Monitor Technology: How to Buy a Monitor in 2018


Display technology is always on the move regardless the field and the region they are in use. Whether you need a product for your graphics or animation work, to improve your productivity with the help of an external monitor, or to relentlessly outplay other players in the high-end action games, a good-quality monitor always helps in a significant manner. And for this reason, it is quite challenging to choose the best monitor and monitor technology for your purpose. Today, in this guide, I will explain how you can pick up the perfect display according to your interest and requirement.

Best Monitor Buying Guide

Before you purchase any product, especially a monitor display, then you should know every aspect of it. Because if I have to say one sentence for the PC monitor, then I will say, ‘A computer is nothing without a display.’ And to get a perfect monitor, there are some specifications that you should keep in mind. We will see the top considerable aspects which will help you buy the ‘monitor of the year.’

Things covered in this guide:

  1. Types of Monitor Display
  2. Monitor Technology
  3. Display Size
  4. Monitor Resolution
  5. Connectivity Options
  6. Viewing Angle and Viewing Mode
  7. Screen Refresh Rate
  8. Screen Response Time
  9. Adaptive Synchronization Technology
  10. Some Extra Features

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Types of Monitor Display

First of all, you need to see that which kind of monitor you want to buy for your computer. Let’s look at the types of monitors available on the market:

1) Cathode Ray Tube (CRT)

Monitor Technology - How to Buy a Monitor in 2018 - Point 1These traditional monitors are out of the market mostly, but they ruled the monitor industry for decades. Such displays acquire a lot of space on the table, don’t produce high refresh rates and color reproduction ratios, and are out of date. So, if you are still using CRT monitors, then it is the time to make a change.

2) Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)

Monitor Technology - How to Buy a Monitor in 2018 - Point 2LCDs are the revolution in the monitor industry, one can say. They are mainly available in two types; TFT passive matrix and TFT active matrix. LCD screens are lightweight, small-sized compared to CRTs, and don’t consume much power. One of the most significant advantages of LCDs is that they come with flicker-free technology to provide perfect viewing.

3) Light Emitting Diode (LED)

Monitor Technology - How to Buy a Monitor in 2018 - Point 3Similarly, like LCDs, the LED monitors are flat panel displays. But instead of the CCFL, they use light emitting diodes to provide the light and brightness on the screen. LED displays are environment-friendly, use lesser power even compared to LCDs, and produce minimal heat compared to CRTs. Among all the monitor types, LEDs are the most durable products.

Monitor Technology

The display panel technology is one of the most important things that can make a huge difference in viewing experience of the user.

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If I don’t dig in much, then there are main three display panel technologies that you should aware of:

1) TN panel technology

Monitor Technology - How to Buy a Monitor in 2018 - Point 1Twisted Nematic (TN) panel technology introduced firstly and since then, it is being used in LCDs widely. That’s why in the current LCD monitors market, TN panels are the most commonly seen technologies in computer monitors.

TN panels have great response rates, lightweight designs, and low power consumption compared to other panel technologies. Also, they are available at affordable prices that help an average user to buy the best TN monitor in the budget. The pictures in the TN monitors are smoother and vibrant. Though there is a number of advantages of using a TN panel technology, it has some drawbacks too.  You may not get wide viewing angles and bright contrast ratios. Such TN monitors are perfect for office works and educational purposes. Due to the top response times, you can also choose TN displays for your high-end gaming needs.

2) IPS panel technology

Monitor Technology - How to Buy a Monitor in 2018 - Point 2In-Plane Switching (IPS), I can say introduced to eliminate the issues that occur in TN panel. You will get the highest color reproduction ratio and the perfect viewing angles in IPS displays. Unlike the TN panels, the IPS panel integrated machines consume more power, cost more, and offer slow response rates. But, if you are a graphic designer or 2D/3D animator, then you will love working with IPS panel monitors. There are different versions of the IPS panel like H-IPS, S-IPS, e-IPS, and P-IPS.

3) VA panel technology

Monitor Technology - How to Buy a Monitor in 2018 - Point 3Vertical Alignment (VA) panels come in variants like Multi-domain VA (MVA), Patterned VA (PVA), and Advanced VA (AVA). To some extent, we can say that the VA panels are somewhere in between the TN and IPS panels. They have slower response time than the TN panels but provide a better color reproduction ratio and viewing angles. You may have to suffer from lagging in VA monitors though. So, if you have no budget for IPS panels but want a better color reproduction than TN panels, then you can go to VA panel monitor.

Recommended for you: Top 10 Best Selling Computer Monitors.

Display Size

If you can get within your budget limit, then you can go to the bigger screens available in the market. As you see in the TVs, the monitor size is also measured diagonally with the same unit called as ‘Inches.’ Remember that with the bigger screen size, you will see a bigger prize label and so you need to keep in mind that how much you want to spend for a monitor display.

