How to choose monitors for your desktop computers

It is very important to choose a good monitor, sometimes even more important than choosing your computer. Why? First of all, a monitor will accompany you longer than a computer, and it also affects your health.

I bought a 24” LCD/LED monitor with speakers 10 years ago, cost less than $200, it still works very well. I need a second 24” LCD/LED monitor currently, it cost me $270 on Amazon and no speaker, the image has the same quality with my old one, surprisingly the value increases over time, not like my computers.

When you start looking for a monitor, it's a good idea to first go to the BestBuy website, there's some reason for that:

  1. They're the biggest electronic shop, the service and price are both terrific. Manufactures usually give their vendors different discount rate depends on their sales volume. That's why you buy from big shops like BestBuy or Amazon.

  2. BestBuy web site has most detailed description of their products, which Amazon lacks. So even you will buy from Amazon, please go to the BestBuy website to check for the same product first.

  3. BestBuy customers have more helpful review than Amazon's, this may be lead by more information they can see. I've seen a monitor listed with 75Hz, a few reviewers found out it's wrong specification, it's actually 60Hz, but they also admitted it's still a good product to keep.

There are different purposes for monitors. If you're playing games or watch video often, you'd like faster responsive time and higher resolution. You should choose a 4K monitor. But you may need to buy or upgrade your video card to be able to use it. The best panel type is IPS, it continue to be the display technology that provides better color accuracy and consistency.

To reduce eye strain, buy a high frequency, IPS, TUV certified Flicker free monitor. If you buy a small or medium monitor, 1920X1080 pixels, 60Hz, 5ms should be enough. For a 27" or bigger monitor, it's better to go with increased frequency and resolution, like 4K, 75Hz or above. IPS monitors are said to be better than regular monitors because of their consistent and clear presentation of colors.

After your monitor is shipped to you, you can check some common defects to make sure the quality is satisfactory.

The way to check is to set the whole screen on black, white, red, green and blue colors. Here's a tool to help you check.

Check Computer Monitor Pixel

Here are some monitor defects you can easily check by yourself:

  1. Dead Pixels and Stuck Pixels

    Most manufactures won't allow you to return if there're defects with only a few pixels. However, if there's a group of defective pixels together, they'll replace your monitor.

  2. Backlight Bleed

    When your screen is black, you can see the lights around the border, this especially noticeable with cheap monitors.

  3. Monitor Cloud

    If the black color is uneven, it's called monitor clouding. This issue is usually produced in manufacturing process or because of too much pressure during shipping.

  4. IPS Glow

    IPS glow is the backlight shining through the WHOLE panel at sharp viewing angles. It's a problem inherent to IPS technology, but if it's too bad you can return it. Otherwise, you can find some solution online to reduce the effect.