Confused between various monitors available both online and offline? Do not worry we got your back with this buying guide!
This detailed buying guide will help you to simplify your choices and narrow it down to a perfect monitor of your dreams.
While buying a best monitor under 200 USD to 1000 USD budget range there are various things to consider, be it connection type to the panel even the small details in a monitor could change your perspective. If you have no idea about words like HDMI ports, display, refresh rates or response Times then go through every single word of this buying guide to get the best out of your monitor experience.
Let’s begin with the guide without further delay-
Pick the Right Monitor for Your PC
What connection types mean is that the types of ports or cables that will connect to your PC to your monitor. To make sure that you do not face any difficulty after buying the monitor always check your computer first. Check for the types of ports that at fitted in your computer and if these ports match those of the monitor then you are in luck. Do not worry if the ports on the monitor do not match with the ports on your computer because you can easily use adaptor cables that will help you connect your monitor to your PC. But it’s always a safe choice to go for a monitor that can connect to your PC without the need for special cables.
VIDEO GRAPHICS ARRAY (VGA)
The video graphics array is one of the oldest and outdated connectors. You can easily identify a VGA connector by its trapezoidal shape that usually has a screw-down plug with blue color. The problem with VGA connecting port is that
Its only response to the video signal and not the audio signal which means that your monitor will not give audio and only give video.
VGA ports are still available on general use or business computers because they are helpful in connecting to older projection systems.
This connection operates on analog standards and is practically limited by the electrical power and length of the cable itself. Apart from that VGA connection also has various limitations and is not the best choice out there. It also does not support standards higher than 1080 pixels of resolution that limits its connection to various modern PCs.
Let’s talk about HDMI, DVI, and VGA now.
DVI stands for digital visual interface just like VGA; DVI is also old technology but is still usable. It is mostly used on monitors, desktop motherboards, and discrete graphic cards. It’s quite large and screws down connection mean it’s not popular on laptops. Dual-link DVI connections are enough for small or medium-sized modern monitors and carry only video signal and no audio signal.
HDMI stands for high definition multimedia. most flat-screen televisions and monitors have HDMI ports. It is one of the best options available because it carries both audio and video signals and is a boon for monitors with built-in speakers. It is one of the most popular videos and audio connection available in the market that does not need external cables or special adaptors.
There are different types in HDMI cable for example the original standard 1.0 supports a maximum of 1920×1200 resolution at a refresh rate of 60 Hertz full stop whereas the latest version 2.1 can Support a massive 10,000-pixel wide picture at 120 Hz. If you have a monitor with high resolution then go for an HDMI connection with the latest features.
Next up, is the display port. It supports both audio and video signals on a single cable and is just like HDMI. Many upgrades keep on coming in display ports. It is specially designed for computers and monitors. One unique feature of the display port is that it allows you to create a Daisy chain which means that you can connect monitors with each other involving two or more displays to be connected to a single PC with a single cable.
The DisplayPort version 1.4 supports 4K resolution at a refresh rate of 240 Hertz or 8k up to 60 Hertz. It also possesses a trapezoidal shape.
USB-C AND THUNDERBOLT 3
USB C is a connection that is generally used in laptops and transfers videos as well as audio through an interface called thunderbolt. This is extremely useful as it can charge a laptop, connect it with other devices like phones, and output media to external screens using the same connection. But Thunderbolt 3 model monitors are still new to the market and very few laptops have this feature. Most of the laptops Use HDMI. If you are somebody who connects a laptop with only a thunderbolt video-out option then thunderbolt connection is a great option for you.
MULTIPLE CONNECTIONS AND ADAPTORS
Look for multiple connections and adaptors in a monitor. Most digital connections can be adapted to each other with adaptor cables. Most mid-range laptops will not have many connections but high-end laptops will have more adaptability connections. Having an adaptor connector is very reliable as you can connect any device with your monitor. Having a monitor that supports DVR, HDMI, and display port connections is a boon. Make a full inquiry about connections as well as adaptors before buying any monitor.
