Key Takeaways:

  • There are several different monitor types, such as CRT, LCD, LED, and OLED.
  • LCD displays make up the lion’s share of the market, due to being made from inexpensive components.
  • In addition to type, monitors come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

There are a number of different types of high-quality computer monitors, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. These computer monitor types can be grouped into different categories.

Types of Computer Monitors

Generally speaking, there are three main types of computer monitor, though one is in its nascent stages and is not fully available to consumers.

Cathode Ray Tube

Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) monitors are the oldest display type. These CRT monitors date back to the first computer screen and the design is based on what was typically found in early television sets. This design uses cathode ray tubes to reflect an image back at the viewer. Due to the nature of the design, CRT displays can be extremely bulky and heavy and, as such, have fallen out of fashion in recent years. They are still the preferred choice for playing vintage video games and using older software applications.

Tip: Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) monitors are the oldest display type

Warning: Due to the nature of the design, CRT displays can be extremely bulky and heavy and, as such, have fallen out of fashion in recent years

LCD Displays

Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD) make up the lion’s share of modern computer screens that are available for purchase. These displays have gotten extremely cheap to produce and generally offer an optimized experience for most basic computing tasks, including gaming and video editing. As a warning, they can vary wildly when it comes to resolution and other metrics, so do your research before making a purchase. There are a number of different sub-categories that fall underneath the LCD umbrella, each of which designated by its panel type.

Tip: These displays have gotten extremely cheap to produce and generally offer an optimized experience for most basic computing tasks, including gaming and video editing

Warning: As a warning, they can vary wildly when it comes to resolution and other metrics, so do your research before making a purchase

LCD Panel Types

There are a number of different types of LCD panels, including In-Plane Switching (IPS), Twisted Nematic (TN), and Vertical Alignment (VA). Each of these panel types offers its own advantages and disadvantages. For instance, VA panels can experience burn-in, a condition where pixels lose brightness over time and leave image silhouettes on the screen. Of the three, IPS panels are generally known for offering the best color accuracy and highest resolution.

Warning: For instance, VA panels can experience burn-in, a condition where pixels lose brightness over time and leave image silhouettes on the screen

LED Displays

Light-emitting diode (LED) displays feature a technology that works similarly to what is found inside of LCD monitors. The main difference? A traditional LCD monitor uses fluorescent backlights and an LED monitor uses light-emitting diodes for backlights. LED monitors are generally considered to offer a better overall experience, with higher resolutions and brighter colors, but can be on the expensive side.

Warning: LED monitors are generally considered to offer a better overall experience, with higher resolutions and brighter colors, but can be on the expensive side

OLED Monitors

Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) monitors are the latest and greatest innovation in display technology. This design was originally used to manufacture high-end televisions with fantastic resolutions, 4K and 8K, but has since gone on to be used with computer monitors. OLED monitors offer ultra-fast pixel response times, incredibly high resolutions, and superb contrast ratios. There is, however, a downside. OLED monitors are extremely expensive, due to the nature of their internal components. The prices of OLED displays should drop significantly in the years to come, as components become cheaper to manufacture.

Tip: This design was originally used to manufacture high-end televisions with fantastic resolutions, 4K and 8K, but has since gone on to be used with computer monitors

Warning: There is, however, a downside. OLED monitors are extremely expensive, due to the nature of their internal components

Choosing the Best Computer Monitor for You

In addition to the above monitor types, there are a number of other factors that could determine the best display for you and your lifestyle.

Monitor Size

If you are a gamer or a professional photo or video editor, you may want to choose a larger-than-average LCD monitor. Monitors come in all different sizes, ranging from less than 21-inches all the way to 32-inches and beyond.

Tip: If you are a gamer or a professional photo or video editor, you may want to choose a larger-than-average LCD monitor

Ultrawide Monitors

If you regularly watch Hollywood movies on your computer display, then you may want to go with an ultrawide monitor. These monitors have wider aspect ratios than what is found with traditional screens. Average monitors clock in with a 16:9 aspect ratio, while ultrawides feature a 21:9 aspect ratio. The end result is an extremely enjoyable viewing experience.

Dual Monitor Setups

Many users choose to go with a dual monitor setup. This means that two monitors have been arranged side by side, creating the illusion of an extremely large display area. This setup is great for gaming and graphic designers. It can also be useful for programmers, as these users can rotate one monitor vertically, to better suit the programming application.

Tip: It can also be useful for programmers, as these users can rotate one monitor vertically, to better suit the programming application

STAT:

According to Nvidia, HDR can expand the color gamut by a factor of two, which amounts to roughly 75 percent of the visible color spectrum.

For gaming monitors, the highest response time you’ll likely see is 5ms, while the fastest gaming monitors can have a 0.5ms response time.

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathode-ray_tube

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

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid-crystal_display

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

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIu5hBTYTqg

Different Types of Monitors Explained FAQ

What is an IPS monitor?

IPS monitors or “In-Plane Switching” displays, use liquid crystals aligned in parallel to produce deep and rich colors.

Do I need overdrive or motion blur detection?

These technologies can be useful for hardcore or competitive gamers, but may not be worth the added cost to general consumers.

What monitor ports are the most common?

Nowadays, the most commonly found monitor ports are HDMI and USB-C. Legacy options, such as VGA and DVI, are also available.

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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