We know that you are here looking for a proper “monitor buying guide“.
Considering that and without wasting any more time, let’s get straight to the point, we believe you are looking for a monitor that can serve you well based on your needs.. Congratulations, you found the best page that has a complete consumer oriented monitor buying guide.
We have made a list of 15 points that you need to know and to consider before buying a monitor.
15 Points to consider when buying a new monitor – Monitor Buying Guide 2018/2019
So, when buying a monitor for official or for entertainment purposes you need to consider the following points to make more out of your hard earned money.
We also recently wrote about different types of monitors.
What should be the Size of a Monitor?
Screen size is the most important things to consider while shopping for a monitor. Size is actually the diagonal measurement of the display itself. In the early days of the monitors, you can say back in the 90s, the CRT monitors come with a standard screen size of 14 or 15 inches.
However, with the arrival of flat screen displays such as LEDs and LCDs, it is pretty easy to hand-on a screen size of 24 to 27 inches. You will be surprised to know even a screen size of 30 inches are easily available at reasonable prices. Here’s our quick guide on Monitor vs TV.
Experts are of the view that you should buy the monitor in a size that your space and budget allows you for.
Though, keep in mind a bigger display offers a better viewing and working experience. The common display size used these days is 19-22 inches, the selection is based on personal preferences. Larger screen sizes are mainly appreciated by avid gamers to enjoy better gaming experience on full HD screens. If you are interested in a buying a gaming monitor that offer great value for money, make sure you have a look at our guide on Best Gaming Monitors Under $100 or Gaming monitors under $200. However, larger is the screen more will be the price of the monitor.
Which Resolution should i choose?
It is the number of pixels being displayed vertically and horizontally. Resolution consists of two numbers, the first one is the number of horizontal pixels and the 2nd one is the number of vertical pixels. A lesser count such as 1920*1080 common for 24 inches monitor means every window, every image, every icon and every letter appears bigger on the display.
For better understanding, you need to know higher resolution is synonym to higher clarity, clear and sharp images. So, monitors with high resolution are considered perfect for multi-tasking and for watching movies. Low resolution means fuzzy and blur images thus poor image quality.
Some commonly used resolution are listed below
If you are among the users who urge for reasonable clarity than 1080p is the ideal resolution for you. It is the ideal resolution for screen size of 21-24 inches.
These displays are destined to offer perfect image quality for both movies and your official tasks. However, if you are someone looking for a display size of more than 24 inches, than you should go for 2560*1440 resolution at least.
- 1440P Monitor:
This is the most advisable resolution for gamers as it gives visible improvement in the visuals as compared to 1080p. Moreover, it is also linked to high refresh rates as well.
- 4K Monitor (4K PC Monitor):
It is the new addition to the resolution game suitable for gamers mainly. However, monitors with such high resolution are facing complaints and a continuous struggle for improvement is taking place at every high-end manufacturers.
Do you know there are portable monitors available the market that people are really buying due to their portability and lightweight?
Which Aspect ratio is Best?
Another important factor that plays a significant role in determining the performance of desktop monitors is the aspect ratio. The standard ratio is 16:9 and is considered perfect for games and movies. However, latest fancy USB powered monitors are designed with an aspect ratio of 21:9 but is mainly suitable for hardcore gaming.
Aspect ratio has made a huge improvement as the CRT monitors only have a ratio of 4:3. Though, the latest ones are designed with an aspect ratio equal to the cinema screens i.e. 16:9 and 16:10, also known as high definition (HD).
Which Contrast ratio to Choose?
It is a deceiving yet important factor to consider while buying a best commercial monitor. It is the term that is mainly unknown to the majority of the people and is no doubt complicated as well.
The simplest thing to remember is a higher contrast ratio creates pictures that are punchy and vivid. The bad thing is the figure for contrast ratio is not as reliable as the measure of this ratio is not uniform.
What should be the Brightness?
Latest monitors today came with brightness around 300-350 cd/m2. Too much brightness is not perfect in any condition as it is the cause of several eye issues like strain and irritation etc. Higher brightness is suitable for playing games or watching videos. A brightness level of 200-250 cd/m2 is perfect for browsing and carrying out casual office work.
What should be the Response time?
This is another important factor to consider when buying a gaming monitor for your XBOX or PS4. It is the measure of how quickly the screen shows picture transition. Low response rate is good for twitchy game-play, fast-paced action games and similar other activities. A response time of 1ms is considered ideal, though this rate is not needed for office work.
What is Refresh rate?
Refresh rate is the measure of how frequently the monitor updates the picture on the display. It is measured in Hz. Common refresh rate is 60Hz, however the latest one offers a much higher rate i.e. 120Hz and 144Hz for better viewing. Higher refresh rate results in smoother movements. Refresh rate and response time mainly counts for gamers where a millisecond holds mammoth importance.
What does Viewing angles mean?
It may not be a major factor to consider for majority of the users as it didn’t affect the casual office work. However, plays an important role for the users who love watching movies and series on computer monitors. A monitor with viewing angle of 170 degree is good to go as nobody in the group has to compromise on the image quality irrespective of their sitting position.
Touch Screen or Non Touch?
It is the foremost factor to consider if you are buying touch screen monitors. To be honest touch screen monitors are not much demanded as their counterparts. However, make sure about the intensity of the touch to enjoy easy accessibility on every inch of the display.
