I also got a new monitor

In addition to the new laptop, I also took advantage of Prime Day to get a new monitor.  As you can see in my last office photo, I've been using old monitors that I just had lying around for the past year or so.  But I figured that as long as I was upgrading my laptop, I might as well get a new monitor to go with it.

After going back and forth a bit, I decided to pick up this on sale for $170.  It's a 27-inch ViewSonic HD gaming monitor.  This is by far the largest monitor I've ever had and the picture quality is quite good.  It's nice to have a monitor that's legitimately big enough to put multiple windows side by side and actually have them be usable.  It also has decent built-in speakers and a very nice adjustable stand.  The height can be changed quite a lot, it rotates easily , and can flip the monitor into portrait mode.  

Of course, this also necessitated some other purchases: a new KVM and VGA to HDMI converter.  My desktop is very old, so it only has a VGA interface, whereas the new monitor only does Display Port and HDMI.  And since the desktop only has VGA, naturally that's what my old 2-port KVM had as well. So I ended up getting a 4-port HDMI KVM so that I could hook up my desktop, work laptop, and home laptop all at the same time.  I also decided on a VGA to HDMI converter with an audio out port, so I was also able to get rid of the big, clunky speakers on my desk (which I seldom used anyway).

I'm pretty happy with the new setup.  Having a good monitor is awesome - especially for playing Halo (but that's another post altogether).  The lack of external speakers compensates for the desk space taken up by the new monitor, so I don't feel at all cramped.  I also like that the new KVM has USB hub functionality, unlike my old one, so it only needs one USB port.  This makes it a simple 2-plug process to "dock" my laptop and use the big screen.  And with the extra ports, I also have the option of just leaving it hooked up and being able to switch from "work mode" to "play mode" with the press of a button.  That also means I can easily use my UHK with my laptop, which rocks.

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