Choose monitor

How to choose a monitor in 2017

choose of monitorWhat should you pay attention to when choosing a monitor? How to choose the right model? What size of diagonal will be sufficient for your purposes? Which manufacturers should be trusted in the search for durable high-quality display? What type of matrix would be best for the price and the colour? Today, when the market of monitors for PC features dozens of brands and hundreds of models, it is very difficult to find the perfect option. We will try to figure out what kind of monitor can be considered the best choice in 2017 after analyzing some of the most successful models. At the end of the article there will be given the best monitors in 2017.


Table of Contents

  1. The choice of a good monitor
  2. The length of the diagonal
  3. Design of monitor
  4. Resolution, aspect ratio, grain size
  5. The type of matrix
  6. Other features of monitors
  7. Reliability of monitors
  8. Examles of good monitors in 2017

The choice of a good monitor

When choosing a monitor most of the users are guided by such criteria as image quality, reliability and versatility. The optimal choice for the lion’s share of buyers is monitor for convenient work with the text or programs, to play games, watch movies in high quality and simple to master the Internet.

If the customers are reduced to several parameters – why do many companies produce such a large number of models, which are not significantly different from each other? This can be partly explained by marketing policy of the companies that strives to offer a wide range from tens of monitors. Practice shows that the buyer is more interested in brands offering a wide range. These are the sad realities of the market monitors.

However, even among the hundreds of conventionally identical models, you can find the best monitors in its category. In this article we will try to find the most successful solutions in different market segments.

The length of the diagonal

diagonalThe basic feature of any monitor is the diagonal length of the screen. This is the parameter which mostly determines the price of the monitor. The more diagonal is, the more convenient it will be for you to use the computer. A large monitor has many advantages, but for many users a sufficient size of the diagonal is 23-24 inch. Monitors with a diagonal less than 21.5 inch will seem small. Fans of scaled images can find a monitor with a diagonal of 30 inches or more.

 

According to the size of the diagonal the monitors can be divided into the following categories:

  • Up to 20 inches. Cheap monitor at the office, which is convenient for daily use. Most models in this category are reliable.
  • From 21 to 24 inches. Most modern monitors fall in this framework. The average price range of monitors is generally represented in these displays. They are reliable and comfortable and their price is small.
  • 27 inches. A monitor of this size needs to be set at a slightly greater distance from the eye because pixels can be seen.
  • 30 inches and above. This category includes large exclusive high-resolution monitors. At close range the whole picture is not within the field of view of the user, which makes those monitors not too popular.

oculus-riftElite segment of monitors is presented not only by models with the big diagonal and resolution, but also complexes of the three monitors for maximum effect of presence at games. The price of such monitors is quite high (and price of PC too), and the purchase because of development of technologies of the virtual points can prove to be irrational in the first half of 2017.  The more suitable monitor for work is a monitor with high resolution and a diagonal of 27 inches but not the “giant” of the three displays, which fit except for games.

Experts recommend buying large monitors with a diagonal from 23-24 inches. This is due to number of reasons:

  • A large monitor allows you to display a lot of information on one screen, and the user does not need to constantly turn the mouse wheel;
  • A number of graphical objects is displayed on large monitors much easier than on the small ones;
  • A big monitor makes computer games more realistic;
  • The lifetime of a number of monitors is up to 12 years, so it makes no sense to take a small display for such a long term.

Among inexperienced users, there is a perception that a large monitor from 24 inches is counter-productive, because the eyes can’t cover all the space. Practice shows users get used very quickly that to a good large monitor. It is more difficult to get used to work on a small monitor.

Design of monitor

Many buyers focus on design when choosing a monitor, though in fact this factor does not play a role. Moreover too pretentious design often fails which will cause a lot of problems. That’s why experts recommend to devote the appearance of the monitor a minimum of attention because the most important thing in it – the screen, but not something on which the screen is fixed. You should pay attention only to such things:

monitor-border Choose a monitor with a thin black border around the screen, because such models are easier to use;

power-button Buy model, which has the power button “light” not so bright because it will become an annoying factor at work;

monitor-positionGive preference to models that allow the user to change the position of the tilt and height. If the monitor is too low – your eyes will be tired in the process. Therefore, it is recommended to buy monitors on a high leg.

 

 

Resolution, aspect ratio, grain size of monitor

Ultra-HD-LogoToday an unofficial standard is a monitor with 16:9 ratio with a resolution from 1366×768 up to 3840×2160 pixels. And although there are other formats, experts recommend to select 16:9 monitors as most games and software is created according to these standards.

The resolution choice depends on the needs and desires of the user. Today the average man has enough FullHD format (2K, 1920×1080 pixels) of the monitor in 24 inches. If you want to get a clearer picture – you can spend a little more money on buying a WQHD monitor. As for the UltraHD format, an average user will be able to see its real possibilities only in a few years, when public access will be enough content in this format. Today, most videos are presented in the format of not higher than FullHD (2K, 1920×1080 pixels). Buy UltraHD is rational only for photographers who want to view images in high quality.

It is fair to say that there are still monitors with proportions 5:4. They are called “square”. Although they are cheap and easy to work with text, in practice they are not suitable for everyday use.

monitor-pixelsGrain size(pixels) is an important parameter matrix that determines the size of the smallest dots on the screen. This setting affects the picture quality. The larger the grain is, the better the monitor will display small fonts. Large grains are negative – pictures and smooth lines on these monitors are displayed more roughly than fine. On monitors with small pixel photos look significantly more realistic. Which option should you choose?  An increasing number of developers focus on fine-grained monitors. And although there are programs with small fonts that are not displayed well on such monitors, the developers correctly adapt to the new trend, and the use of such programs is shortening.

There are unspoken standards in grain size for different monitors:

  • Very large – with a diagonal of 27 to 28 inches;
  • Large – with a diagonal of 18.5-20.1, 23.6-24;
  • Average – with a diagonal of 23 inches;
  • Small – with a diagonal of 21 to 22 inches;
  • Very small –UltraHD format.

Customer surveys say that a huge part of users felt 24 inch monitors FullHD format the most acceptable option for the price and quality. People with good enough eyesight not fit monitors with a small pixel, since fonts in some programs are too small for normal operation.

crystal-effectYou need to choose the monitor for a particular user. Someone will complain about the fuzzy boundary pixels, while the other will not notice this problem. Each user has a unique vision, and so you need to pick up the monitor matrix individually. In fact, for this reason, manufacturers of monitors do not indicate the presence or absence of crystalline effect, and other subjective image defects in the description of the model. It is characteristic only for the matte monitors. This is their main drawback compared to glossy displays. However, the glossy finish is less practical and convenient to use, as the smooth surface reflects the surrounding objects like a mirror.

To date 4 of the 5 monitors are matt. And all of them have crystalline effect in varying degrees. However, users are willing to put up with this insignificant disadvantage in favour of the advantages of the matte finishes.

The type of matrix

Matrix type is the most important parameter of computer monitor, along with viewing angle. Also the important role is played by the backlight of the monitor, its brightness and uniformity. Response speed and contrast are parameters that may be important to gamers.

As a rule, the technical characteristics are interrelated. And if one parameter implies a high image quality, the other parameters will be at a decent level.

Today the market features dozens of types and subtypes of matrices, among which the most popular are TN and IPS. Each type of matrix has its own special set of characteristics. For example, TN is characterized as quick response, low cost and small angles. As for IPS, these matrices have the best colour and maximum viewing angle. But they have the disadvantage of matrix demonstrate a slow response that makes the monitors not enough convenient for games.

Alternatives matrixes are PVA and MVA. They will please you with the high-quality gear of black, but when displaying the halftone colour balance may be broken. As for the viewing angle, the monitors with matrix PVA and MVA may not correctly capture colours from different viewpoints, which is an obvious disadvantage.

What do we have in the end? The conclusion is simple – the perfect monitor doesn’t exist. Everyone picks a display for themselves. Budget and fast TN was chosen by the gamers and people with small financial budget. PVA and MVA are the most popular among home PC users. Expensive IPS will please those looking for high-quality colour reproduction, particularly photographers, designers and illustrators.

If you are unable to decide what type of matrix is right for you, do not worry. To date, manufacturers have brought each of the technologies to perfection, and the average user is unlikely to distinguish one matrix from the other one on the monitors of the same price category. The advice is simple – don’t worry about the choice of the matrix. Evaluate performance characteristics in the complex. Focus on viewing angles, contrast, picture and colour quality.

The angle

angleThis feature is very important when choosing a display, especially if you buy a model with a wide screen. Small angle can lead to the fact that even during the direct view on the screen the colours in the corner areas of the display will be distorted. This subject is for the most part inexpensive monitors on TN-matrices.

What can you suggest for purchase? Choose a monitor with a horizontal review of 170 degree and vertical review of 160 degrees. So you will avoid problems with colour reproduction.

The screen backlight

Not so long ago the screen backlight was a fluorescent lamp, the lack of which was uneven luminescence and fragility. Today, all modern monitors are equipped with LED-backlight with conditional unlimited service life. The led backlit screen almost completely eliminates the possibility of uneven lighting. Buyers can be assured that their LED monitor will work for many years. Most likely, it will become outdated morally much earlier than you cease to perform their functions.

It should be noted that the non-uniform illumination is a common problem for the budget monitors worth up to $100. Although in practice the user can notice it only under special test in a dark room. The sad thing is that the unevenness of illumination can occur in a number of models in the more expensive price segment. Very often the problem is found among the ultra-thin models.

Low contrast is one of the problems of the cheap monitors. The defect will be visible on the black colour, which will appear as dark gray. Models with an index contrast of 500:1 are not the best choice even in the presence of dynamic contrast. Therefore it is better to focus on the monitors with an index contrast of 1000:1, not forgetting that manufacturers often overstate the actual numbers.

Response time

rapidresponseReally this parameter is important to gamers, among which the response time is quite a subjective point of view of realism characteristic. When you consider that the human brain is not able to track the difference between 5 and 15 MS there is the question how important the response time of the monitor is. In addition, you need to remember that minus the slow matrices have been eliminated a few years ago by inexpensive monitors. But if you have a real need for a quick update pictures – you can pay attention to CRT monitors.

 

Scanning frequency

The second important parameter that is responsible for the performance of the monitor is frequency sweep. In most universal monitors, the figure is 60 Hz. It may seem that there is no much difference between the delay of 10 and 15 MS no. However, experts recommend buying monitors with response time of up to 10 MS. Faster monitors can be fully appreciated only by owners of powerful graphics cards. The other features of the monitor will be unsolved, because the additional personnel will not be displayed.

Gaming monitors have a high refresh rate from 120 to 144 Hz. Due to this, the game scene appear more realistic. Such monitors typically have a dynamic TN-matrix. At the expense of contrast, colour quality and viewing angles gamers choose high speed and dynamism of the game. It is important to remember that these monitors need only be purchased bundled with modern graphics cards.

Buying a gaming monitor is inseparably linked with the purchase of a powerful gaming computer. People that are far from computer games should choice monitors with the technology of G-Sync and FreeSync. The images on these monitors are displayed accurately in accordance with the game process. While not the typical jerking and tearing. There is no point in buying a gaming monitor because the model of FreeSync and G-Sync will be cheaper, and the gameplay will not lose realism.

The security of modern monitors is at a high level. You should not be afraid of any exposures. However, it should be remembered that the high brightness can cause eye fatigue. Low brightness also leads to the fact that the eyes are overstrained and tired and the flicker of the led backlight becomes visible. The pupil, without having adjusted to the brightness, strains your eyes.

In order to check whether your monitor flickers at low brightness settings, swipe to the screen with a pencil. If you see that the pencil is smeared, then it is recommended to increase the brightness of the monitor to eliminate flicker and reduce eye strain. In order to completely eliminate the possibility of such flicker, it is recommended to buy monitors with backlight technology of Flicker-Free. In this case, flicker will not be present at all brightness settings.

When you use a monitor with maximum brightness of 250 CD/sq m, it is sufficient to use 70-80% of the actual resource of the matrix. It is not recommended to buy a monitor with maximum brightness of 200 CD/sq m and below, since during the sufficient ambient light the image will appear faded.

Other features of monitors

D-subThe vast majority of modern monitors are equipped with VGA connector(D-SUB), which is compatible with the maximum number of devices. When transferring images through this plug there is a distortion, because the signal is not digital, but analogy. Due to the high resolution of a monitor distortion is especially noticeable. That’s why big HD displays have an available DVI or HDMI port, which have higher throughput.

 

sound-monitorSome monitors are equipped with built-in speakers. At first glance it may seem that this addition is very convenient, but in fact do not expect these speakers sound quality. If you’re buying a budget monitor for the office – built-in speakers can be a great addition. These monitors save space on your Desk, but for home use it is recommended to buy speakers and a monitor separately. Even inexpensive speakers for $ 40 will give a more deep mellow sound than the built-in monitor speakers.

