Tech Industry

Flat monitor hits $860

A Japanese firm's $860 14.1-inch model is the first sign that flat-panel monitors may come down in price more quickly than expected.

Artwork will market a high-quality 14.1-inch LCD monitor at a bargain basement price as early as next month in Japan.

The Japanese company will manufacture and market the liquid crystal displays for around $860, according to Nikkei Microdevices, a Japanese electronics publication.

LCD panels weigh less, consume less power, and take up much less space than typical CRT (cathode ray tube) monitors. However, LCD monitors have been much more expensive than conventional monitors, relegating them to niche markets.

Artwork's monitor will offer the lowest price point yet for a 14.1-inch LCD monitor. When IBM cut prices on its LCDs last month, a 14.1-inch display was discounted to $1,499. Compaq Computer offered a 14.5-inch display in February for $1,599.

Although LCD prices dropped steadily throughout 1997, analysts have said that the prices will not dip much below $1,100--still too expensive to make a serious dent in the market dominance of the CRT.

But Artwork's $860 LCD is the first sign that flat-panel monitors may come down in price more quickly than expected.

Artwork said the low prices are possible because it will hand over its proprietary low-cost flat-panel technology to Korean manufacturer LG Electronics in exchange for the LCDs, Nikkei reported. The company also announced a 12.1-inch LCD for $540.