A lot of thought must go into selecting your ideal PC monitor. If not, you can overspend and purchase the most expensive, well-equipped option, even if it’s not really what you need. Or you can make a lazy decision and get the cheapest yet underperforms. Either way, they’re not the best route to go.
Finding the perfect PC monitor for your needs isn’t difficult, despite what others might say. Sure, there are many PC monitors out there, but having a concrete and easy guide will help you. After reading this, you’ll be able to identify the ideal PC monitor just for you.
What’s a PC Monitor for?
Before getting into the nitty-gritty features, you must first ask yourself what the PC monitor is for. Why are you buying a monitor? Once you have a concrete answer, you’ll know what to get. Below are a few typical reasons for getting a PC monitor:
You don’t want an extravagant PC monitor if you only do simple activities such as browsing the web or sending emails. Additionally, software like Microsoft Excel normally doesn’t need high-end hardware because virtually any display should be able to run them. Full HD screens with the right sizes and reasonable prices are readily available for everyday office work.
Modern gamers are always on the hunt for the newest gaming technology, especially monitors. Gaming PC monitors provide a competitive advantage or simply increase immersion.
For a flawless gaming experience, graphically demanding games need a PC monitor with full HD resolution, a fast response time, and a refresh rate of 60Hz or higher. Some gamers also opt to have two monitors or a widescreen display for more immersive gameplay.
PC monitors are a great tool for anyone involved in the creative arts. Find a widescreen monitor with Quad HD or Full HD resolution for creating videos or editing photos.
Multipurpose PC Monitors
People who juggle different activities on one PC should look for an IPS or LED monitor with Full HD resolution. But you can choose a functional PC monitor with great features.
10 Features to Consider for a PC Monitor
The majority of PC monitors nowadays are quite impressive. Over the past ten years, they have made substantial advancements in minimum brightness, contrast, and color accuracy. But if you want a better one, here are some features to look for in a PC monitor:
1. Your Budget
The price of a PC monitor is, by far, the most crucial consideration when choosing one. Always know the lowest and highest price you want to splurge on a monitor. Don’t go shopping without knowing your budget or else you’ll either buy an expensive one or not have enough money.
2. Display Type
PC monitors are divided into three display types, and each has its own benefits:
Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)
Compared to LED monitors, LCD monitors are less expensive. LCD monitors deliver high-caliber performance and project images onto screens using liquid crystals.
Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED)
OLED displays have a flat panel display that generates its own light without using backlights. Therefore, creating excellent picture quality. OLED is a sustainable monitor because it doesn’t generate any harmful waste when in use.
Light-Emitting Diode (LED)
LED monitors provide brighter and higher picture quality. You may use LED displays outside because of their high degree of brightness. That’s why LED monitors allow you to view the screen properly without glare.
3. The Ergonomics
Nowadays, PC monitors come with stands. These stands range from simple plastic bases you cannot adjust to sophisticated monitor arms holding a monitor in any position.
Get a PC monitor with a stand that can at least tilt and change the height. The stand will enable you to select a convenient viewing position. But if the monitor is a secondary display, look for a swivel and pivot. The swivel allows horizontal angle adjustment, which can rotate the monitor 90 degrees.
4. Panel Type
Most people are aware that PC monitors have different resolutions and screen sizes. But some are oblivious to the different panel types a monitor can have. Here are the four common panel types:
Twisted Nematic (TN)
TN monitors have the lowest motion blur, maximum refresh rates, and lowest response times. Plus, TN PC monitors are the least expensive.
Vertical Alignment (VA)
VA PC monitors have the best visual depth and contrast and good color. A Vertical Alignment monitor has a higher refresh rate but the longest response times.
In-Plane Switching (IPS)
IPS monitors have response rates slower than TN but faster than VA. In some cases, there are IPS monitors that have gaming-quality refresh rates. However, IPS monitors have the best viewing angles and the best color.
