Monitor Buying Guide

Choosing the best monitor for your purposes and budget can be a challenge, with so many specifications and options to decipher. We hope this buying guide will provide you with some useful information to help you make a final decision.

The best Monitors can enhance your desk and improve your overall computing experience, whether you’re setting up your ideal PC workstation or just need a nice big screen to connect your laptop to. In many ways, a computer monitor is the window to your PC’s performance.

That’s important because when you need to spend hours focusing on your work, school, games, or even professional graphics work, the right monitor can make the difference between comfort and discomfort. Without a proper monitor, you won’t be able to use all of your PC’s features.

The good Monitors provide a clear view of your work, improve the ergonomics of your desk, and increase your daily productivity. Most monitors offer similar features at first glance, but they have different characteristics that may or may not meet your needs. By considering the options in terms of features, shape, and size, and assessing your own usage, you can figure out which type of monitor is right for you.

Purpose of Buying a New Monitor

Normal Computing Operations

If you’re just looking for a monitor to get you through the day and help you with things like writing emails, posting on social media, browsing the web, paying your bills, watching videos, etc., then you don’t need a high-end monitor. For these purposes, good-sized monitors with Full HD displays are readily available at reasonable prices.

High-end Gaming

High-end gaming requires monitors with Full HD resolution, a good response time, a high refresh rate of 60 Hz or more for a smooth gaming experience, and a horizontal viewing angle of 178 degrees or more.

For a better gaming experience, look for AMD Free G-Sync technology or NVIDIA G-Sync. Some gamers may be looking for two gaming monitors or a really wide screen to get an amazing view of all the game characters.


The third type is for photographers, video editors, creatives, artists, graphic designers, animators, programmers, and other multimedia professionals. For content creation, look for a widescreen monitor with Full HD or Quad HD resolution.

You can’t go wrong with an IPS panel and other display features that offer wide viewing angles and perfect color accuracy. You also need to consider response time, mounts, stands, etc. for ergonomic viewing.


This type of monitor is suitable for users who want to do office work like spreadsheets or collaborate with colleagues, play games, edit photos/videos or shoot movies.

You will be looking for an LED or IPS monitor with Full HD resolution for various purposes. There aren’t too many specifics to deal with, and you can choose a good combination of functionalities.

Choosing a Panel

It all comes down to what panel characteristics are best for general use, gaming, or professional video/image editing applications, which ultimately depends on color reproduction technology, viewing angles, response times, and refresh rates.

Twisted Nematic (TN) Technology

If you are a hardcore PC gamer, TN (twisted-nematic) panels may be the first choice for your monitor. Computer monitors with TN panels offer the highest refresh rates and the fastest response times. TN panels are one of the oldest display technologies and produce images by using translucent nematic liquid crystals in glass plates, a color filter, and two lined filters (one vertical, the other horizontal).

TN panels are known for being inexpensive to manufacture. They also have very fast pixel response times, which improves motion clarity. Due to the polarization effect that occurs with TN panels, these monitors have the worst color reproduction and viewing angle. On the other hand, these monitors are the most affordable monitors, which makes them perfect for gamers who have already spent a lot of money on their gaming battlestation.

Vertical Alignment (VA)

VA monitors are becoming increasingly popular. They are just as bright and colorful as their IPS counterparts and have a better contrast ratio and darker black levels, which improves the overall picture quality.

VA monitors designed for gaming offer excellent motion sharpness, and Samsung’s best VA panel monitors are particularly crisp. However, the viewing angle is more limited, so the picture quality of VA monitors can deteriorate if they are not viewed straight on. IPS monitors also offer better motion sharpness in most price ranges.


IPS dominates the world of computer monitors. A typical IPS monitor is bright and clear, with good sharpness and wide viewing angles. Color performance ranges from acceptable to truly spectacular. Modern IPS monitors can support fast pixel response times and high refresh rates, which is good news for gamers.

However, IPS monitors have disappointing contrast and black levels, which can make them appear blurry when viewing dark images. This is especially noticeable in a dark room.

Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED)

OLED is not based on LCD technology at all. Instead, it uses organic pixel elements that emit their own light (a property often referred to as “self-emitting”). OLED is king in terms of contrast and black level, as an OLED pixel that is turned off emits no light at all. OLED typically outperforms other panel types in color reproduction and also has the best motion display in its class.

The viewing angles are also great. OLED panels are not as bright at the top end as the competition, and OLED can suffer from permanent image retention over time (though this takes many thousands of hours). In addition, the technology is very expensive for PC monitors.

Features to Consider While Buying a Monitor

Screen Size

The screen size is measured from corner to corner in the diagonal. The screen size generally starts at 15″ and goes up to 34″. The standard screen size is now 22″. A larger screen offers more versatility, you benefit from wider viewing angles, better designs with more features, and a wider selection of ports. You need to consider the space you have available.

