What is a Monitor?

Updated: Feb 9, 2024 7:23 PM

Every desktop computer needs a monitor in order to function. This fact may lead some to wonder exactly what a computer monitor is. We are here to help.

What is a Monitor?

A monitor displays images that have been fed to the video card by the computer. These monitors come in a number of different sizes. There are tons of monitor types to suit the various needs of consumers.

Types of PC Displays

There are three distinct types of monitors, each of which offers its own distinct advantages and disadvantages.

OLED Displays

An OLED display works using organic electroluminescent diodes. In short, rather than passing a backlight through a layer of liquid crystal, each pixel of an OLED display can produce and control its own light. OLED monitors offer unparalleled contrast and an increased viewing angle compared to other types of display.

The downsides? A risk of permanent burn-in, and the fact that they require a massive amount of power and radiate a fair amount of heat during use. In other words, having multiple OLED displays running constantly will significantly increase your power bill. They also tend to be on the expensive side.

Moreover, if you’re purchasing an expensive monitor like OLED or QLED, you’ll want to invest in a high-end computer warranty. Just make sure it covers all the best parts.

LCD Monitors

A liquid-crystal display (LCD) is a flat-panel design that uses light-modulating liquid crystals to create a picture. They’re also known as LED monitors, as LEDs provide the backlights for them. They have a relatively small footprint, both in their overall size and in regard to energy consumption.

LCD monitors have also significantly decreased in price throughout the years, offering gorgeous visuals at a fraction of the cost of their OLED cousins. LCD monitors can run into some quality issues, however, with stuck pixels and other ailments being relatively common.

CRT Displays

CRT monitors are made with cathode ray tubes and are the oldest type of computer display, using a technology similar to what was found in early television sets. These types of monitors have fallen out of fashion in recent years, due to being extremely heavy and larger than OLED or LCD displays.

On the plus side, CRT displays are a fantastic way to play retro video games, as these games were designed with CRT monitors in mind.

Additional Monitor Features

Many modern monitors ship with a number of innovative and additional features. These can include built-in microphones, a Bluetooth receiver, a USB hub, and dedicated stereo speakers. Laptop computers also ship with the monitor attached, making them a great choice for the computing novice.

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