The Wide World of Monitors

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Accessorize Your Monitor

The right accessory can transform your flat-panel from staid to standout.

For instance, HP's $13 Easy Clip Accessory Kit includes a vase and photo holders that attach to the edge of its displays.

PC and monitor maker Gateway sells a bare-bones line of wide-screen monitors that can be tricked out to match the features of loaded displays. For example, its 19-inch, $230 wide-screen FPD1975W has optional speakers ($30), and an alternative stand that will let you do height adjustments ($50). For the extra costs, however, you may be better off getting a bigger monitor with all those options included. ViewSonic carries a line of monitors called ViewDock with built-in iPod docks, and--for people who want swank--is planning to let users add Swarovski crystals to its LCD bezels.

The most cramped desks may benefit from a desk-mounted monitor arm like Ergotron's $130 LX (pictured) or a wall mounting kit. Most displays have a provision for such mounts, usually exposed after you detach the stand from the back panel.

Then you have modding sites, such as Steampunk or MetkuMods), that take display customization to the extreme. You'll need to be comfortable opening up electronics, be handy with a screwdriver, and in some cases be ready to spray-paint. But with lots of patience, you can add eye-catching LEDs and customized bezels to change a boring monitor into a desirable objet d'art.

--Roy Santos

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