PC Monitor Buying Guide

When you own a desktop computer, you will need a PC Monitor to go with it. The type and quality of the monitor you choose should depend mainly on your uses for the computer, whether you are simply reading email and browsing the web, watching streaming movies, or playing high tech games. Factors such as size, quality, and price will be important factors in your decision making process.

Types of PC Monitors

The CRT PC monitor is mostly a thing of the past. While some people may still be using them, it will be a challenge to find a new one. This type of PC monitor is quite large and heavy due to the cathode ray tube inside. Additionally, the screen size is often smaller, partly due to the frame around the screen and partly due to the limitation of the technology. CRT monitors tend to have a wider viewing angle, but their picture quality is not as good as the newer technologies. Energy consumption is much higher with a CRT monitor than with the newer technologies, often using more than double the wattage. On the positive side, if you do find a CRT monitor, they are usually very inexpensive.

LCD PC Monitors are thinner and lighter than the older CRT models. They can fit into smaller spaces on a desk and weigh much less when you have to move them around. Depending on the quality of the LCD monitor, the picture is often quite good, but the viewing angle can be less than with a CRT model. An LCD monitor does not experience the ???burn??? that a CRT model may have when the screen is left on, and the screen flicker is extremely minimal due to quicker refresh times. The amount of energy used by an LCD model is much lower than a CRT model due to the differing technologies. There are a wide variety of sizes and quality levels in LCD monitors. Depending on the size and quality chosen, some of these monitors can be quite expensive.

The newest type of computer monitor is a 4K or Ultra High Definition (UHD) model. Similar to the LCD monitors but with better display quality, the 4K PC monitors are the most expensive because they are the newest technology. They do, however, provide the clearest pictures and the best technologies at this time.

Pay Attention to

The viewing area of the monitor you choose is one of the most important factors. Like televisions, computer monitors are measured on the diagonal. While you can get quality monitors of almost any size, typical monitors range from 17 inches to 30 inches. The smaller screen sizes will be adequate for most applications of the casual computer user. The larger the screen size, the more it is suited towards professionals, such as photographers and graphic artists, or serious gamers.

Most PC monitors are wide screen models that have a 16:9 or 16:10 aspect ratio. These are great for viewing large spreadsheets or having your desktop's sidebar open whle searching the Web. Newer still are the ultra wide screen monitors. These have a 21:9 aspect ratio and allow users to open multiple documents or web pages at the same time. These are helpful for people in business who are multi-tasking or simply reading from more than one page at a time.

The viewing angle of the monitor is important. View the screen from different angles and note when the colors begin to change or when the brightness of the screen starts to darken. On a good monitor, you should not notice many changes at most angles. In general, the display should not change much when viewed from top, bottom, or side angles.

The text and colors should be clear and accurate. View text in small sizes and check the readability of even the smallest letters on the screen. They should still be legible at all sizes. In addition, the colors on the screen should be true. You can check this by looking at pictures of familiar people or items and noting the colors. They should look familiar and real. In addition, you should note how dark the black appears to be. While you will not get a true black on any screen, the darker the black appears to be, the more true your display will be. Check out a very dark scene in a movie to determine how dark it actually is.

Be aware that some screens are glossy while others are more of a matte finish. This becomes a matter of taste, and you will need to decide which is better for your needs. Some people feel that a glossy screen is best for games and movies because they seem to increase the contrast of the display. Some people, however, do not like the reflective aspect of the glossy screen and prefer the matte screen to reduce glare.

Check out the different connections the monitor has. You will obviously need a port to connect the monitor to the computer, but there are several different types. HDMI carries audio and visual content while a DVI only carries video. Additionally DisplayPort offers a better quality connection for 4K content to be displayed on the monitor. An older monitor may have a VGA connection which is not a digital connection, but rather an analog technology. Though it does provide a fairly high resolution, you will not get the crystal clear pictures of a digial connection. Finally, check to see if your monitor comes with USB ports. These can be useful for connecting a BluRay player or camera directly to the monitor without having to go through the computer at all.

Top Brands and Product Lines

Acer offers value priced monitors for home and small offices with another line for professionals and gamers.

Apple offers top of the line monitors at the upper price ranges.

Asus offers a variety of monitors from the midpriced to the upper end of the price range.

Dell is one of the biggest selling monitors as it has models in all price ranges.

HP offers a wide range of monitors in all price ranges.

LG offers monitors in the mid to upper price ragnes with a variety of features.

Lenovo is a value priced brand that offers new innovations.

Samsung offers consumer and business oriented monitor models in a variety of price ranges.