8 Essentials to Know Before Buying LCD Monitor

by Abhishek Bhatnagar on August 25, 2008



Recently we upgraded one of our desktop’s display from CRT(normal) to LCD or TFT monitor. We faced some problems in getting good graphics quality on the new LCD monitor. In these two post (this one and next one) we will share the most important points and features to consider and correct way of using the LCD monitor so that you don’t face any problems. This will answer help you decide which is the best LCD monitor to buy.


And in sequence to this post, we will soon bring a post on correctly installing the monitor so that you get the best possible picture quality out of it.


8 Most Important Features of LCD Monitor:



LCD Monitor features to consider before you buy


Size does matter a lot, but resolution matters even more. Every LCD monitor has a native resolution or optimum resolution at which it operates with the best possible picture quality. Go for high resolution 1600 x 1200 or higher for normal home or office use. For gaming, you can go for slightly low resolution,but never settle for lower than 1280 x 1024.


Contrast Ratio:

One of the most important feature on which the picture quality largely depends. There are two kind of contrast ratios, static and dynamic. Static contrast ratio of 1000:1 or more gives a good quality, lesser than this is a compromise. Dynamic contrast ratio is generally higher than static

contrast ratio. For example a monitor with 1000:1 static contrast ratio usually has about 8000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. When you compare two monitors, make sure you are not comparing dynamic contrast ratio of one with static contrast ratio of the other.


Response time:

If you are a gamer, this matters a lot to you. Response time means how fast a pixel can change its color properly. For a good monitor its 5 ms (milliseconds). Less the response time, better it is. 5 ms is good for general user and moderate gaming. If you are die hard gamer, look for 2 ms or lesser, but these will be bit expansive.




Depending on your nature of work, budget and space constrains you can go for your choice of size. typically for home use and gaming purpose 19 or 20 inches is perfect size. If you need to run too many graphics editing software’s, go for higher sizes.


Aspect ratio:

It is width to height ratio of the monitor, in simple words, it means your monitor is simple ratio (4:3) or wide-screen (16:9), sometimes 16:10 also. Go for wide-screen, it gives better experience for movies and other office related applications.


Maximum brightness:

Brightness is measured in unit called cd/m2. For normal use 300 cd/m2 is good enough, but if you sit in front of a window and light directly falls on your screen, go for at-least 400 cd/m2. It will help you see clearly even in bright lit room.


Input Ports:

Another very important consideration is input options that a monitor has. Some have only analog VGA input (most commonly used). Some have VGA + DVI (recommenced). We recommend VGA + DVI option because DVI is digital input and most graphic cards provide this, it ensures a great picture quality. Some monitors provide additional component input and TV tuners as well, consider them if you plan to use these ports or use it as a TV. Make sure that your computer has compatible ports to connect to the monitor before you buy it. For example if you buy a monitor with DVI only and your computer has VGA output only (or vice-e-versa), then you will need to hunt for suitable convertors.


Adjustable stand:

Some brands use non-adjustable stands to save on cost, but we recommend to use the monitors with adjustable stand if you are not on strict budget. Adjustable stand proves to be very comfortable specially for long hours usage.


Power Consumption:

If you are comparing two different monitors of same size and features, look for the one which consumes less power.


We hope you like this post. We will soon bring a post on correctly installing the monitor to get the best experience out of your LCD Monitor, so stay tuned…

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