A 23-inch screen can still provide a premium cinema experience without dominating the room like a 34-inch screen would. Are you planning a setup with multiple screens? If so, you should stick to the 22-inch mark to be able to comfortably place the monitors side by side. Most importantly, consider your budget. The larger the screen, the more expensive the monitor.

Response Time

The response time of a monitor is the time it takes for a pixel to change color. Similarly, the input delay is the time it takes for the monitor to respond to commands such as pressing a key. Competitive gamers should look for response times of 5 ms or less and input lags of 20 ms or less.

If you’re considering buying a TV as a monitor, response time and input lag are two values that will likely suffer. However, some high-end TVs now have a gaming mode. This setting reduces response time and input lag, making the TV as effective as some of the best gaming monitors. OLED TVs are particularly well suited for gaming thanks to their impressive response times and incredible picture quality, but they are also very expensive.

Brightness Level

If your monitor is located near a sunny window or in bright conditions, an average monitor with 250 nits is not a good fit for you. Look for a monitor with 350 nits or more brightness levels to get a brilliant viewing experience.

Aspect Ratios

The aspect ratio indicates the shape of the screen. Some monitors are wider than others. Older monitors had a more square shape. 16:9 is the most common aspect ratio and is used on most laptops and televisions. There are also slightly taller monitors with a 16:10 aspect ratio that offer a bit more space vertically, which is especially beneficial when working with spreadsheets.

The 16:9 aspect ratio is preferred by gamers and media fans. There are also ultra-wide niche monitors with an aspect ratio of 21:9 and more. Some large format ultra-wide monitors may be curved to reduce the effects of distortion and discoloration at the ends of the screens, usually caused by extreme viewing angles.

Picture Settings & Viewing Modes

Like TVs, monitors have built-in settings for general image adjustments such as brightness and color contrast. In addition to these video adjustments, some monitors also have preset display modes.

For example, if you enable “Reading Mode,” the monitor simulates the visual aspect of reading words on paper. Similar to reading mode, eye-saving technologies such as blue light filters reduce strain on your eyes so you can spend more time with the computer.

Refresh Rate

The refresh rate indicates how often per second the image on the monitor is updated. The refresh rate is measured in hertz. The higher the number, the more often the image is refreshed per second.

A higher refresh rate improves motion resolution, which means moving images appear sharper. 60 Hz is the minimum for good monitor quality. However, if you choose a monitor for gaming, you should select a higher value to ensure a smoother gaming experience.

The refresh rate is the speed at which the computer passes the image information to the monitor. Higher refresh rates mean smoother results. For example, if your computer is playing a game at 240 frames per second, but your monitor’s refresh rate is only 60 Hz, the monitor won’t be able to keep up, and you may experience tearing. However, if your monitor’s refresh rate is 240 Hz, the game is smooth.

Viewing Angle

You might have noticed your monitor’s picture quality is different when you view your monitor from an angle rather than from sitting in front. So, if you want to watch movies or play games with your friends/family from different angles, then go for a monitor with a 178-degree or more viewing angle.

Display Types

Choosing the right screen depends a lot on the type of application you want to use it for. The parameters vary greatly depending on whether you’re looking for a screen that will serve as a TV in your living room, one that will match your gaming console, or if you’re one of those people who make the purchase of a cell phone depend mainly on the quality of the screen.

When it comes to gaming monitors, the choice is primarily limited to LCD screens with LED backlighting. However, you can also consider OLED TVs that offer much better picture quality, provided you are willing to spare no expense. We’ll take a look at the differences between the two technologies.

  • LCD

Liquid crystal display (LCD) technology was first developed for televisions, but did not appear on the market for computer monitors until the mid-1990s. The name comes from the fact that these screens consist of two sheets of glass with a liquid between them. From there, the screen is divided into thousands upon thousands (sometimes millions) of rows and columns, better known as pixels (a term coined in the 1960s as an abbreviation for “picture element”).

The pieces of hardware that create the image on your LCD monitor’s screen are called cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs). These lamps give your LCD monitor a lifespan of about 30,000 hours. Because the technology is older, these products tend to be thicker and heavier.

  • LED

Light-emitting diodes or LED monitors offer better picture quality and provide brighter images as they consume less power than LCDs. In terms of design, they are thinner and more attractive. The monitors are still LCD screens, but they feature advanced LED backlighting for an excellent overall experience.

Thanks to LED technology, most of these products are also thinner and lighter, making them quick and easy to transport and install. One thing to watch out for is that LED monitors have a higher risk of burn-in, so make sure you have a screen saver or turn them off when not in use.

Screen Resolution

Resolution is the number of individual pixels in each dimension that can be displayed. The higher the resolution, the sharper the image quality. The most popular resolution is 1920×1080, as it provides a good balance between space and image quality. If you decide to go with a higher resolution, you’ll need to make sure your computer’s graphics card is up to the task.