SIZE OF THE SCREEN
When it comes to the size of the screen the bigger is better but it generally depends upon your taste and preference.
Keep in mind the size of the screen is a factor that adds and subtracts from the price tag. Here are a few tips that suggest what screen size is ideal-
For watching or editing videos, graphics, intensive video games, and photography larger monitors are better. As they provide more screen space.
If you are not interested in gaming or video editing then larger displays are not for you. A general size display can get your job done.
If you engage in work on your computer then larger all multiple displays can be suitable as the lead to more productivity and provides screen space.
Monitors are available in all shapes and sizes but monitors above 34 inches are quite large when it comes to standard PC viewing distances. Get a monitor that will fit your desk properly.
Last but not the least, do check the dimensions of the monitor and the space that you are going to place your monitor in beforehand so that you don’t have to worry about the monitor not suiting your space.
Aspect ratio refers to the size of the monitor; it is the ratio of the width of the screen panel to its height. The most common aspect ratio is 16:9. This aspect ratio is suitable for most of the users and is used in mostly all monitors as well as laptops. This one more aspect ratio available that is 21:9, this aspect ratio is generally used in ultra-wide monitors that stretch from left to right to provide more screen space. They provide immersive and enveloping experience.
Screen resolution refers to the total number of pixels that are expressed as a number value of horizontal by vertical. The most popular and the standard resolution size is 1920× 1080. When it comes to screen resolution more pixels are better that means that the higher the resolution the better is the display. 1920×1080 pixels being the standard resolution, are available in most of the monitors (even the cheapest models feature these resolutions). Apart from these resolutions, more expensive models feature of 5K and 8k display. These display a super-premium and are the best choices available for gaming and professional uses.
You must configure your PC to show it at a lower resolution if the aspect ratio doesn’t match so that you don’t get blurry images. A monitor should have a native resolution which refers to displaying an image as the same resolution as its panel.
Other than all these resolution information some people might face problems while reading small texts if they have irregular eyesight. Super high-resolution displays may not be ideal for them and native resolution would be a better option in such cases.
Panel types are generally classified into two types, they are TN and IPS. TN stands for twisted nematic sand IPS stands for in-plane switching. There’s just a slight difference between the two of these panel types putt TN panels are slightly cheaper and are found in less expensive monitors. IPS panels produce better color and the colors do not differ even when viewed from different angles providing you with color accuracy. The only bad part about IPS panels is that they have slower response times.
Another panel type includes VA that stands for vertical alignment. VA is a perfect amalgamation of faster response time and high-quality colors. It includes color accuracy with high-quality colors.
The next step of panels are OLED panels, these panels are most popular in smartphones and televisions. They give immersive colors and accurate color calibration. These panels are quite expensive as they are new in the market. There’s still not used on computer monitors but with evolving technology the surely will make their way into computers.
The refresh rate is how fast a monitor can refresh its screen it refers to the ability of pixels changing color. It is measured in hertz.
The standard refresh rate for LCD is 60 hertz and it is more than enough for general use monitors. But it lacks behind when it comes to gamers because they need faster monitors and hence faster refresh rate. For any gaming displays, a refresh rate of 120 Hz or more is required for a smooth gaming experience.
Currently, the highest refresh rate is 240 hertz and that’s butterflies smooth.
Some gamers also use variable refresh rates. Please refresh rates to help the monitor to refresh at the same frame rate output as your system. For example, if the game has 50 frames per second the monitor refreshes at 50 frames per second, and if the frame rate of the game changers then the monitor matches it instantly. This also depends on your graphics card and two different standards for the major graphic card manufacturers are G-Sync and FreeSync. Choose the monitor that supports your graphic card.
Brightness is measured in nits. A rating greater than 250 NITs is suitable for any type of monitor. However, monitors having a brightness level of 315 minutes or greater show better color and contrast ratios and they are most suitable for graphics professionals. Even gamers might opt for higher brightness levels to ensure an immersive gaming experience.
Contrast ratio refers to the difference between the light of the brightest white color and the darkest dark color a display can manifest. Contrast levels really matter in any sort of display because the greater the contrast level the more subtle the difference in color and value a monitor can show.
