How to Choose the Right Monitor for Your Computer - dummies

How to Choose the Right Monitor for Your Computer

By Nancy C. Muir

Monitors are the window to your computer’s contents. If you’re buying a desktop computer, it will come with a monitor that may or may not suit your purposes, or you might upgrade to a better monitor. The right monitor can make your computing time easier on your eyes. The crisper the image, the more impressive your vacation photos or that video of your last golf game will be.

Consider these factors when choosing a monitor:

  • Size: Monitors for the average computer user come in all sizes, from tiny 9-inch screens on smaller laptops to 28-inch desktop models. Larger screens are typically more expensive. Although a larger monitor can take up more space side to side and top to bottom, many don’t have a bigger footprint (that is, how much space their base takes up on your desk) than a smaller monitor.

  • Image quality: The image quality can vary greatly. You will see terms such as LCD (liquid crystal display), LED (light emitting diode), flat screen, brightness, and resolution.

    Look for an LCD or LED monitor that reduces glare. If you are thinking of purchasing a laptop computer, the monitor is built in, so consider the size and quality of the display as part of your laptop purchase.

  • Resolution: A monitor’s resolution represents the number of pixels that form the images you see on the screen. The higher the resolution, the crisper the image. You should look for a monitor that can provide at least a 1,366-x-768 pixel resolution.

  • Cost: The least-expensive monitor might be the one that comes with your desktop computer, and many of these are perfectly adequate. You can often upgrade your monitor when you buy if you customize a system from a company such as Dell or Hewlett Packard. Monitors purchased separately from a computer can range from around $100 to $3,000 or more. Check out monitors in person to verify whether their image quality and size are worth the money.

  • Touchscreen technology: Windows 10 provides support for using a touchscreen interface, which allows you to use your fingers to provide input by tapping or swiping on the screen itself. If you opt for a touchscreen device, you can still use your keyboard and mouse to provide input, but touchscreen technology can add a wow factor when performing tasks such as using painting software or browsing around the web or an electronic book (e-book).