When trying to buy a new monitor, it is worth considering not only its price, but also parameters. Equipment for PLN 300-400 may tempt you with low costs, but it is better not to decide on a cat in a poke. Below we present a few elements that are worth paying special attention to. These include resolution, screen refreshing and ergonomics.
It’s not just the diagonal that counts
The most affordable monitors are those in Full HD resolution (1920 × 1080). They do not impress with a diagonal (less than 25 inches), but are very universal. They will do well both in the office and at home (for watching movies, playing). People who value comfort and a wider field of operation may consider the QHD monitor (2560 × 1440). They offer a much larger workspace and detail, which will be appreciated by people who constantly use numerous programs. Then we have 4K Ultra HD (3180 × 2160) – a resolution that is as convenient as it is expensive. Here the prices start from PLN 1000. We also look at the screen proportions. 16: 9 is the standard option that corresponds to Full HD resolution and is suitable for most applications. 16:10 is a less panoramic image that will be appreciated by, for example, graphic designers. However, 21: 9 is the cinema aspect ratio, movies and games look great on them. Another issue is the matrices to which the entire article could be devoted. We, however, will focus on a very basic distinction. Glossy matrices (so-called Glare) perfectly reflect the colors (eg saturation, shades of black), they are also very durable. Unfortunately, their downside is that they reflect light. In this case, even a home lamp will disturb us in comfortable watching movies. Sunlight also works in a similar way. This type of screen is easy to recognize, because when it is black, it will reflect our face like a mirror. There is no such problem in the case of matte matrices. Regardless of the lighting, everything is clearly visible on them. This effect was achieved at the expense of color quality and lower durability.
Image refreshing also counts, affecting computer games. The number of displayed images per second depends on this parameter. The higher the better, of course. In this case, you should not go below the 60-75Hz level, because eye pain will become a common ailment. However, players must aim for 144-240Hz.
Connectors – why HDMI is the basis
The monitor can be a multifunctional device, although it is mainly associated with computers, it does not have to be limited to them. We can also easily connect to it a console for games from the PlayStation, Xbox or Nintendo Switch series. Unless, of course, we take care of the appropriate connector.
The most common input today is HDMI, which is the absolute foundation. It is no longer worth investing in equipment without this input. Ideally, there would be more than two of them, because sooner or later they will turn out to be useful. They also allow you to switch between two devices, e.g. computers or a laptop and the console (DisplayPort works similarly).
It is also worth considering the HDMI-MHL input, because thanks to it we can hook up tablets and smartphones to the screen. However, this is an additional option. One DVI-D or D-Sub connector, which are used by older computers, is also useful. Finally, it is worth considering the presence of USB, USB Type-C and a minijack – they allow you to directly connect a memory device, headphones or speakers to the monitor.
Monitors can therefore many items beyond the standard parameters. One of these things is the built-in speakers. They will never be as powerful as separate devices, but they save you money on buying them. Some monitors also have 3D functions, so we can watch movies with such effects as long as they were provided by the creators and we have the appropriate glasses. You can also choose curved (optically they seem a bit larger) and touch screens. The latter are convenient and in operation resemble standard smartphones. However, they do not appear in combination with matte matrices, so something at the expense of something.
Fortunately, the times of large and unsightly CRT monitors are long gone. Today we are dealing with “neat” screens that do not need too much space. Still, it can get better. Installation in most cases is not problematic, but apart from that, adjustment is also important. It is important that the monitors can be turned, moved, raised – thanks to this we can adjust them to our needs. This will make it easier to watch movies or even show someone the results of your work.
The so-called pivot function that allows you to turn the monitor 90 degrees. Thanks to this, we can even get a fully vertical screen. This has its advantages if we cannot boast too much space on the desk.
As you may have noticed, choosing the right monitor is not that easy. Of course, there are many more parameters that are worth paying attention to. However, let’s agree that most of them will be important for experts. In fact, you can get good Full HD equipment for about 600 PLN. In this case, we will get a fairly standard model on which we will be able to work and have fun. The diagonal will be 20-24 inches. Large screens are already much more expensive, but it is still worth considering buying them if you plan to use the monitor, for example, as a TV set.