You can easily judge a good display through its contrast ratio. You might not even notice the contrast ratio difference when the monitors are placed beside each other but they do influence the display in many ways.
The advanced technology to boost contrast ratios is used in some types of monitors they are under the name of dynamic contrast ratios or advanced contrast ratios. They help in improving the display of the monitor.
The recommended value of the contrast ratio is 350:1. But the contrast ratio is varying from manufacturer to manufacturer. There is no standard way of measuring contrast ratios. Hence while buying any monitor, do check reviews that consist of brightness and contrast ratios.
Here one thing that you do not need to worry about while buying a monitor. Many and most of the monitors have 24-bit color applicable which is the standard value and is applicable to any kind of monitor. You do not need to prioritize this over other features.
A 24-bit color means that the monitor can display 16.7 million colors from an RGB color space. While old versions did not display all of the colors the new version of monitors is capable of displaying all these colors accurately.
Viewing angle as the name suggests is the angle that you view your monitors from. To simply put it, it refers to the angle at which you can view the monitor until the image starts to deteriorate. LCD weaving angle is 180 degrees which means that you can view it from 180 degrees easily without the image starting to get blurry. But do not worry about this feature because it mainly matters in television as well as huge displays, because its viewed from different angles; when it comes to monitors there’s a single person who is working on it so viewing angles do not need to be prioritized.
A viewing angle of 140 degrees or more is sufficient for generally any kind of display but if you are a graphics professional or have the monitor for display then do to give attention to viewing angles.
Response time is a very important factor to consider if you are into gaming. Response time is the time taken by the computer to respond to any sort of activity. it is measured in milliseconds and the lesser the number the better the response time and the monitor’s display is. The amount of time taken by a pixel to change from color to color and the lag between these changes is called the response time.
The fastest response time is 1 millisecond but never go below than 5 milliseconds. And gamers should look for about 1-3 milliseconds to ensure a smooth gaming experience.
If a monitor has a fast response time then the video quality is improved. But if the monitor is slow and has a really long response time then it can cause motion blur in the display.
Even though a fast response time gives improve video quality it is not vital for most people even for graphics professionals. But this is something that gamers should pay specific attention towards.
OTHER FEATURES TO LOOK FOR
A USB hub is very handy and practical for plugging in devices like mice, keyboards, and flash drives. A built-in set of USB ports will let you plug in almost any sort of device.
Curved screens might add to the price tag but give a very enveloping and immersive experience. It depends completely on the preference of the buyer.
An adjustable stand will be very practical and convenient to have. The stand usually allows altering the height of the monitor and also bending it according to your viewing angle. Some also give the liberty to rotate the monitor for a portrait display.
It refers to a standard mounting bracket. This option allows you to mount your monitor to the wall. This option is not available in most of the cheap monitors but it is quite convenient to have.
Just as described above Daisy chain helps you to connect multiple monitors with a single connection to a PC. This is especially helpful in expanding your screen space and productivity.
INTEGRATED SPEAKERS OR CAMERAS:
Built-in speakers and web camera are very comfortable options for business purposes. Built-in speakers also eliminate the need for external speakers or adaptable cables.
PICTURE-IN-PICTURE AND MULTIPLE INPUTS:
These features are available in high-end business monitors. Premium business monitors can display inputs from various computers at the same time.
So to conclude this buying guide, these options are and as important as other detailed once but you must check every single thing before going for any monitor. Most of the points covered in the monitor buying guide will help determine your next choice.
And the last but most important thing to consider is your budget; get a monitor that fits your needs as well as your budget. Also do check for festive sales or discounts, which will help you save quite a lot. Pay attention to return policy as well as warranties and guarantees.
If possible then go check the monitor out in person because it might differ a bit in photographs.
The most intricate detail here is to consider the size of the monitor because you don’t want a monitor that does not suit your space at all. Now that you know everything about a monitor, make an informed ideal choice. Check for every single thing mentioned in this buying guide.