Monitor buying guide: Get all relevant details like refresh rate, screen resolution, screen size before you pick one - Hindustan Times
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Monitor buying guide: Get all relevant details like refresh rate, screen resolution, screen size before you pick one

Jun 18, 2024 04:59 PM IST

Monitor buying guide: If you are a gamer or a creative professional, a premium monitor is a necessity. Even general computing tasks need a good option.

Monitors are essential for work, gaming, and entertainment. They are used by professionals, gamers, students, and everyday consumers to display information, create content, and facilitate virtual communication and learning. Monitors are used by both desktop and laptop users for a variety of purposes. They enhance productivity for professionals, offer immersive experiences for gamers, support creative work for designers, and enable effective remote learning and communication for students. Additionally, monitors are used for multimedia consumption, coding, and a host of other functions.

Check out our buying guide on best monitors for diverse uses. (Pexels)
Check out our buying guide on best monitors for diverse uses. (Pexels)

Having a good one is essential to increase productivity, many would argue. But buying one can be a very confusing proposition. Here's our buying guide to making your decision-making process simple.

Types of monitors

A cursory glance at online platforms that sell computer monitors or a stroll to your neighbourhood mall with gadget stores is sure to prove to be a challenge if you aren't a gadget geek. We will try and de-clutter it for you.

Computer monitors include LCD, LED, OLED, and curved types, each offering benefits like cost-effectiveness, brightness, colour accuracy and immersive experiences.

LCD monitors: LCD monitors are generally more affordable, with decent image quality and energy efficiency. They are suitable for general computing tasks in homes and offices.

LED monitors: These monitors, which are a type of LCD, offer enhanced brightness, energy efficiency and better colour accuracy.

OLED monitors excel in colour accuracy, contrast ratio, response time, and deep blacks. All these factors contribute to providing the viewer superior visual quality for diverse applications.

Curved display monitors: Curved display monitors offer immersive viewing experiences, reducing distortion and enhancing peripheral vision, suitable for gaming, design, and multimedia applications.


What kind of professionals use a monitor?

In the days of desktop computer, everybody used a monitor. In the era of laptops, some may want to know who uses a monitor with a laptop. Here's a brief understanding of professionals who can find using a monitor beneficial.

Remote workers: Monitors help give enhanced display area and increase productivity.

Graphic designers and video editors can benefit immensely from larger, high-resolution displays for detailed work.

Gamers need monitors for better visuals and an immersive gaming experience.

Programmers: Monitors help in viewing more code simultaneously and improve workflow.

Students: Unlike laptop screen, monitors help in multitasking and make studying easy.

Business professionals can derive a host of benefits for presentations and multitasking using various applications.

Content creators can manage complex projects more efficiently.

Traders and financial analysts: Monitors help in keeping a tab on multiple data streams and applications concurrently.

 

Who uses what kind of monitor?

It would be informative to know which kind of monitor can be used by what kind of professionals or common users.

LCD monitors: These monitors are known to give decent performance and are affordable and are popular with general consumers and office workers who use them for everyday tasks.

LED monitors: These monitors are preferred by gamers and designers for better brightness, energy efficiency and vibrant visuals.

OLED monitors: This is a popular choice of professionals who are involved in design, media production, and high-end gaming for their superior colour accuracy and deep contrasts.

Curved monitors: These monitors are a big hit with gamers and creative professionals for immersive viewing and enhanced productivity.

 

Key factors to keep in mind when buying a monitor
 

Here's a quick discussion of some of the key factors that must be on your radar when researching for a new monitor.

 

Resolution and size: Choose a resolution that matches your needs (for example, full HD, 4K) and consider size for workspace and viewing comfort.

Panel type: Decide between TN (fast response, lower cost), IPS (better colour accuracy, wider viewing angles), or VA (good contrast, deeper blacks).

Refresh rate and response time: Higher refresh rates (e.g., 144Hz, 240Hz) are ideal for gaming, while lower response times reduce motion blur.

Connectivity: Ensure compatibility with your devices (HDMI, DisplayPort) and peripherals (USB ports).

Adjustability: Look for tilt, swivel, height adjustment, and VESA mount compatibility for ergonomic setup.


Let's try and understand the different features of monitors that we ought to be aware of before making a purchase.


Monitor screen size: Factors to consider
 

When considering monitor screen size, several factors come into play. First, assess your workspace and seating distance—larger screens like 27 inches or above are suitable for spacious desks. If your setup is small and compact, opting for 24 inches or smaller would be ideal. Next, think about your primary use—larger screens offer more screen real estate for multitasking and immersive gaming or creative work. Lastly, balance screen size with resolution to ensure sharp visuals without straining your eyes or overtaxing your Graphics Processing Units (GPU).

For those of us who do not understand a GPU, here's a quick explainer. A GPU is a component found in computers, laptops, or gaming consoles. It processes and provides graphics data, which is then displayed on the monitor.

