ArticlesChoosing the Best Display for Your Next Computer

There are a wide variety of options for computer monitors today. There are many factors to consider when purchasing a monitor for your computer. Are you going to be playing video games or streaming video, or are you just a basic computer user? These considerations can help you decide what kind of monitor best suits your needs. With all of these choices, which one is the best? What does HD, FHD, qHD even mean?

HD stands for "High Definition". High definition is now the basic standard for most monitors and television today. High definition gives a crystal clear viewing experience. HD comes at a 1280 x 720 pixels in a 16:9 ratio. It makes video crisper and eliminates distortion.

FHD stands for "Full High Definition". It offers a complete HD experience, offering a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels in a 16:9 ratio. It is also is known as 1080i or 1080p. In 1080i, the "i" stands for "interlaced". In 1080p, the "p" stands for "progressive scan", which means non-interlacing.

qHD stands for "quarter High Definition". The qHD image comes at 960 x 540 pixels in a 16:9 ratio. This type of screen is more common in mobile phones. This is not to be confused with QHD (uppercase Q). This stands for "Quad High Definition" which is a resolution standard for high-end monitors, televisions and mobile devices. QHD is specified as 2560x1440 pixels at 16x9 aspect ratio.

There are also choices of matte and glossy monitors. This can be a preferential choice as some may prefer matte screens because they are not as reflective. Here are the pros and cons of each screen type.

Matte Screen
There is less glare, which improves the visibility of images in areas where there is a strong direct light or in ambient lighting.
There may be a reduction in eyestrain because you do not have to focus your eyes more because of glare or reflections in order to see the images on the screen.
Any dirt, grease, or dust is less visible on matte screens.

There is a less contrast and color vibrancy.
There can be a minor reduction in sharpness, which is dependent on the thickness and layering of the matte surface, as well as the monitor pixel pitch.
Matte screens can be more difficult to clean.
When displaying white or other light colors, there can be hazy or grainy textures.

Glossy Screen
Easier to clean as you can clearly see where the dirt is.
Glossy screens are generally more pleasing to the eye.
You can get a cleaner image.

Depending on the light in the location of the monitor, there are reflections that can be difficult to see the monitor with.
There is more eyestrain as a result of your eyes needing more to focus to see the screen through reflections.
Dust, dirt, and grease are much more visible, meaning that it will need to be cleaned more often.

These are some other considerations when picking out your monitor.

Refresh Rate - This is really an important consideration if you are a gamer. Most monitors have a refresh rate of 60Hz. This means that you can get 60 frames per second. There are some monitors that are 120Hz, which offers a smoother gaming experience.

Different Panel Types - There are different panel types for the monitors. Twisted nematic (TN) panels are the cheapest option available. These monitors have a faster response times and have higher refresh rates, making this an ideal choice for gamers especially for those who like 3D games. The colors are the least accurate in colors and can get distorted at other viewing angles. Vertical alignment (VA) panels are harder to find, but come at an average price for monitors. These have the most accurate color but also have distorted images at certain angles. Finally, there are in-plane switching panels. These are the most expensive of the options. This is the best choice for people who work with multimedia. Otherwise, it is best to stick with one of the other options.

Anti-Glare Coating - This is a coating that some monitors come with that helps reduce the glare from light behind you. If you are in a room with a lot of light in it, this is something you should consider. However, the picture quality may be fuzzier than with other options.

With the assortment of monitors on the market, it is easy to be overwhelmed. Do your research and figure out the best monitor to meet your needs and your budget.