Before diving into the world of computer monitors you must first consider what the purpose of the monitor will be. In other words, what are you going to use it for?
If you’re planning on using your new monitor in the workplace there are a number of things to consider. Firstly, a professional monitor will need to be capable of processing intensive tasks such as 3D modelling, graphic design, video processing and other graphically demanding operations.
Monitors intended for work tend to use an IPS panel due to its capacity to provide dynamic colors and wide viewing angles. This is great for those working in creative industries where graphic design and video processing are some of the core operations.
Monitors designed for the professional workplace are often pre-calibrated to optimise their graphical capabilities and thus are naturally superior in this regard than gaming monitors.
In terms of port availability it is important to consider how many displays you will be needing. If you plan on using multiple displays you will need to ensure the monitor you select features a suitable amount of ports to meet your needs.
Gaming monitors are focused on two main things, graphics quality and frame rate. They often feature fast response times as well as multiple ports to allow for connection to gaming devices such as a PS4, Xbox or Nintendo Switch
Gaming monitors often use TN panels which offer incredibly fast response times but lack in depth of color and picture quality.
Now that you’ve determined what you’re gonna be using your monitor for, it is time to figure out the next big hurdle…screen size.
While with TVs it is often the case that bigger is better, a computer monitor can be too big depending on your desk size and what other external devices you wish to use, as well as what activity you intend to use the monitor for. If you wish to use the monitor as one of many displays for your work desk then a small-medium sized screen may be best so as to allow for the connection of multiple devices. Monitors are considered medium if their screen falls between 21-30 inches
If you often find yourself using your monitor as a mini-TV from which to watch movies then perhaps consider investing in a larger monitor such as one within the 34 inch+ range.
When it comes to size you should also consider if you are going to use a vertical monitor as the wider the screen the taller the monitor will stand. For activities like reading long documents and trading a tall screen can come in handy but for gaming using two vertical monitors, you might want to consider a smaller size.
A monitor’s resolution refers to the maximum amount of pixels that can be displayed across the screen horizontally and vertically at a given time. There are many different types of screen resolution as technology improves and competition drives the market to push for larger and larger screens with greater and greater quantities of pixels.
When determining your desired screen resolution it is important to consider the purpose you wish to use the monitor for.
For simple 3D modelling and graphic design it is recommended to opt for is 1920 x 1080 as this will lead to the best image quality without reducing the performance of your computer. Individuals wishing to process complex 3D models such as architects or game designers should be wary of high resolutions as the higher the resolution the greater the impact on your device’s performance.
It is therefore recommended for these intensive processes to opt for a lower resolution to reduce the strain on your device’s GPU processing unit.
The price of a monitor is highly dependent on multiple factors. The size of the screen as well as the in-built features such as ports, speakers etc all add or deduct from the cost of the device.
For those looking for a budget monitor we suggest opting for a small-medium screen size with an average resolution of 1920 x 1080. TN panels are the cheapest but are becoming increasingly outdated while OLED panels are still quite expensive due to their recent introduction into the market. Therefore we suggest an IPS panel as they have become significantly more affordable and offer wide viewing angles and dynamic color gamut.
If you are after something with more power and you have more money to spare then we suggest investing in a monitor using an OLED display due to the superior picture quality as well as a monitor with a larger screen.
With the constant developments in computer monitor technology it is not surprising that the sheer amount of bonus features a monitor can have has rapidly increased. From mounted stands to rotatable screens, monitor manufacturers are becoming increasingly creative with their designs and thus the modern consumer is often left more confused than ever.
The quantity and type of ports available on a monitor are both important factors to consider when purchasing a new monitor. If you will need to connect the monitor to multiple devices such as for gaming/streaming or for intensive 3D modelling projects then it is recommended to search for a monitor which features a wide range of ports such as HDMI, DVI, VGA, audio output, etc.
The stand is the foundation for any monitor and thus should be considered when searching for a new screen. Many stands are adjustable or can be rotated to allow for vertical monitor usage including some stands which can be mounted onto walls.
As touchscreen becomes more mainstream within all sectors of the tech world, it is becoming increasingly common to see modern monitors that support touchscreen. This is an exciting new option for graphic designers and those who wish to use their monitor for creative purposes.
However, touchscreen does come at the cost of response rate and image quality which may be an issue for those wishing to primarily use their monitor for gaming.
A final word…
We hope you found this guide useful and that you feel more equipped to go out and purchase yourself a new monitor…