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Christmas Gift Guide
Tech Industry

2010 monitors preview

We take a look at what we'll possibly see at CES 2010 in the monitor category.

Dell's SX2210 multitouch screen may be a sign on what we'll see more of at CES 2010. And by "what", I'm of course referring to the many cases of gorilla arms. Dell

Last year, after the dust settled on CES 2009, it became clear to me that there were three major trends dictating the development of new monitors: Full HD resolutions, eco-friendly displays that use less power, and LED backlight technology.

Since CES 2009, all three trends have begun to grow. The vast majority of monitors I reviewed in 2009 were Full HD, 16:9 displays. Also, from Dell's G line to BenQ's recent stark white offering (with an embedded flower pot), the eco-friendly trend is not going away anytime soon. It helps that some of these eco-conscious monitors actually live up to the lower power consumption hype, according to our tests.

Finally, after a disappointing showing last year, the LED monitor market is finally starting to take off. Roughly 30 percent of the monitors I've reviewed since September 2009 have had LED backlights built into them.

Going into CES 2010, I expect more of the same, with a few refinements.

More LEDs
As vendors ramp up production and LED monitors become cheaper to make, expect more of them. Also, expect them to start really using the awesome technology within them: This means thinner screens, brighter screens, and better color fidelity.

Can you hear the eco?
While green may no longer be the new black, it's still definitely still in this year. Expect to see more monitors that draw less power as well as more monitors that include gimmicky little extras like baby flower pots to prove just how green they are. Also, expect promotional videos that are reminiscent of mid '90s Saturn car commercials with more running water and lush, green environments.

Touch screens
Touch screens and, in particular, multitouch screens are already allowing us to live out our "Minority Report" fantasies. Major monitor vendors such as HP, Dell, and Acer have all thrown in their respective hats into the touch-screen mix. I foresee much a larger presence for this trend in 2010.

I've yet to use multitouch technology on anything other than an iPhone, so I'm very curious at just how practical they'll be to use while sitting at your desk, with your arms outstretched in front of you. On paper, it doesn't sound that appealing, but we'll see.

Higher resolutions
Previous 27-inch models topped out at 1,920x1,200-pixel resolution, but Apple recently released its new 27-inch iMac with a resolution of 2,560x1,440 pixels. We expect this to be a trend with monitors at the show.

No doubt, all (or at least most) will be revealed come early January.