With all smart new home or office purchases, a little research is in order, naturally. This applies even more when you are purchasing something in the tech realm. You want to be smart with your budget but you don’t want to wind up with outdated equipment as soon as you place your order.
With technology changing overnight, and faster than most people can keep up with it, we've helped make one purchase a little by breaking down what you need to know and making a few recommendations.
Here are the 7 best computer monitors for work and for play.
First, a Little Intro to the Lingo
If you already know the difference between LCD and OLED, you can skip on ahead. We’ll catch up with you in the next section. For the rest of here’s a break down on some of the terms you are probably going to need to know when shopping for a monitor.
This is the number of colored dots or pixels, your monitor can show. The more you can show the more detail your picture will display.
This is basically a type of resolution (think 720p, 1080p). For Monitors & TVs, to be called 4K you need a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, or what should have been called 2160p. But that doesn’t sound cool, does it? 3840 is close to 4000, so we get it.
If your monitor has HDR (High Dynamic Range) you have one that can display vibrant, bright colors and dark, deep colors at the same time.
This refers to the pixel technology, Liquid Crystal Display. These monitors use tiny fluid-filled crystals that generate color but make no light. Each crystal is then backlit to display your screen. How magical does that sound?
This is another type of pixel technology. LED or Light-Emitting Diode technology differs from LCD as each pixel makes its own light and can offer a greater range of colors.
When Two Become One
We can’t discuss computer monitors without covering a now greatly debated topic of two monitors vs. one. It used to be clear that two monitors would offer more workspace, seemingly the primary feature of the two-monitor, or even multi-monitor set up.
However, now with the appearance of ultrawide and curved monitors, the same amount of space or more can be obtained in a single-monitor set-up. I myself have worked on both a single ultrawide setup and a dual monitor setup and I have to say that I am still undecided which I prefer.
In fact, this exact question came up in a group text conversation with a couple of my girlfriends. I’m 35, this is what we talk about.
Two of the three said they would prefer two monitors for the compartmentalization of the programs they are working on. Having four or five tabs open and divided by need across the two workspaces has its benefits. It feels neater to the brain. These two work in Health Care Data Management and Marketing & Graphic Design, respectively. I had to agree with these points.
On the other hand, it was noted by my friend who works as an Office Administrator and Insurance Agent, one larger monitor would provide a neater desk space while giving you the most workspace. She is currently coveting a large curved monitor to take the place of the traditional two-monitor setup. I could also agree with this.
Now, when I got my ultrawide monitor, I felt like I could take a spaceship to the moon when really I was just doing data analysis of grant recipient information. It was impressive however, it did not easily fit in my cubicle.
In this debate, it comes down to personal preference and desk restrictions.
Now that you know what you are shopping for let’s get to goods!
Best All-Around Monitor - Dell P2319H 23"
This monitor was picked as the best all-around because it is the perfect mix of features with a medium price tag. What it lacks in size it makes up for with 8ms response time and 16.7 million color display.
- 1920 x 1080 display resolution
- Available for $262.93 with free shipping on Amazon
Best Budget Monitor - Samsung S22F350 21.5”
This is the perfect monitor for basic home use and has an ultra-slim design and sleek profile for just $150.
- 1920 x 1080 display resolution
- Eye Saver Mode to reduce eye strain
- Available for $149.99 with free shipping on Amazon
Best Monitor for Dual Screen Workspaces - Acer R240HY 24”
Personal experience can attest to the beauty of a thin edge when working with a two-monitor setup and this Acer model is perfect for side-by-side viewing.
- 1920 x 1080 display resolution
- Zero Frame design provides maximum visibility of the screen from edge to edge
- Available for $178.99 with free shipping on Amazon
Best 4K Monitor - HP Z27 27”
With that stunning 4K display and the added benefit of a USB Type-C port, the versatility of this monitor outweighs the price.
- 3840 x 2160 display resolution
- Extraordinarily precise color
- Available for $532.59 with free shipping on Amazon
Best Ultrawide Monitor - LG 34BK95U 34"
Built for Multitaskers, the screen can accommodate a generous 5:9 area while “simultaneously viewing a 16:9 4K video on the same screen.”
- 5120 x 2160 display resolution
- 4-Side Virtually Borderless Design
- Available for $1,238.34 with $17.92 shipping on Amazon
Best Curved Monitor - Samsung CF791 34”
For work or serious gaming, this monitor delivers the experience of a multiscreen setup without the screen break getting in the way.
- 3440 x 1440 display resolution
- Supports Thunderbolt 3
- Available for $799 with free shipping on Amazon
Best Monitor According to Amazon Reviews - Samsung CJG5 32” Curved Gaming Monitor
For this category I performed a very scientific process I’m sure we have all done when purchasing on Amazon. I searched “computer monitor,” displayed only 4 star reviewed items, and sorted by average customer review to, in theory, display what Amazon thought was the best monitor.
This search displayed a number of portable monitors, who knew? The first monitor to fit our requirements was this beauty.
This monitor is excellent for gamers and features AMD FreeSync to synchronize the refresh rate and reduce image tearing. Plus, Low Input Lag Mode minimizes the delay between mouse, keyboard, or joystick input and onscreen response for a seamlessly smooth gaming experience.
- 2560 x 144 display resolution
- Perfect for gaming
- Available for $799.99 with free shipping on Amazon
A Monitor is Not a Magician
While buying the latest and greatest computer monitor with the highest resolution and largest display will provide you with everything you need for crystal clear viewing, your monitor is really only as your eyes will allow it to be. It’s important to have good eye health, see the eye doctor for check-ups, and wear any prescription lenses required for screen time.
After long hours of hardcore gaming or spreadsheet and budget analysis, you’re bound to be experiencing symptoms of eye strain.
The Mayo Clinic recommends you give your eyes a break throughout the day and follow what they call the 20-20-20 Rule. Every 20 minutes, look at something that is 20 feet away for 20 seconds. They also recommend making sure your monitor is properly adjusted and using an anti-glare cover.
Take care of your eyes. Get a cool monitor. Slay the day.
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