what should i look for in a new monitor
what should i look for in a new monitor

Are you in the market for a new monitor but feeling overwhelmed by the vast array of options available? Look no further! In this article, we will guide you through the essential factors to consider when choosing a new monitor. From screen size and resolution to refresh rate and connectivity options, we’ve got you covered. So sit back, relax, and let us help you find the perfect monitor that meets all your needs and enhances your overall viewing experience.

Display Size

Physical Size

When it comes to choosing a new monitor, one of the first considerations is the display size. The physical size of a monitor can greatly impact your overall viewing experience. A larger monitor provides a more immersive experience, allowing you to see more content at once. However, it’s important to keep in mind the available space on your desk or in your workspace. Measure the area where you plan to place the monitor to ensure that it will fit comfortably without obstructing other items or causing discomfort.

Screen Size

In addition to the physical size, the screen size of a monitor is also a crucial factor to consider. Screen size is typically measured diagonally from corner to corner. The most common screen sizes range from 19 inches to 32 inches, with larger options available for those who require even more screen real estate. The choice of screen size depends on personal preference and the tasks you’ll be using the monitor for. If you primarily use your monitor for office work or browsing the internet, a standard 22 to 24-inch screen should be sufficient. However, if you’re a gamer or multimedia enthusiast, a larger screen size may enhance your viewing experience.


Standard Resolutions

The resolution of a monitor refers to the number of pixels it can display horizontally and vertically. A higher resolution means more pixels, resulting in a sharper and clearer image. The most common resolutions in monitors today include:

  • 1080p (1920 x 1080): This resolution is also known as Full HD and is suitable for most general-purpose use.
  • 1440p (2560 x 1440): Also referred to as Quad HD or 2K, this resolution offers a sharper image and is ideal for content creators and gamers.
  • 4K (3840 x 2160): 4K resolution provides exceptional detail and clarity, making it the preferred choice for professionals working with high-resolution images or videos.

The choice of resolution depends on your specific needs and budget. Higher resolutions generally come with a higher price tag, so consider the content you’ll be viewing and the hardware requirements of your computer.

Aspect Ratio

The aspect ratio of a monitor refers to the proportional relationship between the width and height of the screen. The most common aspect ratios are 16:9 and 21:9. A 16:9 aspect ratio is the standard for most monitors and is well-suited for tasks such as web browsing, office work, and gaming. On the other hand, a 21:9 aspect ratio, also known as ultrawide, provides a wider field of view and is particularly beneficial for professionals working on video editing, graphic design, or multitasking.

Panel Type

TN Panel

TN (Twisted Nematic) panels are one of the most common display technologies found in monitors. They offer fast response times and high refresh rates, making them well-suited for gaming and fast-paced content. TN panels also tend to have better support for lower input lag, resulting in a more responsive experience. However, they often suffer from poor color accuracy and narrower viewing angles compared to other panel types. If you prioritize speed and gaming performance over color accuracy, a TN panel might be a suitable choice for you.

IPS Panel

IPS (In-Plane Switching) panels are renowned for their superior color accuracy and wider viewing angles. This makes them an excellent choice for content creators, graphic designers, and anyone who requires accurate color representation. IPS panels generally have slower response times compared to TN panels, which may result in motion blur during fast-paced gaming. However, advancements in technology have led to the development of IPS panels with better response times, catering to gamers who also value color accuracy.

VA Panel

VA (Vertical Alignment) panels strike a balance between TN and IPS panels. They offer better color reproduction and wider viewing angles compared to TN panels, while also providing faster response times than IPS panels. VA panels are popular among users who want a combination of good color accuracy and gaming performance. However, VA panels often suffer from some degree of motion blur and may exhibit slight color shifting when viewed from extreme angles.

Refresh Rate

Standard Refresh Rates

The refresh rate of a monitor refers to the number of times the screen updates with new images per second. It is measured in Hertz (Hz). The standard refresh rate for most monitors is 60Hz, meaning the screen updates 60 times per second. This refresh rate is sufficient for most tasks, including web browsing, productivity work, and casual gaming.

Adaptive Sync

Adaptive Sync is a technology that synchronizes the refresh rate of the monitor with the output of the graphics card, resulting in smoother gameplay and reduced screen tearing. There are two main types of Adaptive Sync technologies: AMD FreeSync and NVIDIA G-Sync. FreeSync is compatible with AMD graphics cards, while G-Sync is proprietary to NVIDIA graphics cards. If you’re a gamer, consider choosing a monitor with Adaptive Sync technology that matches your graphics card to enhance your gaming experience.

Response Time

Pixel Response Time

Response time refers to how quickly the pixels on a monitor can change from one color to another. It is measured in milliseconds (ms). A faster response time reduces motion blur and ghosting, resulting in sharper and smoother visuals, especially during fast-paced scenes in movies or games. Response time is crucial for gamers, as it affects the overall visual experience and can influence reaction times. A response time of 1ms to 5ms is generally considered ideal for gaming.

Input Lag

Input lag is the delay between when a command is inputted by the user and when it is displayed on the monitor. It is typically measured in milliseconds. Lower input lag ensures a more responsive and real-time experience, which is particularly important for competitive gaming or tasks that require precise input, such as video editing. Look for monitors with low input lag, preferably below 10ms, to minimize any noticeable delay between your actions and the on-screen response.

Color Accuracy


sRGB is a color space that serves as a standard for color reproduction on monitors and other digital devices. Monitors that adhere to the sRGB color space offer a consistent and accurate representation of colors, making them suitable for tasks that require color precision, such as photo editing and graphic design. If accurate color reproduction is important to you, look for monitors with sRGB support.

Adobe RGB

Adobe RGB is a larger color space designed for professional photographers and print production. Monitors with Adobe RGB support can display a wider range of colors compared to sRGB monitors. If you work with print materials or require a more extensive color gamut, consider investing in a monitor with Adobe RGB support.


DCI-P3 is a color space primarily used in the film industry. Monitors with DCI-P3 support can display a broader range of colors, particularly in the red and green spectrums. This is beneficial for professionals working on video editing, visual effects, or film production, as it allows for more accurate color grading and reproduction.



HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) is a standard connection used for transmitting high-quality audio and video signals from a source device to a monitor. Most modern monitors come equipped with HDMI ports, making them compatible with a wide range of devices, such as computers, gaming consoles, and media players. HDMI supports both audio and video transmission, eliminating the need for separate audio cables.


DisplayPort is an alternative connectivity option to HDMI and offers similar capabilities in terms of audio and video transmission. However, DisplayPort is often favored by users who require higher refresh rates and resolutions, as it has a higher bandwidth compared to HDMI. Additionally, some monitors offer features like daisy-chaining multiple monitors using DisplayPort.


USB-C is a versatile connectivity option that allows for the transfer of data, power delivery, and audio/video transmission through a single cable. Monitors with USB-C ports provide convenient connectivity for laptops and mobile devices that support USB-C, as it allows for charging and display connectivity without the need for additional adapters or cables. USB-C can also support Thunderbolt 3, which provides even higher bandwidth for connecting multiple peripherals and displays.


Adjustable Stand

An adjustable stand is an essential feature to consider, as it allows you to customize the positioning of the monitor for optimal comfort and ergonomic support. Look for monitors with height adjustment, tilt, and swivel capabilities. Height adjustment lets you raise or lower the monitor to align it with your eye level, reducing strain on your neck and back. Tilt adjustment allows you to adjust the angle of the monitor, eliminating any glare or reflections. Swivel adjustment enables you to rotate the screen horizontally, making it easier to share the content with others.

VESA Mount Compatibility

VESA mount compatibility refers to the ability to attach the monitor to a VESA-compatible mounting arm or stand. This option gives you the flexibility to mount the monitor on a wall or an adjustable arm, freeing up desk space and allowing for optimal positioning. If you plan to mount your monitor, ensure that it has VESA mount compatibility and consider the size and weight specifications required by your chosen mounting solution.

Brightness and Contrast

Brightness Levels

Brightness refers to the intensity of the light emitted by the monitor and is typically measured in nits (cd/m²). A higher brightness level allows for better visibility in well-lit environments. Monitors with adjustable brightness levels are beneficial as they can be tailored to the ambient lighting conditions of your workspace. Consider a monitor with a brightness level of at least 250 nits for general use, while professional applications may require higher values.

Contrast Ratio

Contrast ratio refers to the difference between the darkest and brightest points that a monitor can display. A higher contrast ratio results in more detailed and vibrant images. Look for monitors with a high contrast ratio, ideally above 1000:1, to ensure a rich viewing experience with deep blacks and vivid colors.

Energy Efficiency

Energy Star Rating

When selecting a new monitor, it’s worth looking for the Energy Star rating. Energy Star-certified monitors meet specific energy efficiency guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Energy (DOE). These monitors use less energy in standby and active modes, helping to reduce utility costs and minimize environmental impact.

Power Consumption

Consider the power consumption of the monitor when making your decision. Monitors with higher resolutions, larger screen sizes, and additional features such as high refresh rates or built-in speakers may consume more power. Ensure that the monitor’s power requirements are suitable for your setup and align with your energy-saving goals.

In conclusion, when searching for a new monitor, it’s important to consider factors such as display size, resolution, panel type, refresh rate, response time, color accuracy, connectivity, ergonomics, brightness and contrast, as well as energy efficiency. By carefully evaluating these features based on your specific needs and preferences, you can find a monitor that offers an outstanding visual experience and enhances your productivity, whether you’re a gamer, content creator, or professional in need of a reliable display. Remember to conduct thorough research, read reviews, and compare different models to make an informed decision. Happy monitor shopping!

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Sam Cox
Hi, I'm Sam Cox! I'm an experienced computer and gaming enthusiast passionate about helping others get the most out of their tech. a Tech expert and your go-to source for all tech tips at The Computer Geeks. With years of experience in the industry, I bring extensive knowledge and expertise to help you navigate the ever-evolving world of technology. I have a passion for simplifying complex concepts and finding creative solutions, making your tech journey both enlightening and enjoyable. Whether you're a seasoned tech enthusiast or a beginner looking for guidance, I am here to provide you with valuable insights, tutorials, and practical tips to enhance your digital experience.