Computer Monitor Buying Guide
Computer Monitors 101
Types of Computer Monitors
4K Ultra HD Monitors
19 Inch & Smaller Monitors
20-22 Inch Monitors
23-24 Inch Monitors
25 Inch & Larger Monitors
Computer Monitor Buying Tips:
• Ensure the backlight is included in the warranty as it can be very expensive to replace
• For the best picturequality, pair your new monitor with a good computer graphics card
• Some monitors have built-in speakers, eliminating the need for separate computer speakers
• Some monitors offer greater control over picture and sound settings
Computer Monitor Features
Viewing Angle +
Monitors are best viewed head on. As the viewer moves up, down or to either side (more common) the picture quality suffers. Viewing angles are measured both vertically and horizontally; a higher number means you can sit further from the ideal viewing angle without sacrificing picture quality. VA and IPS monitors often have excellent viewing angles.
Pixel Response Rate +
Response rates refer to how quickly a monitor responds to image changes, measured in milliseconds. A higher response rate means smoother movement and less ghosting. High response rates are especially important for watching content with lot of movement, like video games and action films.
With the right connections, you can sync up your other electronics and get the most use from your monitor. There are many different kinds of ports, so make sure your current devices can plug into your new monitor. Your speaker system may need USB ports, while an HDMI input is perfect for plugging in your camcorder for viewing your home videos. If you’re into video editing, a DVI port is the industry standard for digital video transfer.
Matte or Gloss Screens +
Your choice of screen can provide reduced glare or deeper colours, depending on your needs. Go for a matte screen if your computer will be in a room with direct sunlight. Gloss screens usually have deeper blacks, so choose this type of screen if you want stronger contrasts. If you can’t decide, choose a glossy monitor with a reduced glare finish for the best of both worlds.
Adjustable Stand +
An adjustable stand allows you to sit comfortably while still getting the ideal viewing angle. Use one setting for sitting up straight while doing work and another for kicking back to watch a movie or play a game. If your computer is used by more than one person, an adjustable stand lets you easily switch up the setting so everyone can get that perfect angle.
Resolution refers to the number of pixels a monitor has, measured in a ratio of width and height. Higher resolution means sharper pictures since the images have more individual pixels. But keep in mind that larger screens should have higher resolutions that match their increasing size. For example, a 20-inch screen with resolution of 1600x900 matches standard widescreen HD, while a 24-inch monitor would need a resolution of at least 1920x1200 to do the same.
Aspect Ratio +
A screen's aspect ratio is its height-to-width ratio. The standard for computer monitors used to be 4:3, which is still ideal for word processing and other office work, but many monitors now come in 16:9 aspect ratios to support widescreen movies and games. If your computer is used mostly for media, look for a widescreen monitor so the image isn’t distorted when watching your favourite flicks.
Contrast Ratio +
Contrast ratio measures the difference in brightness from the darkest area of the screen to the brightest. A higher contrast ratio indicates the screen should have deeper blacks and brighter whites. However, differences in the lighting behind the panel can affect the measurements, making them less than reliable. Most monitors don't display true black, only a verydark grey. Professionals like video editors and graphic designerswho need perfect colour reproduction and accurate grey scales require monitors with higher contrast ratios.
Built-in webcams are a great way to keep in touch with friends and family, take pictures and even record video. A built-in webcam is fully integrated into your monitor, which can save you space in your home or office. Plus, built-in webcams are often easy to use right out of the box, so you can video chat with friends around the world sooner.
A touchscreen monitor brings the fun, easy-to-use touchscreen capabilities of your smartphone and tablet to your desktop computer. With a simple touch or swipe of your finger on the screen, you can navigate videos, manipulate images and even play games. Many computer operating systems and applications incorporate touchscreen features, so touchscreen monitors are only getting more practical. Plus, these monitors are excellent learning tools for kids just getting familiar with computers.
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Computer Monitor Maintenance Tips:
• Always turn off your monitor when not in use to decrease the chance of screen burn-in, which can permanently discolour your monitor. Some monitors, like LCD, are less susceptible to screen burn-in
• Clean your monitor with a soft, lint-free cloth and avoid abrasive cloths, paper towels and similar products that can scratch or damage the screen
• Unplug your monitor from your computer and any power source before cleaning
• Avoid window cleaners, household cleaners and solvents for cleaning your monitor. Instead, use either water or a specialized cleaner for computer monitors
• Never spray liquid cleaners or water directly onto your monitor; instead, spray onto a soft cloth and wipe down the monitor
• Avoid touching, poking, or pressing hard on your computer screen