Those who use their monitor for gaming and professional use will need to opt for higher resolution monitors. As the screen size increases, the resolution also becomes more important. If you want a larger screen (27 inches or more), it makes sense to consider a device with a higher resolution than Full HD. There are two options:

  • QHD (2,560 x 1,440 pixels), also known as 1440p or ‘Quad HD’

QHD screens are a middle ground between Full HD and the 4K resolutions commonly associated with televisions. When you opt for this resolution on larger screens, everything looks smoother and clearer.

  • UHD (3840 x 2160 pixels), also known as 4K, Ultra HD or 2160p

UHD kicks it up a notch, even though most people won’t really need it. It’s often popular with gamers. You’ll need powerful hardware to get the most out of it, as pushing that many pixels can put a strain on your graphics card.

Video Connectors

The most important connections on your monitor are the video connections. To display image content on your future monitor, you will need a video cable to connect from your desktop or laptop to your monitor. To date, the most common types of video cable connectors are as follows: DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI and VGA.

  • DisplayPort

DisplayPort ports are now one of the best options for connecting your desktop or notebook PC to a computer monitor. The latest version, DisplayPort 1.4, has the impressive ability to support 4K gaming (3840×2160) at a refresh rate of 120 Hz with compatible AMD or NVIDIA graphics cards. DisplayPort cables can also transmit audio to monitors with integrated sound systems on most desktop and laptop PCs.

  • HDMI

HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) cables are the standard for connecting devices to high-definition TVs and are also great for connecting your computer to your monitor. With the latest HDMI 2.0 standard, you can get a maximum 4K picture with a refresh rate of 60 Hz with the right components and the right monitor. Of course, HDMI can also pass the audio signal from your computer to monitors with built-in speakers.

  • DVI

Digital Visual Interface (DVI) connections are getting old, but on paper they have the same video output capabilities as first-generation HDMI. You’ll need a separate audio cable (or an HDMI adapter for the end that connects to the monitor) to get audio from your PC, but DVI can support resolutions up to 1920×1080 at a maximum refresh rate of 144 Hz with the right components and monitor.

  • VGA

As the only analog video connection of the four main types (the rest are digital), VGA cables are now considered obsolete technology. Nowadays, you really only need this connector if you need to work with or access older display devices.

Extra Computer Monitor Features

These practical features increase the overall cost, but it’s worth paying attention to them, as they make the monitor easier to use and more pleasant to work with:

Adjustable stand

This allows you to place your monitor at the perfect height without having to pile it on top of a stack of recipe books to get comfortable.


If you don’t have your own desk, opt for a small monitor that has a built-in stand and case. This way you can work at the dining table and quickly put the monitor away before dinner. These devices are usually powered by a USB cable that connects the monitor to your laptop, so you don’t have to plug the monitor in.

USB hub

Useful if you have a lot of accessories for your desk, such as a mouse, keyboard, and USB charging cable for your phone, and your laptop doesn’t have enough USB ports for all these devices.

With a monitor that has a built-in USB hub, you can connect these devices to the monitor instead. This also means you can take your laptop to the sofa or outside and only have to unplug a few cables instead of four or five.

Portrait mode

If you work with computer code, a vertically oriented screen may be better suited to your needs. Some monitors allow you to rotate them 90 degrees to get the perfect angle.

Touch Screen

A Monitor with a Touchscreen offers a more intuitive and interactive experience. Touchscreens are easy to use and can prove to be faster for some tasks. A touchscreen monitor is the ideal choice for family, general computing use, and for those who purchase monitors for entertainment purposes. Touchscreen technology is also becoming more prevalent in the professional sector, allowing users to have more input into the design.

Curved Screen

A curved screen is definitely worth considering for anyone looking for a cinematic experience or immersive gaming. Curved screens let you fully immerse yourself in your media, as more of the screen fills your field of view. They reduce reflections and can even reduce eye strain, which is just what you need if you plan on gaming for hours on end.


High Dynamic Range (HDR) is the next big thing in the world of monitors. It offers better contrast, higher brightness, and a wider color gamut than monitors without HDR.

That means you can enjoy your movies, games, and graphics with striking highlights, deeper darks, and vivid colors for an even more realistic experience.


AMD-made FreeSync technology reduces judder and screen tearing for a smoother experience by synchronizing the monitor’s refresh rate with your computer’s graphics unit. This allows for a smooth gaming experience at up to 30 frames per second or less.


If reducing your environmental footprint is important to you, look for eco-friendly labels on certain monitors. Many manufacturers share your goal of keeping our earth cleaner and creating a better future – from energy-saving features to using organic and recyclable materials.


Choosing the right PC monitor for your purposes and budget can be a challenge, with so many specifications and options to decipher. We hope this buying guide will provide you with some useful information to help you make a final decision. Our recommendations are based on what we believe to be the best computer monitors currently available. They have been adjusted to be good for most people, in every price range.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


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