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How To Buy Or Select A Suitable Computer Monitor

Computer Monitor Selection


How To Buy or Select the Correct Computer Monitor

If you’ve been to a big box chain, you’ll see dozens of monitors for sale. At first glance, many of them may look the same. But there are countless differences you should consider when making a purchase. By understanding the specifications, a trip to the store may be completely unnecessary.


When monitor shopping, consider the following features:


Screen Resolution: The screen resolution is the number of pixels on the screen.  The number of pixels is always presented as width x height. There are countless screen resolutions as monitors are increasing in size and quality.


While you’ll often see the resolution presented as width x height (eg – 1920 x 1080), resolution is often shortened to the second number – height. As a result, a monitor may be listed with shorthand such as “1080p.”


In 2020, the majority of monitors have 1080p resolution. As quality improves, there is a gradual move from 1080p, to even higher resolution – 1440 (4K). Screen resolution is pretty simple to understand – the higher the resolution, the clearer the picture. As you’d expect, higher resolution generally comes with higher cost.


Response Time: Response time is the time it takes your monitor to change from one colour to another.  If you have a high response time, video or movement may blur – negatively affecting things like games and movies. A low response time will result in less blur. Response times vary, but they are generally under 10 milliseconds.


Refresh Rate: Not to be confused with response time, the refresh rate is the number of times per second that the monitor will update the image its presenting. If your refresh rate is 60 Hz, your monitor is refreshing the picture 60 times per second. The higher the number, the higher the refresh rate, and generally the smoother the picture on the screen.


Always remember: with response time, a lower number is best. With refresh rate, a higher number is best.


Contrast Ratio: Contrast ratio is the difference between the darkest colour on the screen (black) and the brightest (white). A high contrast ratio means a more vibrant picture.


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