Gone are the days when monitors used to occupy the space of an entire table. With the development of LCD technology, monitors are now thinner than ever. But due to the huge number of makes and models available in the market nowadays, choosing the right monitor can be more difficult that you actually think it is.
Type of Panels
If you are going to buy a new monitor, first decide the type of panel that fits your needs. Currently there are four types of panel technologies that today’s LCD monitors employ: Twisted Nematic (TN), Vertical Alignment (VA), In-plane Switching (IPS) and the new Plane to Line-Switching (PLS) as seen in the latest Samsung models.
The most common among them is the TN technology as they are cheaper and have a very fast response time but they have very bad color reproduction and narrow viewing angles, they are recommended for your office or work.
VA panels are slightly more expensive but provide a better viewing angle and better color reproduction as compared to TN technology panels. These are good enough for playing games and watching movies at home but you cannot expect to get each frame of your movie or game reproduced since the response time on these monitors is comparatively higher than that of the TN panels
IPS panels on the other hand, are the most expensive and produce very good colors and viewing angles, but their response time is the lowest from the three.
Your retailer may not be able to reveal the type of panel technology used in the monitors, always look for one that has the smallest response time and the best viewing angle. Other things to watch out for the contrast, brightness and sharpness of the monitor, also, it’s often best to try out the monitor by playing an HD movie or a very high resolution image.
Don’t get fooled by the HD tag on the advertisement, if you want to enjoy full 1080P movies, you need a monitor that has the HD1080P or HD1080I tag on it. A monitor that comes with the HD tag on it can play HD content but the resolution will be scaled down to somewhere around 1600×1400 pixels thus reducing the eye candy factor.
A backlight is what determines the brightness and At the moment, there are two types of backlight technologies available in the market, LCD backlights use a fluorescent lamp to light up the screen while LED monitors use LEDs to brighten up the screen. While LCD backlit monitors are the more common and cheaper ones, LED monitors produce more vibrant colors and consume less power as compared to their LCD counterparts.
The bad thing about LCD or LED monitors is that the screen on the monitors might cave into manufacturing defects and you might start seeing dead pixels or annoying lines on your monitor if you are really unlucky, so it is good to have a good warranty for such a case. Dead pixels are very tiny dots that you may not notice at a glance but once you notice them, you will spend your every second thinking about the irritating dot on your monitor.