Finding the right monitor that best suits your needs can have a large impact on your computing experience. This guide highlights key features you need to consider when looking for your next monitor.

Display Types

Computer monitors have a variety of different display types with their own strengths and weaknesses.

  • LCD (liquid-crystal display)

LCD type displays are the cheapest and simplest type of computer monitor. They are a good choice for general home use like browsing, word processing and email.

  • LED (light-emitting diode)

LED type displays offer an excellent picture quality and brightness, while using less power and being much thinner and lighter.

  • IPS (in-plane switching)

IPS Monitors offer superior picture quality with deeper blacks and more accurate colors. This makes them the display type of choice for photo editing, graphics work, and gaming. They also have enhanced viewing angles to ensure the image quality is retained at extreme angles so the picture looks exceptional even when you’re not sitting directly in front of it.

  • Touchscreen

Touchscreen monitors are popular for home entertainment and multipurpose use. You can swipe through photos, play touch-based games and tap tiles to launch apps.  If you’re planning to buy a touch-screen monitor, look for smooth movement as you swipe; enough glass on the edge to make it easier to swipe in from the side; and the ability to move the display into different positions for comfort, easier reach.

Screen Size

if you’ve got the space and budget, the bigger the size the is better. Monitors are measured diagonally in inches (an inch is about 2.54cm).

  • 20” and under:

Smaller sized monitors offer a good experience for viewing email, using office documents, and web browsing.

  • 21”-26”:

These monitors offer a better experience for multi purpose home and office use, watching movies, playing games, and viewing multi page documents.

  • 27” and up:

Larger monitors offer more screen space for multi-tasking, professional work, video production, graphic design and serious gamers.

  • Widescreen and Ultrawide Monitors

Almost all monitors today are widescreen, which are better for viewing large spreadsheets, having multiple apps open at the same time and keeping your desktop’s sidebar open while searching the Web. They’re also perfect for movies and gaming. Widescreen monitors have a 16:9 or 16:10 aspect ratio. Ultrawide monitors have a 21:9 aspect ratio. They make it easier than ever to view multiple documents at the same time or place multiple browsers side by side, and offer an immersive gaming experience.

Resolution

A monitor’s resolution refers to the number of picture elements, or pixels, that make up an image. More pixels means finer detail. The resolution is measured in the number of pixels per surface unit (given in linear inches). It is abbreviated DPI, for Dots Per Inch.

  • HD (1366x768) and HD+ (1600x900)

HD and HD+ resolution monitors are commonly available in monitors ranging from the 15”-20” range, and provide a good picture at an affordable price.

  • Full HD (1920x1080)

Full High Definition monitors offer a resolution equivalent to 1080p HDTV’s.

  • Quad HD (2560x1440)

Also known as QHD and 1440p, these types of monitors offer quality higher and are the monitor of choice for enthusiast gamers, graphic designers, and photo and video editors.

  • 4k Ultra HD (3840x2160)

Currently the highest resolution monitors currently available. Offering 4 times as many pixels as 1080p,

Make sure your computer can support your new monitor, especially if you’re upgrading to Quad HD or 4K Ultra HD or you won’t have the best picture quality. You might need to update your computer or graphics card.

Display quality

  • Response Time
    The response time indicates how quickly the screen can its image. Superfast response times such as 2 ms or less reduce ghosting and blurring in fast moving movies and games.
  • Contrast
    Expressed as a ratio, this is a measure of the difference between the brightest white and the deepest black. A higher contrast ratio can produce images that are more vivid and punchy. Manufacturers measure this in different ways so comparison is tricky.
  • Brightness
    A bright screen is important if you’re working in a brightly lit room. A typical brightness level is 250 cd/m2 but if you are working in a sunny room, look for a brightness level of 350 cd/m2 or higher. You can also control an LCD’s brightness with buttons or on-screen controls.
  • Viewing angle

Horizontal and vertical viewing angles tell you how far from the centre of the screen you can view before the quality of the image begins to degrade.

  • Refresh rate

Refresh rate is how many times per second your computer refreshes the image onscreen. Faster refresh rates reduce motion blur for smother pictures.

Connectors

The outputs from your computer need to match the inputs of the display so that you connect them. You may also wish to plug in your smartphone, camera and other devices.

  • HDMI

Carries both video and audio signals and is excellent for playing HD content.

  • DisplayPort

Better choice for high resolution and frame rates to ensure a smoother picture for fast games and movies.

  • DVI (digital visual interface)

Provide a similar video signal to HDMI but usually don’t carry audio.

  • USB ports

Used to plug in your smartphone, Blu-ray player and other devices to view content without turning on your computer.

Extras

  • Built in webcam for video chats.
  • Speakers for Skype, videos, music and other audio activities.
  • Microphone

Shop online I Find a store

Computer Mania stocks a wide selection of computer monitors.  Our in store technical specialists can answer all your questions and assist you to find the best solution for your requirements.