If you’re searching for the perfect computer monitor for you, I’m sure you’re getting overwhelmed by the choices. After all, there are hundreds of models between dozens of manufacturers these days. This guide should help you filter your choices:
Where are you going to use it?
- If you need to carry it around with you and use it as an extension of your laptop or other devices, a portable monitor is the best option. It is light and easy to carry, and can be connected to most devices.
- If you need to use it to extend your workspace, but keep it either at your office or at home, go for a second monitor (preferably one that’s bigger in size, a widescreen or curved monitor).
What are you going to do with it?
- Graphic design or other creative work – You need a monitor with high resolution, high gray-scale and color accuracy. Screen size could be an issue for some, but functionality is the priority and even small monitors could have a good resolution with accurate colors, contrasts, and output. CAD is probably the most demanding of all creative work, so if you’re an architect or use some kind of computer-aided design program for work, your choice should be the most updated resolution you can find (or afford) in a monitor.
- Gaming – When your purpose is gaming, you need a monitor that can show you the visuals of the game as accurately as possible. So this means the sound should go with the graphics, the colors should be as the game designer intended, and the movement should be as smooth as possible. All these rely on a monitor’s response time, refresh rate and technology (whether it is equipped with G-Sync/FreeSync).
- Day-to-day work – If you’re going to use your computer daily for work, you can choose any size or resolution, but go with a branded model that uses blue light or flicker-free technology (so you could prevent eye strain) or a VESA-compatible monitor if you’re planning to mount it.
- Work and play – For those who wish to use the monitor for working and playing games, always identify the most demanding task on your list. For example, if you’re a fan of survival game “Red Dead Redemption 2” and want to play it on your down time, note that this requires a 4k or higher monitor resolution, ultrawide aspect ratio or multi-monitor setup. If you’re just going to play online poker, then your demands would be less and any HD monitor would do.
- Entertainment system – If you’re going to use your monitor as a default TV for your entertainment system, your best bet is to pick a larger-sized model. Generally, monitors are better than your traditional TVs because of faster response times, lower input lag, higher refresh rates and an overall responsiveness that televisions lack.
What considerations should you weigh?
Once you’ve answered the two questions above, your options would drastically go down. However, since everyone has specific work requirements and preferences, your decision would rely on your own needs. As such, make a list of all the things you expect your monitor to do or be compatible with:
- Panel technology – TN monitors are the fastest and cheapest, but they also suffer from poor images in certain side angles. IPS monitors are the most common for general use because they provide good color accuracy and slightly fast response times. VA monitors are the slowest, but offer the best contrast of all panel types. There is no right or wrong in picking a display panel – only what fits your needs best.
- Special functions – For gaming monitors, you can look out for displays with overdrive and motion blur reduction that improves your gaming experience regardless of game. Some monitors are designed as touchscreens – they usually cost higher and are not needed for most professions, but the option is here if this is something you prefer or require for your job.
- Video input – Match the devices you’re going to pair with the monitor. List down the devices and see what video input it requires (VGA, HDMI, DVI, and Display-port are common, but not all monitors accommodate all of them).
- Built-in functions – do you want a webcam, sound system, USB hub or other features to be built into your monitor? Many manufacturers offer these now, but not all monitors have them.
- Budget – Like in any shopping activity, your budget dictates if a monitor is ideal for you or not, even if the model fits your job, gaming needs, and other PC requirements perfectly.
Sounds complicated? Don’t be overwhelmed with the terms. It is better to understand your computing needs so you could choose monitor functions with your budget and requirements in mind, instead of buying a monitor based on a fit-for-all recommendation by a friend or a stranger on computer forums.
Also Read – 10 Best Gaming Laptops for Gamers