In high-end displays right now, MiniLEDs are popular. MiniLEDs are akin to quantum dot technology. But as the name implies, they use LEDs with a diameter of only 0.2 mm. As a result, manufacturers may fit up to three times as many LEDs into a given space with more local dimming zones. Compact LEDs produce darker blacks and sharper contrast.
5. Screen Resolution
When picking a PC monitor, people can now choose from 2K to 8K resolution. PC monitors with HD, Full HD, and Quad HD are the norm for office work. But for those who are in the field of creative work, a 4K or 5K display is practically a requirement.
Bear in mind that 5K or 8K monitors will require a rather powerful computer to render all those pixels. In addition, the resolution goes hand in hand with the screen size and display format. For example, a screen size of at least 27 inches is required for 4K resolution. Otherwise, the difference between it and 1440p won’t be very noticeable.
6. Screen Size and Display Format
Nowadays, screen size is king. Most PC monitors for entertainment, content creation and gaming are 27-, 32-, 34-, and even 42-inch in size. 24-inch panels are still available and were formerly the norm.
Aspect ratios of 16:9 or 16:10, common on widescreen monitors, are ideal for seeing huge spreadsheets or playing games. On the other hand, the 21:9 aspect ratio of ultrawide monitors are ideal for viewing lengthy documents and opening browser tabs. Ultrawide PC monitors frequently have split-screen capabilities that make it simple to arrange everything.
7. HDR Capability
In 2022, there was an influx of HDR PC monitors. And in 2023, most of the new displays will be equipped with HDR. High Dynamic Range, or HDR for short, significantly improves your viewing experience.
The technology extends the color gamut of the pixels and increases contrast for more vivid colors and better color accuracy. PC monitors with HDR are excellent for gaming and editing photos and videos since the content will appear authentic and natural.
8. Refresh and Response Rate
Refresh and response rates are important features, especially for gaming monitors. Displays usually have a refresh rate of 60Hz. However, choose a refresh rate of 144Hz or more if you want a smooth gaming experience. On the other hand, look for a response time of 2ms or less if you wish to enjoy fast-moving games and movies without any blur.
9. Adaptive Sync
AMD FreeSync technology and Nvidia G-Sync technology are present in most gaming or creative work PC monitors. The two adaptive syncing technologies reduce stuttering and screen tearing and create a fluid experience. These adaptive syncs do this by syncing the refresh rate of your monitor with the graphics card.
You must verify that the adaptive sync technology and your graphics card are compatible. Generally, you can look at the lowest refresh rate at which G-Sync or FreeSync can operate. Ideally, it is lower than your graphics card can handle.
However, choosing between the two will depend on how you use your PC monitor. FreeSync monitors are a great choice if you have a limited budget. On the other hand, G-Sync depends on DisplayPort, but FreeSync is compatible with both DisplayPort and HDMI. For a high-end gaming/graphic design computer, a G-Sync Ultimate or FreeSync Premium Pro monitor is the best option.
10. Other Notable Features
In addition to the features above, you can also look for these minute features when buying a PC monitor:
PC monitors include many connectors for simple connecting with various devices. There are numerous ports, including USB Type-A, USB Type-C, DisplayPort, VGA, and DVI. So, think about the things besides computers you wish to attach to your monitor.
Built-in Webcam and Speakers
Some PC monitors are available with a built-in webcam. Webcams are useful for various activities, including streaming gaming, participating in online meetings and conferences, and more. You must decide whether or not you need a webcam.
Additionally, some monitors have built-in speakers. Always make sure a monitor has internal speakers if you want them. But note that speakers will produce louder, clearer music with higher wattages.
Picking the Right PC Monitor in 2023
There is a PC monitor out there for you, no matter your needs or budget. But these are only a few of the factors that you might take into account before choosing. Make careful to make the proper investment for what you need. If not, a mediocre monitor has the potential to make or break your fully functional, powerful PC.