Many people do not put a lot of emphasis on the monitor details when purchasing the computer and hence ends up with a problem on their desks. Here at Computer Monitor Review, We will walk you through the process of coming up with the top computer monitors for the best experience when using your machine.
Computer Monitor Definition
A computer monitor is a device that displays text, images and video from the computers processing unit. A computer monitor is also known as Visual Display Unit (VDU), or screen by some. However, it’s important to note that screen sometimes is used to refer to the part of the monitor where images are displayed from, while the monitor includes the screen and the rest of the circuitry and parts.
Importance of Computer Monitor
No matter the type of computer you are using you will never be able to operate it without being able to monitor what is going on in the system, hence the name monitor. It’s a basic part that might make your time with your computer miserable or enjoyable.
Types of Monitors
Based on technology used there are three types of computer monitors.
Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) – This is the oldest technology of monitors that were very bulky because of the use of the glass tube with electron guns on one end and phosphorus coated screen on the other. They had a very low resolution (320 x 200 pixels), very low colour depth, and consumed a lot of power.
- Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) – This is a type of monitor that uses liquid crystals for backlighting the screen. They are referred to as flat screens as a result of their slender size compared to CRT. They have higher resolution and use less power when compared to CRT and that’s why they have replaced them. You will hear the term TFT being used to refer to LCD since its one of the variant of this type of screen.
- Light Emitting Diodes (LED) – LED used diodes for backlighting which makes it slimmer, less bulky, and cooler than LCD. However, LED is more expensive than LCD but more durable than both LCD and CRT and hence more popular with modern devices.
The measure of Top Monitor
When you want to acquire a new monitor you may need to consider the following features.
- Colour Depth – This is the number of colours that can be displayed by a picture element (pixel) measured in bits. The higher bits means more colours will be displayed and hence better quality. Older monochrome CRT could only display text in one colour compared to modern monitors which can display up to 16 million colours.
- Display Resolution – This is the number of distinct pixels per square inch in each dimension of the monitor. e.g a monitor with 1600 x 1200 pixels has more pixels per inch and hence clearer than the monitor with a resolution of 400 x 600. LED and LCD have much better resolution than CRT hence they clearer. Bigger monitors also happen to accommodate higher resolution than smaller monitors.
- Refresh Rate – This is the number of times per second that display is illuminated by the image from the video RAM. Low refresh rate tends to hurt users eyes since it flickers, unlike high refresh rate which happens to be more stable. LED and LCD monitors happen to accommodate higher refresh rates than CRT.
- Display Size – This is the diagonal size across the screen and is measured in inches. The bigger screens are more expensive than smaller screens but allow clearer images to be seen.
- Viewing angle – This is the maximum angle that the images on the monitor can be viewed without being distorted. LED tops the list with the best viewing angle followed by LCD and then the CRT has the highest distortion. Some manufacturers are producing screens with curved surfaces to increase the viewing angle of the monitor
- Power consumption – This is the amount of electricity consumed by the monitor, and measured in watts. Monitors that consume a lot of power like CRT will end you up with fatter power bills, unlike flat screens which consume less power.
- Aspect Ratio – This is the ratio of the horizontal length to the vertical length of the monitor screens. Examples of aspect ratio includes 4:3, 5:4, 16:10, 16:9 etc. This has now much effect on performance but it depends on the personal taste.
- Integrated Accessories – Some monitors may have additional features added such as speakers, camera, microphone, USB ports etc. This additional may add value to the monitor.
- Touch Screens – This is monitors that can allow the user to enter commands directly to the computer without any additional input using the monitor screen. This is more common for laptops than desktops.
Impact of Monitors on Your Health
Some negative health effects known to be caused by monitors include:
- Eye strain caused by either poor quality monitors or wrong settings. This is more so common for people who use computers for long hours without rest. Low refresh rate can be a cause of eye strain as well as low monitor resolution. Also, if the monitor is too bright or too dull can be a good source of eye strain.
- Headaches – Usually, headaches are caused by prolonged eye strain on the part of the user.
- Neck strain- This may be possible to wrong placement of the monitor. Either when the monitor is too high or too low on the desk compared to the level of your eyes, may lead to repetitive movement of the head and hence causing neck strain.
- Environmental impact – LCD with fluorescent for backlighting may have an environmental impact when recycling or dumping them and hence they are being replaced with LED-backlit monitors. This may cause health-related issues in the long run.
These health issues are not associated with any specific type although CRT is known to produce more glare than its competitors.
Final Thoughts on Computer Monitor Review
While CRT has superior contrast, superior response time and is able to use multiple screen resolution natively, it remains to be the most undesired monitor due to its size and power consumption.
LCD though more expensive than CRT it has better resolution, uses less power and has a better viewing angle.
LED on the other hand is the most expensive but has better clarity than LCD
While both CRT and LED can be affected by Screen burn or “screen burn-in” which is
a residual image left on a screen after displaying the same image for a long time.
Overall clarity, power efficiency, size, price, Heat emission, health impact and additional accessories may affect individual taste and definition of the top computer monitor.