Monitor Buying Guide: How to Choose your Display

Monitor Buying Guide

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If you have a desktop, choosing the right monitor will significantly affect your PC experience. That’s because everything you do is reflected on it.

If you want to learn a little more about desktops, this guide by Tony Monzon is a great place to start.  

Luckily, monitors have evolved over the years, and you can find what you want in a basic one. If you’re looking for more, this monitor buying guide will point you in the right direction. 

Before You Choose

First, you need to understand what your computer needs are. In other words, what will you be using your laptop for? 

If you’re looking for a monitor to use for basic tasks, your needs will not be similar to those of a gamer. 

Another factor to consider is your budget. You can find a model for $75 and one for $5,000, depending on what you’re looking for. A low-priced model will not necessarily be of low quality, while a highly-priced one may not be that great.  

Monitor Buying Guide: Main Factors to Consider

Now that you’ve determined what you’ll be using the monitor for, let’s look at the main factors to consider and what to look for.  


The screen size of a monitor is measured diagonally, and as the screen size grows, the price also increases. 

Before you go for a large screen, think about the space where you plan to set it up. If the space is too small, go for a smaller screen.

With a 21-26 inched display, you should be able to perform basic tasks like working on documents and watching your shows. 

Monitor Buying Guide
Source: JumpStory

If you’re a gamer, a bigger screen will give you a better gaming experience. Professions that involve video editing, photography, and graphic design can also benefit from a bigger screen.

Another thing to consider is whether you want a widescreen, ultra wide, or dual monitor. 

Widescreen monitors have an aspect ratio of 16:9, while ultra wide screens have a 21:9 aspect ratio. Both allow you to view large documents and are perfect for watching your shows and gaming. 

Ultra wide screens spread out horizontally, enabling you to view different documents at the same time. Some are also built with split-screen capabilities, allowing you to work on multiple things at the same time. 

Curved monitors are also a great option and offer a different experience as they give a better viewing experience. They’re also not as expensive as ultra wide or widescreens. 

Display Technology

There are different types of monitors, each one using a different display technology. Each one has its pros and cons.


Liquid Crystal Display or LCD is the most commonly used monitor as it takes up minimal space, uses less electricity, and generates less heat. They also cost less, even though they have great graphics. 


Light Emitting Diode or LED monitors offer excellent and bright pictures and use less energy than LCD models.

They’re thinner and have a longer life expectancy than LCDs. They’re also pricier, some costing more than a regular TV. 


As the name suggests, Organic Light Emitting Diode or OLED monitors are LEDs made of organic materials such as wood, polymers, and carbon.

They have some of the best features, such as wide viewing angles, fast response rates, amazing picture quality, and fantastic contrast and brightness.

The downside is that they’re more costly than LEDs and LCDs and have the shortest life expectancy. 


Plasma monitors are slimmer and flat and have an amazing contrast ratio. Due to the flatness, these ones have less glare and wider viewing angles, making them ideal for viewing. 

Unfortunately, plasmas are more expensive and consume more electricity.

Panel Type

When looking for a monitor, you have probably come across panel types. Each panel type has advantages and disadvantages.

In-plane Switching (IPS)

These panel types have the most color gamut, which is the total number of colors a monitor can display. They produce crisper and sharper images. They also have high refresh rates and fast response rates. 

Dual Monitor
Source: JumpStory

Twisted Nematic (TN)

TN panel types are the most common as they are less expensive than the other two. However, they are limited in color gamut and contrast. 

Vertical Alignment (VA)

VA monitors are just as colorful as IPS ones. They have a great contrast ratio and dark levels making them ideal for gaming. 

Screen Resolution

This is the most important element to look into because it impacts your experience while you’re using your PC, whether you’re gaming, editing videos, or creating graphics. 

The higher the resolution, the crisper the image. Most monitors come with a 1080p resolution, ranging from 720p to 5K. 

Other Factors to Consider

After considering the main factors discussed above, you may also want to look into other factors before making a purchase.

  • Refresh rates and response times. A refresh rate refers to how fast an image is refreshed on the screen, while a response time refers to how fast the screen can change an image. The faster these two are, the less blurry the image will be. 
  • Smart technology. Smart monitors have more capabilities that allow you to control it wirelessly using your phone or laptop. 
  • Connection. Check for connections that can allow you to plug in different devices.


There’s a lot of information out there on displays and other PC components, and finding what you want can be confusing. Shop around and do your research to compare the best monitors.

I hope you now have a clearer view of monitors and are a step closer to finding the right fit for you. 

A passion for writing and ongoing research projects gives Catherine an incredibly broad knowledge of all things. She has authored an incredible number of articles and can be found in the wilderness when not attached to technology or listening to podcasts.

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