'm waiting for the second Best Buy employee to show up in this thread for the famous double-team...
     
  7. jer446 macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 28, 2004
    #7
    i dont work for bestbuy but they dont work on commission.. i know many employees there and they even admit on some things not to buy it, but on plasmas most agree to buy it as well as other large items.. Additionally, they dont work on commision.
     
  8. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

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    #8
    I agree that extended warranties are a good idea on some things, but it's the Best Buy pushiness that is ridiculous. For those who haven't seen it, here's the text of a supposed internal memo to Best Buy sales associates. (The original link is down, as the guy changed blog sites and he didn't transfer his archive...)
    This certainly describes my Best Buy experiences, so I wouldn't be surprised if this is legit. Another interesting thing...have you noticed that most high-priced items (a couple of hundred bucks counting as high-priced) require the sales associate to hand write a sales receipt? Why is this necessary in this day and age? Of course...it's to give them time to push the extended warranties. I bought a MiniDV camcorder at Best Buy...after declining the coverage several times, I finally got the sales associate to write up the sales form, but then he insisted on carrying my box (about 6"x6"x6" and no more than five pounds) up to the register, where he then insisted on standing in line with me (trying to sell me the extended warranty again) for 5 minutes until I got to the register, where he set down my box and walked away. Gosh, how did he think I was going to carry that thing to my car?
     
  9. Gmac07 macrumors member

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    Jul 13, 2005
    #9
    umm what benefit would i get to sell someone a warranty over the internet?? I could care less if people buy it or not. but what i can tell you is that EVERY single employee who buys a TV or laptop buys service. If we all thought it was a scam why would we waste our own money? I dont pressure people in anyway i just inform people of potential problems and ways to get around those problems. Why do people on this forum always recommend AppleCare???
     
  10. Gmac07 macrumors member

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  11. Gmac07 macrumors member

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    Jul 13, 2005
    #11
    haha that conversation is so fake! you guys are ridiculous! Best Buy doesnt even charge by the hour to fix computers. And not once have i ever been told to "tag team" a customer. we dont even look into how many psp's we sell!
     
  12. Gmac07 macrumors member

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    Jul 13, 2005
    #12
    this thread was supposed to be about a monitor and you gota go hijack it and turn it into a lets bash best buy thread. Why dont you give the guy with the monitor some advice, if not dont post in this thread.
     
  13. ohcrap macrumors 6502a

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  14. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

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    Gmac07, relax! I already said that I believe that your intentions were good and that extended warranties are sometimes a good idea. (Heck, I always buy AppleCare...)

    I was just amused at your recommendations within the context of what I've experienced at and heard about Best Buy. And yes, the conversation is fake...it's supposed to be an example of how to handle a customer. As to the validity of the "memo," who knows...it just wouldn't surprise me if it were true (not at the national level, but at a single store perhaps).

    You brought up the extended warranty issue, and the OP mentioned it as well in his reply. I don't really view my post as hijacking, but to each his own...
     
  15. Psychic Shopper macrumors member

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    Oct 12, 2003
    Location:
    Cleveland Ohio
    #15
    . I bought a MiniDV camcorder at Best Buy...after declining the coverage several times, I finally got the sales associate to write up the sales form, but then he insisted on carrying my box (about 6"x6"x6" and no more than five pounds) up to the register, where he then insisted on standing in line with me (trying to sell me the extended warranty again) for 5 minutes until I got to the register, where he set down my box and walked away. Gosh, how did he think I was going to carry that thing to my car?[/QUOTE]
    I bought a stove at Best Buy, and the kid wheeled up to about 10 feet from the door, turned around and walked away with the dolly. I got mad and just dragged it out the door, while the greeters just watched. Most extended warranties are only for an additional 2 years btw.
     
  16. Phila thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Champaign, IL
    #16
    Edited the original post with more information:

     
  17. cwerdna macrumors 6502

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    Jan 19, 2005
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    SF Bay Area, California
    #17
    2005FPW cheap again

    The 2005FPW are back at a reasonable price again: $394 after coupons w/free shipping. I ordered one yesterday. Hard to say if the Gateway is worth $200 extra.

    http://dealmac.com/search.html?search=2005fpw
     
  18. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #18
    The Gateway looks to be comparable to the Dell. The Dell IIRC comes with a 3 year warranty from the get go. 21" vs 20.4" is likely just marketing-speak.

    It's not surprising that they are similar since neither Gateway nor Dell actually manufacture these monitors inhouse, they are each having them built for them under contract around one of the three or four available 20 (.0, .4 or 1) panels.

    The thing I would be wondering about is where will Gateway be in three years? They are not in good shape financially, according to various articles.
     
  19. Phila thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Champaign, IL
    #19
    I took the monitor back today, and seeing that Dell deal makes me feel better about the decision. The power issue made me nervous, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized I'd rather get a mac first, and then the monitor. Given all of the mac mini video-out problems, it makes sense to have the mini on hand when evaluating a monitor.

    Thank you to everyone for the advice.
     
  20. powerbook911 macrumors 68040

    powerbook911

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    #20
    The Apple display is only $150 more than that, from Amazon. I think the $150 is worth it.
     

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