When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.
When choosing a computer monitor, it’s important to select the correct one that is going to perform the best. Everyone uses their computers uniquely, so it’s important to personalise your monitor requirements to your use.
The monitor acts as the face of your desktop. It is how you display whatever it is you’re working on through the computer, so you want it to display well.
Choosing the right monitor is essential for maximising the potential of your system, but it can be tough to know what to look for. Here are some factors you should consider when selecting your computer monitor.
To select the right size you need to decide what you will mostly be using your computer for. You also need to consider the size of the desk or platform you are going to be putting the monitor on, you don’t want it to be too big and topple off.
Streaming films or any type of gaming certifies for a large screen. The larger the better for the entertainment experience. The same goes for any type of creative designing or photography editing. You want to be able to notice details easily and clearly, a larger monitor will allow you to do this.
Anything else doesn’t usually require such a large screen; you would be quite content with a middle to smaller size. It would just depend on preference in this case. Smaller screens tend to be cheaper so if you don’t need a large one and are shopping on a budget, you can go for a small one.
The resolution of the screen is also something to consider. It is related to the size of the monitor, the larger the width of your screen, the more important the resolution is. A small monitor only requires a low resolution to give a quality looking image.
Once you start getting to monitors above 22 inches wide the resolution is really important to ensure the pixel density can provide a quality image. With a relation between correct screen size and resolution, make sure you select the right one. These are the best resolutions for common sizes:
- 14” computer screens – 640×480 resolution
- 15” computer screens – 800×600 resolution
- 17” computer screens – 1024×768 resolution
- 19” computer screens – 1280×1024 resolution
- 21” computer screens – 1600×1200 resolution
You should also think about the type of connections you need your computer monitor to have. HDMI is a very popular connection source so most monitors that are larger than 21” will have HDMI connections. This is the perfect connection if you want to link to a blue-ray player, TV or console.
Display port connections are also popular but are usually only for connecting to a computer. DVI connection is another one monitors may have but it is usually alongside HDMI connections. All connection ports are located at the back of the monitor. You should know how many connection points you need of each type to ensure you get the correct monitor for your needs.
Don’t forget to look at the amount of standard USB ports for your mouse, keyboard and memory sticks. Lots of things are still standard USB connection and these can soon mount up, so ensure the monitor you would like has enough of them.
Most monitors are made from LCD panels, but with a range of different types of LCD panels, you are spoilt for choice.
Vertical Alignment panels are usual a little more expensive but the brightness and contrast ration is perfect for deepening blacks. These monitors give a brilliant colour reproduction and wide viewing angle, but a poorer response time.
Twisted Nematic are the most common and cost effective type of panels in monitors. They have a very quick response time but display a lower brightness. They are best for narrow view angles.
In-Plane Switching monitors are aimed more at the high-end, they produce superior image quality and the colour display is far better that the two types already mentioned. However, with this comes a longer pixel response. It is also not uncommon for these monitors to have an input lag.
Plane-Line Switching is a newer type of panel. They work similar to In-Plane Switching monitors but give a higher brightness and less power output. It’s only a new-comer though, so while still expensive, it’s becoming increasingly popular, one to watch out for.
Another thing to look out for when purchasing a monitor is chemical etching and how the components are etched within the circuit board. Quality etching makes the overall appearance of the screen better ensures durability. It’s also important to consider price, overall attractiveness and the retailer. Well-known retailers are always best to purchase from so that you can ensure correct aftercare and returns policies.
You should also ensure you have the correct PC power supply that provides your computer system with long-term stability and reliability. Work out exactly what you need from a new monitor before shopping to ensure you get the correct one for you.