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Samsung shows off displays

The electronics giant unveils a slew of new high-end LCD displays, including one product with a built-in TV tuner.

Samsung on Monday introduced several LCD monitors with high-end features--and prices.

The company's new products are slated to become available in the United States within the next several weeks and are designed for high-end uses of LCD (liquid crystal display) monitors, which are growing in popularity.

Among the new devices are 15-inch and 17-inch monitors with narrow edges, or "bezels," allowing more than one to fit more easily on a desktop, as well as monitors with built-in speakers. Another new Samsung product is a widescreen 17-inch screen with a built-in TV tuner designed for business and home use.

Another set of 17-inch and 19-inch monitors have both analog and digital inputs. These monitors, dubbed the SyncMaster 710t and 910t, also include narrow bezels, technology for adjusting brightness for different sorts of computer use, and software for controlling display features. Samsung said it also built in a quick response time to improve the display of motion video.

The features, though, don't come cheap. The 710t, for example, has an estimated street price of $619. That compares with average prices in the range of $459 to $499 for 17-inch monitors in the United States, according to research firm DisplaySearch.

"That's an expensive 17-inch display," said DisplaySearch analyst Chris Connery. But, he added, the products may make headway in the corporate market. "A lot of these features are very important to corporations who are now looking to adopt LCD monitors."

The top estimated street price for Samsung's new products is $819 for the SyncMaster 173MW display with a TV tuner and widescreen format, which allows users to watch a movie on DVD in its original filmed format. Among the monitor's other features are analog and digital inputs and built-in speakers.

LCD monitors are seen as an attractive alternative to bulky, heavier CRT (cathode-ray tube) monitors. Prices for the slimmer devices have been increasing, though. A critical LCD panel component has been in short supply, partly due to demand for LCD televisions.

That supply crunch has been easing. Connery expects prices for 19-inch monitors to begin falling soon, with 17-inch monitor prices possibly coming down in July or August.