Which Ports to look for?
We all know a PC monitor is more than an ordinary display. One may feel the need to connect the monitor to computer or any other device like gaming console or Macbook. So, you must consider the number and type of connection it offers before making the final investment. Some of the latest connectors are HDMI, VGA, display port, DVI and USB.
Different Types of Ports
A brief overview of the above mentioned ports is as follows
- HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface)
This audio-video interface is introduced in the monitors since 2003. It is perfect for playing high definition content from your gaming console, computer, Blu-ray player and similar other devices.
- VGA (Video Graphic Array)
It is the oldest analog connector on board. It was first introduced in 1987. VGA can carry high frame rate and resolution but fail to produce crisp images like DVI.
- DVI (Digital Video Interface)
The first ever video interface that replaced the VGA, it was introduced in 1999. They produce video signals similar to the HDMI but fall to carry audio signals. It can carry a resolution of 1920*1200 and sometimes more.
- Display port:
It is also one of the common display interface introduced since 2008.
Should I Consider Ergonomic flexibility?
This factor holds as much importance as the technical aspects of a monitor. You wouldn’t appreciate keeping your new monitor on any surface just to get a clearer view without hurting your back. Old monitors were limited in this regards and allow tilting to a few degrees only. The advanced versions allow you to adjust the height, tilt, swivel right and left to keep you comfortable in every position.
Which Panel type to choose?
When first introduced, users didn’t pay much attention to the type of display their monitors have. However, with the passage of time users became more educated and learn about the types of panels and their uses.
Types of Monitor Panels
Most commonly used panel types are as follows
- TN (Twisted Nematic)
It is the most commonly used panel type and offers high response rate but have poor viewing angles and color accuracy. It is the popular panel technology especially for gaming monitors.
- VA (Vertical Alignment)
This technology is mainly found in high-end monitors and is destined to have great contrast ratios, color accuracy and viewing angles as compared to TN technology but have less response time comparatively.
- IPS (In Plane Switching)
This is the one offering better viewing angles and color accuracy than TN and VA. This technology is mainly found in professional monitors because of its higher viewing angles and capability to display better colors. This is mainly loved by graphic designers, artists and photographer.
- OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode)
It is the most advanced of all the display technologies available till date. It consists of thousands of separately lit pixels that offer real color integrity as compared to LED monitors. Many of OLED operated TVs and smartphones are introduced but consumers are waiting anxiously for OLED monitors. Right now manufacturers like DELL are facing issues with screen durability and blurriness.
There is no harm to look for some extra features while buying the best gaming monitor for PS4 and Xbox. Each and every model features some distinctive additional features like microphones, more than one USB port, built-in speakers and what not. Some of the LED monitors do have a memory card slot, so you can enjoy the freedom of watching picture directly on screen from the camera.
Look for Warranty!
This may not be a crucial factor to consider especially by the younger lot. But nothing especially tech devices should not be purchased without warranty may it be of 6 months or 1 year. So, make sure the display you are buying has a warranty of at least one year.
Some Famous Laptop Brands in the Market
Names like HP, DELL and Lenovo are few of the older names in the tech industry known for manufacturing quality monitors for offices as well as gaming purposes. Other brands capturing the market for marvelous monitors include Alienware, Acer, LG, BenQ, Planer, NEC, ViewSonic Asus and Samsung. A brief introduction of all these famous names is as follows
- Acer: Acer is the pioneer of the industry working since 1976 and are offering a wide array of value-oriented displays for offices, homes and gaming purposes.
- Alienware: a sub-brand of Dell and is known for making mind-blowing monitors, desktops and laptops for avid gamers.
- AOC: another renowned name in the tech industry offering a wide range of HD monitors embellished with high-end specifications and are mainly targeting serious gamers.
- Asus: the name that caters all needs and won the hearts by producing higher-end to lower-end monitors for almost every need.
- Dell: in this category, this name earns the highest market-shares working since 1984.
- BenQ: this Taiwanese brand is somehow a new entry as founded in 2001, but has amazed the viewers with its amazing collection of monitors.
- LG: this company offers a beautiful collection of reasonable to high-end prices.
- HP: this name needs no introduction and is among the best sellers in this niche.
- NEC: this company offers a minimum number of monitors in different sizes and is mainly designed for professional purposes.
- ViewSonic: offers a plethora of performance enriched monitors for almost all target users. Prices range from low to high depending on the specific features of the models.
- Samsung: they offer a great range of business oriented as well as games oriented monitors. Their monitors are very sleek, compact and full of specifications.
- Planar: this brand is relatively new in the market but has captured a good reputation by offering simple as well as touch screen monitors in sizes ranging from 15-17 inches.
- Gechic: Mainly offer portable monitors of great quality
No doubt, choosing a monitor is one intricate task for everyone. Usually, it is mistaken that all the monitors share similar features and any size, resolution or brand will work fine, but the truth is every single model holds different characteristics and are specifically designed for a particular purpose. However, by considering the brand, size, shape, features and by identifying your own need, you can hand on the right monitor. Though keep in mind to consider screen size, resolution, refresh rate, response rate, input lag and number of ports while buying a monitor for gaming. While on the other hand, consider screen size, resolution, flicker free technology, contrast ratio and make sure about the color accuracy of the screen while selecting for professional use. We also wrote a complete guide on choosing the right portable monitor, if you are into that.