When buying the best computer monitor it’s crucial to know what to look for. This starts with deciding whether you want a monitor for day-to-day use, gaming, or professional use. From there, you can consider features like size, resolution, and more to choose the best computer monitor model for you.

Key Takeaways:

Tips for Buying a Computer Monitor

1. Know the Different Types of Monitors

Understanding the different types of monitors available is the first step in choosing the best one for you. Most monitor features are catered to three main usages: general use, gaming, and professional.

General Use

General use monitors are the most common type of computer monitor. These displays are ideal for day-to-day computing tasks like word processing, internet browsing, streaming, and the like. These displays are ideal for home use, as business monitors, and for students. They’re generally budget-friendly and are around 24-inches in size. Most general use screens have at least 1080-pixel resolution, which is HD, so you can enjoy crisp images.

Tip: General use monitors are the most common type of computer monitor

Gaming

Gaming monitors require high performance, including quick response times and a minimum refresh rate. Higher refresh rates ensure that fast-moving imagery won’t blur. The sweet spot for a serious monitor for gaming is one that has a 120Hz refresh rate. Hardcore gamers will look for screens with an even higher refresh rate of 144Hz or 240Hz. Gaming displays tend to be larger — a 27-inch monitor is typical. These types of monitors most commonly have 1920 x 1080 full HD resolution, though this can go up to 4K and even 8K.

Tip: Gaming monitors require high performance, including quick response times and a minimum refresh rate

Professional Grade

Professional grade monitors are used by photo, video, and graphics professionals. These types of monitors are designed to deliver the most accurate colors and detailed images for professional users. Color quality and color temperature are very important, so it’s essential that these displays have great dynamic range and a high screen resolution of at least 2560 x 1440-pixels. A screen display like this has advanced technology that isn’t needed for most consumers.

Tip: Professional grade monitors are used by photo, video, and graphics professionals

Warning: A screen display like this has advanced technology that isn’t needed for most consumers.

2. Consider the Display Features

Once you determine the type of monitor that suits your needs, you can look at different features of the display that affect its quality and performance.

Size

The size of a display is the diagonal measurement from one corner to another. The best way to decide on screen size is by considering how much space you have, how close you sit to the screen, your usage, and the price range you’re looking for. Start by looking at screens that are 21 to 27-inches large. This is a good range to start in to get a sense of quality and price differences. Most general users find a screen of 24 or 25-inches ideal, whereas gamers prefer something 27-inches or larger.

Tip: The size of a display is the diagonal measurement from one corner to another

Resolution

The majority of monitors available have 1080-pixel full HD resolution. This will deliver a picture that is clear and crisp enough for most common usage. It is not recommended to buy anything with a lower resolution than 1080. 4K resolution, also known as UHD or Ultra HD, is becoming increasingly popular. These 3840 x 2160-pixel resolution monitors are great for gaming and watching 4K videos. 4K resolution is, for all intents and purposes, the highest you need, even though 8K resolution screens are starting to become available.

Warning: It is not recommended to buy anything with a lower resolution than 1080

Flat vs. Curved

Flat-screen monitors are the standard type of screen. Curved monitors have become increasingly popular because they improve wide viewing angles and are designed to give users a more immersive viewing experience, which can be great for gaming. Some users may not be as comfortable with the viewing experience on a curved screen. Be sure to try out different monitor types to see how your eyes adjust to the experience. Additionally, curved screens cost at least 25-percent more than a comparable flat-screen model.

4. Check Connections and Compatibility

Before you buy your monitor, it’s essential to make sure that it’s compatible with your computer or laptop. Check the display’s input and output connectors as well as any potential system requirements it may have.

Warning: Before you buy your monitor, it’s essential to make sure that it’s compatible with your computer or laptop

Video Connectors

HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB-C are the three most common current connector types for monitors. Of the three, HDMI cables and ports are the most prevalent. HDMI allows for fast transmission of both high-quality video and audio. DisplayPort connections are only found on higher-end gaming and professional monitors because they can transmit 8K resolution video. USB-C ports are versatile and useful if you are connecting a monitor to a laptop.

Tip: HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB-C are the three most common current connector types for monitors

System Requirements

While most consumer monitors are compatible with both Apple and PC operating systems, it is important to check. Some displays may require the installation of software or a driver that may not be compatible with your current computer’s operating system. You may need to update your system before you can use the monitor.

5. Choose the Monitor for Your Needs

Computer monitors come in an array of sizes with a wide range of features and screen technology. While it may be tempting to get the latest and greatest model, consider your needs based on the factors above. A professional-grade monitor with advanced features may be too complicated and intimidating for everyday use. Likewise, you’ll be unhappy if you purchase a monitor for gaming that doesn’t perform at a high enough level.

STAT:

Revenue in the PC Monitors & Projectors segment amounts to US$3,250m in 2021. The market is expected to grow annually by 0.73% (CAGR 2021-2025).

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_common_resolutions

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_monitor

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Display_resolution

https://store.hp.com/us/en/tech-takes/what-monitor-ports-do-i-need

https://www.consumerreports.org/computer-monitors/how-to-choose-a-computer-monitor/

 

How to Buy the Best Computer Monitor FAQ

Which features matter for general use monitors?

Screen size and resolution are the most important features to consider. The most common size range for these types of displays is between 21 to 24-inches, though you may want to consider a larger screen depending on your space and budget. Look for monitors that have at least 1080HD resolution to ensure a crisp, clear picture.

Which features matter most for gaming monitors?

Generally speaking, a display’s refresh rate is the single most important feature to consider when buying a gaming monitor. The refresh rate directly affects if blurring or tearing occurs on-screen during your gaming experience. For the novice and casual gaming, a refresh rate of 75Hz is likely fast enough. For more advanced gaming, choose a monitor with a 120Hz, 144Hz, or 240Hz refresh rate.

What screen size do I need?

Pick a screen size that best suits your usage, the space you’re placing it in, and your budget. The most common sizes for regular use fall between 21 to 24-inches. Larger screens of 25-inches and up generally also come with higher resolution and other more advanced features. The price of monitors can increase dramatically in the larger size range.

What are the price ranges for different monitor types?

The most cost-effective LCD monitors fall into a price range of one- to two-hundred dollars. Prices increase from there based on screen size, resolution, panel type, refresh rate, and other features. Gaming displays have a wide price range anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to over one-thousand dollars. Professional grade monitors used for tasks like graphic design and video editing can reach even higher costs.

What should my gaming monitor's refresh rate and response time be?

Gaming monitors should have higher refresh rates and as low of a response time as possible. You get away with a minimum 75Hz refresh rate for a relatively smooth gaming experience. Ideally, avid gamers use monitors with a 120Hz refresh rate, especially if you want to play more advanced games. As far as response time goes, make sure that it is no longer than 5ms, which is good enough for casual gaming. The average eye is unlikely to notice the difference between 1ms and 5ms.

Noah Staum

Noah has a special ability to discover stellar new products (read: spends hours online shopping), especially if they help people create, watch, listen to music, and improve quality of life. Based in Los Angeles, he’s worked with several global social apps and is the creator of nonormal.life and White Spot Studios.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *