A basic 24in LCD monitor costs around £100. It will be fine for typical Windows work but is likely to have poor viewing angles, so you’ll need to sit straight on for the best picture quality. Its colour accuracy may not be very good, either.
A VGA input lets you use the monitor with any PC, but the quality may not be as good as it is over DVI or HDMI. Both are digital connections and require a compatible graphics card but they avoid the need for digital-to-analogue or analogue-to- digital conversions, which can reduce image quality. A digital connection achieves the best picture automatically, so you won’t have to adjust clock or phase settings as you do with analogue connections.
Many DVI and all HDMI connections support HDCP, which lets you watch protected video content, such as Blu-ray movies. DisplayPort is becoming more popular, but you’ll need a graphics card with a DisplayPort output (mini or full-size) to use this input on your monitor.
A larger monitor will be easier on the eye and may have a higher resolution. Most monitors have a resolution of at least 1,920×1,080 (1080p), which provides lots of room for working with multiple windows at the same time. For even higher resolutions, you’ll need a larger display. Some 27in and 30in screens have 2,560×1,600 or even 4K resolutions. You’ll need a graphics card with a dual-link DVI output and a dual-link DVI cable or either HDMI or DisplayPort to use a monitor at these resolutions.
If you want better picture quality, look for a monitor with a high contrast ratio. The higher the ratio, the whiter the whites and the blacker the blacks. You’ll also be able to see more fine detail in images with high contrast levels. Viewing angles are important, as wider angles mean you don’t have to sit directly in front of the monitor to get the best picture. Wider viewing angles also allow more people to view the screen at the same time.
Fast response times reduce ghosting, but don’t be dazzled by the numbers. A response time of 25ms or quicker is fine for all applications.
ASUS VC239H Review
It’s rare to see IPS panels on monitors this cheap, and in Standard mode, the VC239H delivers much better image quality than we’ve come to expect from budget displays.
SCREEN SIZE 23m • RESOLUTION 1,920×1.081) • SCREEN TECHNOLOGY IPS • VIDEO INPUTS
VGA, DVI, HDMI • WARRANTY Three years RTB
BENQ SW2700PT Review
After calibration, this professional-grade monitor has near-perfect colour accuracy, so it’s ideal for photo and video editing. The Quad HD resolution also ensures there’s plenty of room for Windows multitasking.
SCREEN SIZE 27in • RESOLUTION 2,560×1,440 • SCREEN TECHNOLOGY IPS (AHVA) • VIDEO INPUTS DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort
VIEWSONIC XG2700-4K Review
Even if this isn’t the most cutting-edge monitor, its AK gaming capability still holds up, with a responsive and colourful IPS panel and almost a complete lack of ghosting. AMD graphics card owners can also eliminate tearing with FreeSync.
SCREEN SIZE 27in • RESOLUTION 3,840×2,160 . SCREEN TECHNOLOGY IPS • VIDEO INPUTS
AOC Q3279VWF Review
We never thought you could get so much monitor for this little cash; with Quad HD resolution, good colour accuracy and high contrast, plus a 75Hz refresh rate and AMD FreeSync support.
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PHILIPS Brilliance 241B7QPJKEB Review
IPS monitors generally look great, but it’s hard to find one at a low price. Enter the Brilliance 241B7QPJKEB: a colour-accuate IPS display for well. It’s well designed, too, with a collapsible webcam and a greatly adjustable stand.
SCREEN SIZE 24m • RESOLUTION 1,920×1,080 • SCREEN TECHNOLOGY IPS • REFRESH RATE 60Hz • VIDEO INPUTS HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA • WARRANTY Three years RTB •
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SAMSUNG C34F791 Review
With its Quantum Dot display, the C34F791 can achieve pristine colour coverage and superp accuracy. Its Ultra HD resolution and 34in curved screen make it ideal for multitasking, but a 100Hz refresh rate and AMD FreeSync support ensure it’s even better for 4K gaming.
SCREEN SIZE 34in • RESOLUTION 3,840×1,440 • SCREEN TECHNOLOGY VA •
REFRESH RATE 100Hz • VIDEO INPUTS DisplayPort, HDMI • WARRANTY Two years RTB
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