As there is a number of variations in screen size, so I will categorize them into three areas:

1) Screens with 20-inch and below the size

Monitor Technology - How to Buy a Monitor in 2018 - Point 1The monitors will lower screen size can be available at cheap rates and are perfect for office tasks like document editing, email checking, or photo editing. Even if looking for a cheaper display option for gaming needs, you can go for a monitor with 20” or below size.

2) Screens with 21-inch to 26-inch size

Monitor Technology - How to Buy a Monitor in 2018 - Point 2Watching quality videos, playing multiplayer games, or doing other home or office stuff; this mid-range of monitor display is perfect for you.

3) Screens with 27-inch and above size

Monitor Technology - How to Buy a Monitor in 2018 - Point 3For the graphic designers, animators, and high-end gamers, much bigger screen size is the ideal option. Also, the bigger screen helps to run multiple applications side-by-side with better viewing areas that you cannot have in lower display sizes.

In the new era of monitor technology, you also have an option of choosing curved or ultrawide monitor which helps you to get closer to the screens and have a realistic feeling while gaming.

Monitor Resolution

When you buy a monitor, then it is advisable to check its resolution first. The number of pixels a monitor screen can display in every dimension (horizontal x vertical) is known as the monitor resolution. It is measured is Pixels. Check the common resolution types of the monitor below:

The resolution is responsible for the softer images on display. If you got the perfect resolution according to the screen size, then you will get the sharper pictures and the best viewing. The higher PPI (Pixel Per Inch) rate is better for a user-friendly experience. While 8K is still in the production and testing mode, 4K is currently the best screen resolution, especially for the gaming needs.

Resolution (Horizontal x Vertical)Standard TypeAlso Called
1280 x 720HD720P
1920 x 1080Full HD (FHD)1080P
2560 x 1440Quad HD (QHD)1440P
3840 x 2160Ultra HD (UHD)4K (2160P)
7680 x 43208K4320P

Connectivity Options

A perfect monitor comes with multiple connectivity options with the support to various platforms. Depending on your future connection needs, check whether the monitor has the options like HDMI, VGA, DVI, DisplayPort, and other USB ports for connecting different input devices. If you are using dual monitor setup or even triple monitor setup, then all of your screens should support the relevant input type.

Viewing Angle and Viewing Mode

These are not most important things to consider as most of the modern monitors come with 1780 viewing angles and supportive modes of both landscape and portrait. The cheaper displays may not have such higher specifications, but if you are the one and the only person who is watching the content on the screen, then it is fine too.

You may also like: Top 10 Best Selling Desktop Computers.

Screen Refresh Rate

The monitor refresh rate is the number for which the screen displays the image per second. Hertz (Hz) is the unit for defining refresh rates. For example, if a monitor has a 120Hz refresh rate that means the image is displayed 120 times per second on the screen. For general office or home purpose, the 60Hz refresh rate is quite enough. But the gaming nerds go for 120Hz or even 144Hz monitors to get more precise and sharper views.

Screen Response Time

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First, I want to mention that the response time is not related to the input lag which is the delay time between the input from the mouse or keyboard and the response from the screen to show output. The duration for which the screen pixel changes from black to white or from gray shade to another shade is called the response time. It is measured in milliseconds. Anything between 4ms is the ideal response time for the monitor, and if you get a gaming monitor with 1ms response time, then it is best.

Adaptive Synchronization Technology

Last but not the least; the Adaptive-Sync is an advantageous feature for the gamers and graphic designers. Doesn’t matter which type of monitor you are using, there may be some occasions where you face screen tearing and stuttering. When you enable the Adaptive Synchronization, then you will be able to eliminate such issues as well as get rid of input lag.

The Adaptive Synchronization which also known as variable refresh rate comes in two main types:

  1. NVIDIA G-Sync
  2. AMD FreeSync

The main purpose of using such feature is to close the gap between the performance of graphics card and that of your display. When you play games on your PC, then the graphics card sends the images to the display as fast as it can. And due to this, if your monitor is limited to a refresh rate like 60Hz, then you will face the issues of screen tearing, stuttering, and input lag. To avoid these circumstances, you need to have G-Sync or FreeSync technology on your monitor.

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Other Considerable Features

The above all are mainly considered features while buying a perfect monitor. But in this new technology trend, some additional features can help you in purchasing the better than the best display.

If you have small desk space, then you can have an option of mounting the monitor on the wall. Modern displays come with VESA mount support to make them able for wall mounting. Also, some extra built-in features like quality speakers, webcams, ergonomic designs (tilt, pivot, swivel, and height adjustment), and support to dual monitor stands are always welcomed.

Get Your Favorite Monitor NOW

I tried to cover all the aspects that will help you buy the perfect monitor for your particular needs. But, in case if I missed anything important here or if you want to share your thoughts and experiences, then just go to the comment section below and have your say!

Thanks for reading!

This article is written by Darshan Patni. Darshan is a graduate in Computer Science. He is passionate about new technologies, gadgets, wireless technologies and gaming monitors. You can follow him on his website.

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