The PanoView 745 falls 16 percent from $1,072, indicative of the market's rapid decline this year. Previously too expensive for the mainstream market, lower-end flat-panel displays are beginning to reach price points occupied by top-line CRT monitors.
A 15-inch CRT--the functional equivalent of a 14-inch flat panel--typically sells in the $200 to $300 range. But vendors like IBM and Mitsubishi continue to offer premium models for more than $700.
Although the traditional CRT monitors remain the predominant display technology, accounting for 7.6 million units per quarter in the United States this year, flat-panel displays under the sub-$1,000 barrier have begun to pick up market share. according to market research firm Stanford Resources.
"As the displays drop below the $1,000 price point, sales are expanding beyond the niche markets," concluded a recent Stanford report. Currently, flat panels appear most frequently in ATMs; financial, medical, and transportation applications; and some touch-screen kiosks.
"Crossing the $1,000 price point is significant, as this figure represents a purchase barrier for many managers, requiring a signature of someone higher in the corporate chain before the purchase can be made," the report noted.
The PanoView 745 weighs 12.1 pounds, comes with two internal speakers, and offers 1024-by-768-pixel resolution. No special adaptations are required to plug it into a standard PC, according to the company.