Many experts wonder why monitor manufacturers have thought about the stock speakers, but did not solve the issue with a webcam and microphone. This is most likely due to the fact that the demand for such multi-function displays is estimated as insignificant for the creation of new models in such a narrow consumer niche.

VesaSome users prefer hanging a monitor on the wall instead of installing it on a desktop. In this case, fit the model with the special VESA mount on the back wall. By the way, the presence of this attachment allows creating a computer-to-bar, if you place a compact unit at the back of the monitor system. Such a computer will be cheaper that factory monoblocks.

 

 

 

Using digital tabletThe touch screen can be useful in a laptop, but large touch screen monitors, are unfortunately, inconvenient to work with. Firstly, you will have tired hands because of the large size of the display. Secondly, the monitor will often be contaminated, which will affect image quality. We don’t deny that in the future, there will be an era of large touchscreen computers. But today it is much easier to use a traditional monitor completed with mouse and keyboard.

 

acer-xz350cu-1Lately the niche of luxury monitors was replenished by the so-called curved displays. The technology is designed to strengthen the presence effect. To feel this effect, you need a monitor with a diagonal of 30 inches. For maximum immersion in the atmosphere of the film or game the monitor should be set not further than on distance of 1 meter from the eye. The disadvantage of this display is that it is suitable for use by one person who must sit directly opposite the front of the monitor. All other points of the display will give a serious distortion. Another disadvantage of curved monitors is the complexity of the design, which adversely affects the reliability in a significant increase in the cost of the monitor.

If you want to feel – don’t rush to buy a curved monitor. Already in 2017 it is expected that the market is flooded with glasses and virtual reality helmets, which will become serious competitors to large monitors.

Reliability of monitors

Statistics say that in the first years of operation less than 1% of new monitors break down. Interestingly, despite the complexity of the device, monitors remain one of the most reliable elements to a stationary PC. The lack of parts that wear out over time, make the design of the monitor very reliable.

The main enemy of any monitor – the voltage drops in the network. In addition, all monitors except for the LED models can have problems with the inverter or the backlight. In terms of physical wear there is nothing dangerous. Even today, you can find working monitors that were released more than 15 years ago. Physical “death” of the monitor comes much later the obsolescence.

Today it is difficult to say which company produces the most reliable monitors. The leaders of the market are such brands as Asus, BenQ, Dell, LG, NEC, Phillips, Samsung, ViewSonic. High maintainability differs LED models from Samsung and Phillips In 98% of cases, the monitors of these brands are suitable for repair, while the average for the market – about 85%. The additional embedded options, such as built-in speakers, sensors, webcam and USB hubs negatively affect the reliability of a monitor.

How can you pick the best monitor in 2017?

You should prefer monitors of famous brands. Market leaders – Samsung and Phillips. If you are looking for budget monitor – buy a model with a small diagonal and a HD resolution. In the mid-price segment it is better to focus on 24-inch monitors with FullHD. If you have enough money – an excellent choice “for the future” will be a large 32-inch display WQHD or UltraHD.

With regard to the type matrix, then the best option is a choice between IPS, PVA, MVA and PLS. The gamers and those who want to save money will be satisfied with monitors on TN. As a highlight it is better to choose the LEDs as they are reliable and uniform illumination.  The minimum angles were mentioned above.

You should choose the monitor with integrated DVI ports or HDMI, but as for the matrices a resolution of 1366×768 is enough for a standard VGA. The brightness of the matrix must be not less than 250 CD/sq.m, static contrast – at least 1000:1. A nice bonus is the Flicker-Free technology that eliminates flickering.

It is not necessary to buy ultra-thin monitors, because such models fail faster and have too fragile design. Remember that the quality of a monitor should be adjusted for angle and height. Advanced models can be rotated 90 degrees in both directions. It is better to give preference to the popular mass models, avoiding too extravagant brands.

The lifetime of most monitors is from 10 to 12 years. The probability of failure is minimal with careful handling techniques. If a breakdown occurs it is possible to eliminate almost any service center.

Examles of good monitors in 2017

If you have no desire to deal with the intricacies of each model – you can make it easy for you to purchase one of the following monitors, which have proven to be reliable and convenient. But do not forget that in any model, you can find both pluses and minuses.

