If you spend a lot of time at work in front of a computer monitor, you should use a model that best suits your needs. But how can you possibly know what a monitor needs to have? Which specifications are relevant, and which ones are purely ornamental? With this guide, you will be able to make that distinction and find a monitor that’s best for you.
Here’s a List of Things You Must Take into Consideration
Although the size of your monitor depends solely on what you want, there are several things to take into consideration.
If you need a monitor for graphic-related use, a larger one is better. If you spend a lot of time in front of the screen, a larger monitor can boost your productivity. On the other hand, if none of this is true for you, you might not need a large monitor.
Also, bear in mind that anything under 18” is too small, and anything over 34” is too big for any standard viewing distance.
Choose the shape
There are several aspect ratios or monitor shapes:
4:3 and 5:4 are outdated.
16:9 is standard and perfect for full-screen video viewing while being just fine for any sort of work.
16:10 is slightly taller and perfect for graphics purposes.
21:9 is super-wide and ideal for people who need to multitask.
Screen resolution is important
Every computer monitor creates its image with pixel grids. The total number of pixels is the screen’s resolution. You want as much resolution as you can afford, as it will deliver a better image. The higher the resolution, the better the image. You can choose between FullHD, 2K, 4K, 5K, and 8K monitors.
However, if you are farsighted, go with standard resolutions such as 1920×1080 and 2K.
Panel type determines the price
LCD panels come in two design types — TN or IPS. The differences between them are technical, but what you need to know is that the price of the monitor often depends on the panel type.
TN panels are cheaper to produce, but provide more than a decent image.
IPS panels are more expensive, but have better viewing angles and better colors. But these panels also have a slower response time.
Of course, if you want to go all out, you can buy a monitor with an OLED panel. Although they do deliver wonderful bright colors and amazing contrast, they are on the expensive side and probably not necessary for your work.
Check the connection type
That is how you connect the monitor to your PC. It is one of the most relevant things to check.
- VGA — the oldest, recommended for displays lower than 1080p.
- DVI — old but usable up to 2560×1600.
- HDMI — common, convenient, can handle just about anything.
- DisplayPort — advanced, great for gamers, unnecessary for work purposes
Relevant features that might make your job easier
- USB hub
A monitor with built-in USB ports can make plugging in devices such as flash drives, mice, and keyboards easier.
- Adjustable stand
A sturdy stand with adjustable height and position will help you stay in front of a monitor for a longer time.
- Integrated camera
If you spend a lot of time in video calls, investing in a monitor with an integrated camera might make the process easier and remove one cable from the bunch.
- Multiple inputs
If you need to see inputs from several computers at once, pick a monitor that supports it, instead of having several monitors.
Power saving options on a monitor don’t seem too important, but over the long haul, this can save quite a bit of energy.
Irrelevant features if you need a monitor for work
- Viewing angle
Unless you need a monitor that several people can watch at once, a viewing angle of 140 degrees and higher is just fine.
- Response time
Fast response time can make videos look better. However, not even graphics professionals consider this feature relevant.
- Curved screen
This curve is more relevant for TVs than computer monitors, as they only provide a stylistic value.
- Number of colors displayed
Every new monitor displays 16.7 million colors, 24-bit. And you don’t need any more than that.
- Contrast ratio
As there are no industry standards regarding this specification, as long as it’s above 350:1, you’re good
In the end
Once you determine just what you need a monitor for, it will be easy to find specifications that are relevant. For instance, if you’re a graphic designer, you know which features you must have. On the other hand, if you’re a broker, you’re spending a lot of time in front of your screen, and you need a whole different set of features.
Before buying, think carefully about your needs and choose accordingly.