The Different Types of PC Monitors

PC monitors come in two different flavors, each of which is known by a popular TLA (three-letter acronym): LCD and CRT.

  • LCD: Stands for liquid crystal display. The newer, flatter type of computer screen.

  • CRT: Stands for cathode ray tube. The traditional, glass-screen, television-set-like monitor.

Between the two, the LCD monitor is more popular. The prices on LCD monitors have dropped dramatically in recent years, not to mention that the monitors are easy on the eyes and use less electricity than their glass-based counterparts.

In two instances, however, a CRT monitor is better than an LCD monitor:

  • Computer graphics: A CRT monitor is better able to emulate true colors than is an LCD.

  • Computer games: CRT monitors update faster than LCDs.

Some CRT monitors are advertised as “flat screen.” This term isn’t misleading: The glass on the front of the monitor is indeed flat, and it provides a better viewing surface than the traditional convex glass. But it’s not an LCD monitor (all LCD monitors are flat).

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