Budget and small

If size doesn’t matter – Samsung S19F350 will fully satisfy the average user. Good picture quality at an affordable price makes this model one of the best in its class. Although for such modest money you shouldn’t expect a large viewing angle.

The alternative is the Phillips 193V5LSB2. It is a universal monitor with a diagonal of only 18.5 inches. You will appreciate the reliability and good colour. This model is suitable for games and for work.

Samsung SF350 Series 19-Inch Philips 193V5LSB2-10
Samsung S19F350 Phillips 193V5LSB2

In this category, an excellent choice will be the FullHD-monitor Samsung S24D300H with a diagonal of 24 inches. This beauty will delight not only affordable, but also a bunch of nice bonuses, such as fast response and built-in HDMI input. The monitor will appeal to a pragmatic buyer who is looking for a universal solution for the PC. Be careful not to confuse the Samsung S24D300H with cheaper Samsung S24D300HL.

Samsung Simple Monitor S24D300H Samsung SD300 Series S24D300HL
Samsung S24D300H Samsung S24D300HL

If you are looking for a large monitor, but money is limited, choose between the Samsung S27E390H more expensive Samsung C27F398 (Curved). The 27-inch models have a pretty good matrix the lack of which is only the large grain. This monitor is ideal for those who value size and do not mind rough graphics. But these models have the advantage of small fonts they are displayed very well, that will be appreciated by people with visual impairments.

Samsung 27-Inch S27E390H Samsung CF398 Series Curved 27-Inch C27F398
Samsung S27E390H Samsung C27F398

Universal big

If you need a quality monitor that is optimal for work and entertainment, then pay attention to 24-inch Samsung S24E390HL. Original look of almost frameless design makes this monitor a desktop decoration. However, it is equipped with high-quality matrix, which gives maximum clarity and flicker-free backlight that reduces eye strain.

This model has a minor drawback is the uneven illumination of the matrix. But you can see it only after careful examining, and for the layman, this problem is completely invisible. In practice, Samsung S24E390HL is one of the most successful models that is suitable for work, watching movies, processing photos, drawing and computer games.

Samsung S24E390HL
Samsung S24E390HL

Universal/game large monitor

In this category, the clear leader is the 27-inch Samsung S27E370D. It combines amazing design and great colour reproduction. All images appear clear, without flicker. Due to this monitor you can not only enjoy movies, but experience computer games. The monitor has the function of FreeSync, which adapts the image to the frequency of the AMD. Holders of this card model S27E370D will be a real boon.

This monitor has a resolution of FullHD. Small fonts on it are well read due to the large grains, however, you can see individual pixels from close range.

Samsung S27E370D
Samsung S27E370D

BEST CHOICE

Samsung S32D850T is a large 32 inch monitor. The matrix will please the average grain size, which makes it comfortable to read the fine print and not notice the individual pixels at close range. It won’t take you long to get used to such a large monitor – it is very convenient and multifunctional. You can use it to work with large tables and drawings. You can also watch the movies and play games. This monitor is ideal for the work with any large-scale objects (pictures or diagrams).

Samsung S32D850T
Samsung S32D850T

Monitor UltraHD

If you’re looking for high-quality image and ready for it to pay – then it makes sense to buy a monitor with a matrix UltraHD. The export community advise such successful models as Samsung U24E590D with 24-inch, BenQ BL2711U 28-inch and BenQ BL3201PH inches by 32 inches.

Samsung U24E590D BenQ BL2711U BenQ BL3201PH
Samsung U24E590D BenQ BL2711U BenQ BL3201PH

However, it should be noted that some of these monitors have pretty small grain, so small fonts that are displayed on the screen are unreadable. Scaling can solve the problem only partially, because when you zoom the quality is lost. Therefore, buying a monitor with a resolution UltraHD, make sure you have DisplayPort 1.2/HDMI 2.0 or newer at your PC. If you plan to play games with 4K resolution, then you need to have a more powerful graphics card of GeForce Ti 1080 complete with processor type Intel i7-7700.


Also see: How to choose Graphics card, How to buy WiFi router, How to choose RAM and How to choose the best gaming CPU


Buying a monitor with a resolution of 1366×768 and above makes you sure that you can connect the device via HDMI or DVI port. If the cable is not included together with the appropriate monitor– it can be purchased at the computer shop.

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