Monitors

Choosing a monitor

When you’re choosing a monitor it’s a big purchase. It’s how you see your computer and you’re without question going to be spending a lot of time looking at it. With this in mind, it’s important to make sure you buy one that meets your needs. In this blog we’re going to look at the ins and outs of monitors to ensure you’re not left with regrets about your purchase.

What to consider

Will it connect to my computer?

Connectivity on monitors is an important thing. There’s no point in buying a monitor that can’t connect to your machine. There are three main types of connectors:

VGA – Video Graphics Array

DVI – Digital Visual Interface

HDMI – High Definition Multimedia Interface

Aspect Ratio

Monitors come in three aspect ratios

4:3 – This is the standard for old monitors and CRT TVs

16:9 – This is the standard widescreen screen ratio used in films and widescreen TV

16:10 – This is similar to 16:9 but with an extra sliver across the top. This is good for developers and gamers

Size

Monitor size is defined by the size of the screen measured diagonally. For general use and sitting at normal distances from your screen you may find that anything over 34” is too large. Your main concern is making sure your monitor is not too small. That’s the biggest buyer regret when buying a monitor.

Resolution

1280×800, 1440×900, 1600×900, 1680×1050 – These are older monitor resolutions and are only found on smaller, older monitors. Avoid if possible

1920×1080 – This is the standard for monitor resolution and is available in all sizes. This is the standard 16:9 TV ratio. This is also called “Full HD”

2560×1440 is a higher resolution version of 16:9 called “2k”

2560×1600 is a 16:10 variant of 2560×1440 resolution

3840×2160 this is “4k” resolution. This is four times the resolution of 1080

Refresh Rate

A monitor’s refresh rate is how often it refreshes the image on the screen. This is defined in Hertz (Hz). The standard for LCD monitors is 60Hz. Gamers prefer faster refresh rates which creates smoother animation. Gaming displays can have refresh rates of 120Hz, 144Hz or even up to 240Hz.

Contrast ratio

Look for a monitor with a contrast ratio of at least 350:1 – this will ensure your blacks are black and your whites are white.

Response Time

Monitors use LCD crystals to display colours. The lag between these changes is called response time. It is measured in ms and the shortest time is the most desirable. This is really something that gamers look for because faster response times means less blurry images when playing high-paced games. They look for 8ms and under.

Curved Options

If you are looking at buying a screen more than 27” it might be an idea to consider a curved screen.