Choosing your Monitor (Step by step Guide)

Choosing a monitor can be very challenging if you know nothing about technology.

So I created this quick, newbie guide to have help you focus on what's really important to you.

If you are looking for recommendations (specific models), be sure to start my chat tool (Bottom right).

Step 1: Where will you use it?

Think of the application of your new monitor.
  • Home or commercial?
  • Gaming or office use?
Brands have made monitors that are better suited for each application.

Step 2: Choose your price range

How much are you willing to spend on your next monitor?

The more you spend, the better the features. But you need a limit, a budget.

A budget will allow you to narrow down alternatives and save you time.

Step 3: Choose your monitor size

Usually bigger is better and more expensive. When I say better I do not necessarily mean picture quality.

But you should pay attention to how much space you have for them BEFORE you buy it.

I would say any 32 inch monitor is big for desktop use.

Depending on your use you may need more viewing space. You can choose between having an ultrawide monitor or buying 2 monitors.

Step 4: Choose a Resolution (Image quality)


Higher resolution means better image quality. It also means that your monitor will be more expensive. 

However, what really matters is pixel density.

A very big monitor will have lower image quality than a smaller monitor with the same resolution.

Also note that higher resolutions will require better graphics cards and processors from your computer.

Some common resolutions:
  • 5k 5120 x 2880
  • 4K 3840 x 2160 ("Ultra HD")
  • 1440p 2560 x 1440
  • 1080p 1920 x 1080 ("Full HD")
  • 720p 1280 x 720 ("HD")

Step 4: Refresh rate

Faster is better but more expensive. You get less blurry images.

Example: 120Hz is faster (better) than 60Hz.

Note: Refresh rate is usually more important for people who play action games. For most people 60Hz is OK.

Step 5: Response time

It is the time it takes to change the color of a pixel.

Shorter is better. 

Example: 5 ms is faster (better) than 8 ms.

Gamers should consider monitors with less than 5 ms response time.

Step 6: Technology

Most people should not be concerned about the panel technology. The previous steps should allow you to pick a suitable monitor for you.

However, if you are a gamer or professional you may want to know to pros and cons of each panel technology:

IPS

Image quality makes this type of monitor ideal for professional photographers and graphic designers.

The good:
  • Superb visuals
  • Best viewing angles
  • Best color reproduction
The bad:
  • Most have response times of 4ms or higher
  • Panels with high refresh rates are pricier

TN

Gamers might prefer this monitor because of the fast refresh rate.

The good:
  • Fastest type of panel
  • 1ms response times
  • Affordable
The bad:
  • Subpar colors
  • Poor viewing angles

VA

It has excellent contrast and image depth.

The good:
  • Color reproduction comparable to IPS
  • Best contrast ratio
  • Good balance between pricing and performance
The bad:
  • Tends to have higher response times
  • Potential ghosting and backlight bleed issues

G-Sync or FreeSync (Or nothing)

Again, most people should not be concerned about this decision. 

If you are a gamer try to pick a monitor with one of this technology. You can't have both.

If you use a Nvidia graphics card try to pick a monitor with G-Sync (Made by Nvidia).

Connections

Make sure your monitor has the connections you need. Example:
  • HDMI
  • DP
  • USB-C
  • DVI
  • VGA
Note: You don't need to have all types, just what you need.

Other features (Optional)

  • VESA: If you plan to mount your monitor to a desk or the wall.
  • Built-in webcams: You can also buy a webcam separately.
  • Speakers: You can also buy speakers separately.
  • Dual-monitor stands: Let you dock two monitors on one stand for multitasking.
  • Ergonomic: Height adjustment and others.

Popular Brands (Optional)

These are currently the most popular brands (In alphabetical order):
Name

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Technology (EN): Choosing your Monitor (Step by step Guide)
Choosing your Monitor (Step by step Guide)
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