Monitor -
A Buyers Guide

Are you ready for a new monitor? You probably spend time in front of a monitor every day, so if you're shopping for a new one, you want information that helps you make the best choice.

Which monitor you need depends on the applications you use, the amount of desk space you have, and how much you want to spend. From standard-issue 19-inchers to 31.5-inch monsters, here's how to sort out what you need.

 

Display Type

Standard LCD/LED

There are many variables involved depending on the amount of money you are prepared to spend (see Key features). In most cases, the cost of the monitor will rise as the image quality, resolution and refresh rate increase. There are three types of standard LCD/LED monitors.

 

Twisted nematic (TN)


This one is most common and has a fast responds time, is capable of a higher refresh rate but least accurate colour reproduction of all monitors on the market. Suitable for the average user and gamer.

Vertical alignment (VA)


This monitor is less common and has a slower response time than TN but a better colour reproduction. These monitors are slightly more expensive.

IPS (IN-plane switching)


These monitors offer great quality colour reproduction, a better contrast, darker blacks and generally a better image overall. When viewing at different angels the quality does not degrade as much as with standard monitors.

 

3D

These monitors can output 2D and 3D images but they require a compatible graphics card.

 

Touchscreen

Touchscreen monitors are ideal for multipurpose use and home entertainment. If you are thinking about a touchscreen monitor choose one with edge to edge glass for easy swiping.

 

G-SYNC

This is the newest display technology that delivers the smoothest gaming experience to today's standard coming from no other than NVIDIA®. The smoothness is achieved by synchronising the display refresh rates to the GPU in your GeForce® GTX-powered desktop or notebook, which minimises display shutter and input lag, eliminates screen tearing giving you the following: sharper looking objects, scenes appear sharper and a super smooth gameplay. You will experience stunning visuals and that serious competitive edge you have been looking for.

 

Size, ratio, responds time and resolution

Standard LCD/LED

There are many variables involved depending on the amount of money you are prepared to spend (see Key features). In most cases, the cost of the monitor will rise as the image quality, resolution and refresh rate increase. There are three types of standard LCD/LED monitors.

 

Monitor size


Monitor size ranges from usually from 18" to 35" which is measured in inches diagonally across. Choosing a larger monitor provides more work space for complex programs which is normally what a designer or Gamer would prefer but is not necessary for daily office work with office or surfing the web. The bigger the monitor is the heavier it will be, so keep that in mind.

monitor size
 

Aspect Ratio


The aspect ratio these days would be 16:9 but a few manufactures also have released 21:9 monitors which are useful for working with multiple programs such as long images documents like spreadsheets or wide-screen video games. Widescreen and Ultrawide monitors have a 16:9 or 16:10 aspect ratio.

aspect ratio
 

Response time

Response time is the amount of time a pixel in a display takes to change and is measured in milliseconds. The lower the number the faster the transition meaning fewer visible image artefacts. There is no industry standard for responds time. 5 ms is typical for monitors and 2 ms is hardly noticeable but said that would be ideal for gaming.

 

Resolution

Resolution means the number of pixels that displayed on your screen and the more pixels, the more detail you will get.

 
resolution
 

HD and HD+


HD (1366 x 768) and HD+ (1600 x 900) usually available on 15" to 20" which provide a quality picture not breaking the bank.

Full HD


Full HD (1920 x 1080) has a resolution equivalent to 1080p HDTVs providing you with a crystal clear picture for everyday use or watching videos.

Quad HD


The Quad HD (2560 x 1440) monitor would give you four times as many pixels as 720p HD, delivering amazing image clarity which is suitable for CAD, graphic design and Photoshop.

4K Ultra HD


If you are looking for the best resolution available then the 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) monitor has the best resolution available. It's great for gamers, graphics pros and movie fans who want to see the finest detail.

 

Connections

 
HDMI icon

HDMI

 

High Defintion Multimedia Interface

 

HDMI is supported by most monitors and DVI connections are similar to HDMI providing both video and audio signals. DisplayPort is the best choice for very high resolutions and frame rates.

HDMI
 
VGA icon

VGA

 

Video Graphics Array

 

VGA is the old analogue technology. It can carry fairly high resolutions and frame rates, but you won't get the crystal clear images that you do with DVI and last USB ports which can plug your smartphone, tablet, digital camera and other devices in, letting you view your content on your monitor.

VGA
 
DVI icon

DVI

 

Digital Visual Interface

 

DVI is a digital video interface. It is able to support both digital and analogue video signals over a single DVI cable.

DVI
 
 

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