There are many as many decisions as options when buying a monitor for your computer today but the decision comes down to one situation are you buying a monitor because you need one or are you upgrading what you have to something better. I say this because many of your decisions will be made based on the hardware you have and the upgrades or new purchases you plan. If you are outfitting the family computer with a new monitor because the one you have is broke then you need one today and your options are to have one or not. If you are buying a new gaming monitor then you need to take into considerations many more factors that will allow you to enjoy your experience now and in the future.
Budget vs Features When Buying A Computer Monitor
Cost is a primary consideration when making a choice of monitor. You will find there are are a few different things that can make a big difference when trying to save money on a monitor.
Are you buying a name brand monitor. There are many manufacturers out there to choose from and many of the names you might have never heard of but others are large companies that often rebrand product for sale with their own computer systems. Selecting a monitor because it is sold by your computer’s manufacture is often a good way to waste money. You should always pick the monitor based on its features and cost.
If you are buying a monitor for graphic design or for gaming there will be special features that you need but for general use most monitors will provide enough options to do all of the things you want without much loss. That means if the computer will be used for normal work then there is no reason to get a 35 inch gaming monitor to do your home accounting on.
The Most Important Monitor Options Are: Size, Resolution and Aspect Ratio
No matter what brand or reason you are using your monitor the most important features are how the picture is displayed. That means the size of the monitor and the aspect ratio which give you the format and then the resolution which effects picture quality are the most important features.
When you start considering things like a curved display which can be helpful for peripheral vision and the borders around the edge of the monitor you are starting to get really selective in your choice. Sure they might matter to some people in specific situations but for most people its what you see and the shape and size of the monitor that matters most. However if you are a gamer having thin edges on the outside of the monitor can allow you to position multiple monitors close together for better game play.
Monitor Size is the measurement diagonally from one corner to the other. For instance a 23 inch monitor measured diagonally is only about 20 inches wide. That is a tough number to visualize so you should also look at the physical dimensions for the product that will list height, width and depth.
Resolution is the number of Pixels or Dots that make up the screen. This may be represented as the total for the screen or in Pixels Per Square Inch. This has little or nothing to do with the media that will play back on the screen except will that media play at full resolution or will it be scaled or compressed. If you are using your computer to watch 4k DVDs or movies then you should look for a screen that has a high enough resolution to support that format at full resolution. However new standards are always coming out and although higher resolution 8k video won’t play at full resolution it will play and it will look pretty good on a 4k monitor. If you are using a DVI or DSub Connector you will be limited to 1920×1200 on many monitors. HDMI Ports are used for higher resolutions.
IPS and LCD Back Lighting are some of the terms you will see when selecting a Monitor. IPS is the switching technology that allows for better displays than were produced long ago so most monitors that you are considering should use IPS technology to control the colors on your screen. LCD Lighting is how the light emitting diodes behind the screen displays the colors. Another option normally only found in Televisions is OLED which is an organic material the emits light when electricity runs through it. You can find some OLED Monitors but they are 10 times more expensive and for that reason not worth the consideration for most people.
Aspect Ratio is the width vs height of the monitor and most monitors today are 16:9 to comply with HD Video Standards. Aspect Ratio is important when you are considering the size on your desktop and the resolution of the screen.
Although Monitor Standards will always be changing because manufacturer’s want to sell you new systems you should not be apprehensive of purchasing a good general and moderately priced monitor and not jump into the extremely expensive models with options you don’t really need. If you need to purchase a $3,500 OLED Monitor with no border then you will know that this is the only option for your system. If you are buying a monitor for general home use or even for gaming or light work then your consideration should first be physical size and then price and finally you want to look at things like pixels per square inch (more is always better) and slim borders or maybe even speakers.
There are a ton of options so just make the best affordable choice from what is available at the time.
If you need a 30 inch monitor and you see a 27 inch selling for half the price then take a second look at the 27 inch and maybe save enough money to save for your next upgrade.