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Need a New, Inexpensive Computer Monitor?

It all started last summer when my cousin sent me a link to this article by Jeff Atwood, concerning his discovery of the gray-market of inexpensive 27-inch IPS LCDs on eBay.

My beloved 23-inch Apple Cinema Display had been on the fritz for several months. It was a 9-year old monitor. It was getting dim and had something wrong with the logic board’s ability to recognize the power supply. In short, if the monitor ever lost power then I’d have to try and short-circuit / jumpstart the logic board into turning back on.

Now, I love the look of California-designed hardware on my desk as much as the next Apple nerd. But when my 23-inch ACD finally pooped out last fall, I wasn’t exactly set on replacing it with a Thunderbolt Display.

For one, knowing that new iMacs were on the horizon, I didn’t want to fork over $999 on a Thunderbolt Display when it was very possible that an update to those was on the horizon as well.

Secondly, I wasn’t totally comfortable with spending a thousand dollars on a display that I could find elsewhere for significantly less (albeit, with a few less features).

So I decided to get one of the same, cheap displays as Atwood had. Same as Atwood, I ordered the FSM-270YG. You can still find them on eBay (and if you look, you can even find them in matte).

Since I’d already tainted my all-Apple setup with a black, ugly, awesome mechanical keyboard, it made it easier to take the leap and get a black, ugly, awesome new monitor. You know, to match the keyboard.

Aside from being ugly, the disadvantage to the FSM-270YG is that it comes with no bells or whistles. There are no USB hubs, no thunderbolt ports for daisy chaining, no ethernet, no HD FaceTime camera, not even the ability to tilt the thing. Moreover, when you buy one of these monitors off eBay, you’re taking a gamble. If you get one with a dead pixel or 10, then you’re out of luck…

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