 

Monitor resolution: Points to know

 

Understanding resolution is crucial when selecting a monitor. Resolution determines the number of pixels displayed on screen, affecting clarity and detail. Common resolutions include Full HD (1920x1080), Quad HD (2560x1440), and 4K Ultra HD (3840x2160), each offering progressively sharper images. Higher resolutions are beneficial for tasks requiring precise detail, such as graphic design or video editing, but also demand more powerful hardware for better performance. Consider your usage needs and hardware capabilities to find the right balance between resolution and performance.


Monitor panel types: Know the important details

 

Regular buyers may or may not have heard of monitor panels, and hence it would be better to first know what they are. Monitor panels refer to the flat screen component that display images and include technologies like TN (Twisted Nematic), IPS (In-Plane Switching), VA (Vertical Alignment), and OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode).

Monitor panel types significantly impact display quality and performance. TN panels offer fast response times suitable for gaming, but often compromise on colour accuracy and viewing angles. IPS panels provide superior colour reproduction and wider viewing angles, ideal for professional tasks like graphic design and photo editing. VA panels offer high contrast ratios and deeper blacks, making them suitable for multimedia and general-purpose use.

Choose based on your priorities—whether gaming, content creation, or everyday computing—to optimize your viewing experience.

 

Monitors: What is refresh rate? How does it influence your buying decision?

Refresh rate refers to how many times per second a monitor refreshes the image displayed on screen. It is measured in Hertz (Hz). A higher refresh rate, such as 144Hz or 240Hz, results in smoother motion and reduced blur, especially beneficial for gaming and fast-paced content. When choosing a monitor, consider your usage—gamers and video editors should prioritize higher refresh rates for fluid gameplay and seamless video playback. However, standard office tasks may not require such high rates, allowing for cost-effective options with lower refresh rates.

 

What is response time in monitors?

Response time in monitors measures how quickly pixels can change from one colour to another, typically measured in milliseconds (ms). A lower response time, such as 1ms or 4ms, results in less motion blur (refers to the blurring or smearing of fast-moving objects on a monitor screen) and ghosting (refers to lingering image trails left behind by fast-moving objects on screen) during fast-paced activities like gaming or watching action movies.

When purchasing a monitor, gamers and users of multimedia content should prioritize monitors with low response times to ensure smooth and clear visuals. For general use, slightly higher response times may not significantly impact performance or user experience.

 

What are ultrawide monitors?

Ultrawide monitors feature a wider aspect ratio (refers to the proportion between the width and height of the screen display) than traditional monitors, typically 21:9 or even 32:9, offering more horizontal screen space. This extra width provides a more immersive viewing experience for gaming, multimedia editing, and multitasking, allowing for multiple windows side by side without bezel interruptions (visible borders between adjacent monitor screens or panels).

Ultrawide monitors often replace dual-monitor setups, reducing clutter and enhancing productivity. However, they may require more desk space and a powerful graphics card to fully utilize their capabilities, making them ideal for users who prioritize screen real estate and immersive viewing.

Price: Monitors in different price categories available in India

Budget monitors (under 10,000)

Budget monitors under 10,000 offer basic features suitable for everyday tasks like browsing, document work, and media consumption. They typically include standard HD resolutions, basic connectivity options, and smaller screen sizes around 21 to 24 inches.

Mid-range monitors ( 10,000 - 25,000)

Mid-range monitors in the above-mentioned price range offer enhanced features such as Full HD or Quad HD resolutions, IPS panels for better colour accuracy, higher refresh rates for smoother gaming, and ergonomic adjustments for improved comfort during extended use.

High-end monitors (above 25,000)


High-end monitors, typically priced above 25,000, feature premium specifications. These include 4K or higher resolutions, OLED or high-quality IPS panels for superior colour accuracy and contrast, high refresh rates for gaming, HDR support, and advanced ergonomic designs for professional and passionate users.


Well-known monitor brands in India

Well-known monitor brands in India include Dell, HP, Samsung, LG, Acer, ASUS and BenQ. These brands offer a range of monitors catering to various needs from basic office use to gaming and professional tasks. Dell and HP are known for reliable business-oriented monitors, while Samsung and LG excel in high-quality displays with vibrant colours. Acer and ASUS are popular among gamers for their gaming monitors, while BenQ is recognized for their colour-accurate displays for creative professionals.


Conclusion

Monitors are essential display devices used for computers and other devices. They provide visual output for tasks ranging from work and gaming to multimedia consumption. They vary in size, resolution, and features to suit diverse needs and preferences of users.

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Disclaimer: At Hindustan Times, we help you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and products. Hindustan Times has an affiliate partnership, so we may get a part of the revenue when you make a purchase. We shall not be liable for any claim under applicable laws, including but not limited to the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, with respect to the products. The products listed in this article are in no particular order of priority.

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