How to choose a monitor for home, student and player

When considering how to improve the capabilities of your laptop, an external monitor is the first choice. At the same time, it is also a good tip for a Christmas gift that will really please. When designing laptops, they must take into account attributes related to mobile work style and easy portability, ie dimensions and weight. The choice of the diagonal of the display is in most cases a compromise between the size of the notebook and the comfort of work. For maximum comfort and efficiency of work or the experience of watching multimedia or playing games, you need the appropriate size of the display area – much larger than the laptop screen provides. We will first explain the importance of the key parameters that need to be taken into account in the selection, and then advise which monitor is most suitable for each category of users.

Display diagonal

The most important criteria when choosing a monitor are the diagonal size, resolution, and display properties. The higher the resolution of the monitor, the more content it can display at one time. Closely related to resolution is the screen size, which is given as the size of the diagonal. You can take full advantage of UHD resolution, also known as 4K, ie 3840 × 2,160 pixels, only if you can comfortably watch the displayed content at a distance from which you look at the monitor. In other words, for UHD resolution, you need a screen with a diagonal of at least 28 inches, preferably 32 inches, or even more. Of course, the operating system can handle even if you have a high-resolution display with a diagonal that is too small for comfortable viewing. In Windows, it uses the scale parameter for this purpose. If the display or monitor has a size appropriate to the resolution, the scale is set to 100%. With a smaller diagonal, a larger scale is set, for example 150% or 200%.

Color fidelity

At first glance, it might seem that there is nothing to deal with this parameter. We want to display colors most faithfully and, of course, have the largest possible screen. You’re right, such a monitor is absolutely ideal for work and home multimedia entertainment, but it has one catch, which is the price. A high-quality professional monitor with a diagonal of 32 inches, 100% coverage of the Adobe RGB color space, support for HDR 10 and other top parameters costs 3 to 4 thousand euros. We must therefore also reach an appropriate compromise in this regard. Color fidelity is expressed as the percentage coverage of one of the sRGB, AdobeRGB, or kinematic DCI-P3 color spaces (gamuts). Another important parameter is the color depth, which indicates the number of bits needed to represent a given color for one pixel. Simply put, it indicates how many shades a given color can have. At 8-bit depth, it’s 16.7 million, and at 10-bit depth, the monitor can display up to 1 billion shades.

Refresh rate

In order to display dynamic scenes as smoothly as possible, for example in games or action movies, the monitor should have the highest possible refresh rate and the shortest possible latency. The refresh rate indicates how many frames the monitor can display per second. Latency refers to the rate of response to an image change and is given in milliseconds.

Ergonomics and economic operation

Modern monitors have low power consumption and eye protection technologies, especially the blue light filter. It has been proven that the blue component of light puts more strain on the eyes and suppresses the production of sleep hormone in the evening. Flicker-free monitors use a higher refresh rate as well as non-flickering technology to control the brightness of the backlight.

Connectivity

Most often, the monitor is connected via HDMI. Higher quality monitors also have a DisplayPort interface, which supports both high resolution and 10-bit colors. This interface must not be missing on the monitor for graphics or multimedia creator. However, some ultrabooks do not have an HDMI connector to save power and use a USB-C port to connect a monitor. DisplayPort technology is used for image transmission or Thunderbolt interface for laptops with Intel Core processors. An ideal monitor for such an ultrabook is that has a USB-C connector, so you can connect the ultrabook directly, otherwise you will have to use a reduction from HDMI to USB-C. Many modern monitors with a USB-C interface also have a built-in docking station, so the ultrabook is simultaneously powered and charged from the monitor with a maximum power consumption of 65 – 70 W. You can connect external devices such as keyboards, mice and the like to the classic USB-A ports on the monitor. or charge them with a maximum current of 3 A. You can also connect an Ethernet cable to the integrated docking station in the monitor, so that the notebook can be connected to the Internet or a corporate network without Wi-Fi via the monitor.

We advise on the choice

Even though many monitors have an attribute (office, gaming or professional graphics), this categorization will usually not make your decision much easier, because your activities usually overlap. A typical example is a student with a gaming laptop, who is also involved in photo editing and graphic design. In addition, some requirements are often conflicting. For game monitors, high refresh rate and low latency are a priority. Therefore, these models often use TN-based display panels, but they do not excel in color fidelity. In contrast, panels using IPS technology have very good coverage of sRGB or Adobe RGB color spaces, in layman’s terms, they have excellent color rendering, but generally do not achieve the high refresh rates required by top gamers.

Monitor home, at home office, for student

These monitors will be used throughout working hours and in most of us even a few hours in the afternoon and evening when surfing the Internet or home entertainment. Therefore, they should be as gentle as possible to our eyes and should also be energy efficient. In practice, this means not only a high enough refresh rate, flicker-free brightness control or suppression of the blue light component, but the monitor should also be able to adjust the panel’s height or rotate it 90 degrees if you need to display documents in portrait orientation. . Also, the screen diagonal should be large enough, typically 24 inches for FHD resolution (1920 × 1080 pixels), or 27 inches for 2K (2560 × 1440 pixels) or 32 inches for UHD (3840 × 2160 pixels). The larger the monitor, the better, but the limiting factor is the price and also the space on your desktop. In the case of a monitor for a student, especially if he will use it in a dormitory, the dimensions must also be taken into account, both for transport and to fit the student on the table.

Monitor for the player

In order for dynamic scenes in games to display as smoothly as possible, the game monitor must have the highest possible refresh rate and the shortest possible latency. The lower limit in this category is considered to be the refresh rate of 144 Hz. Higher quality and also more expensive game monitors have a refresh rate of 240, or up to 360 Hz. Latency indicates the speed of response to a change in image and should be below 4 ms for a game monitor. Higher-quality game models support one of the technologies for synchronizing the monitor’s refresh rate with the frequency of the image generated by the graphics card, whether the proprietary NVIDIA G-Sync or the open AMD Free Sync platform. The resolution of game monitors should also be considered carefully. Only new powerful graphics cards can handle smooth display in 4K resolution (3840 × 2160 pixels). Therefore, for older gaming computers or gaming laptops, a full HD monitor is better, which has 4 times fewer pixels than a 4K monitor, and therefore less powerful graphics cards can handle smooth display on it. Choose the resolution according to the genre of games. High resolution is more important than latency in strategies. This, in turn, is key in action shooters. For larger diagonals, consider a monitor with a curved display panel that will literally “draw” you into the game.

Monitors for creatives

Both amateur and professional graphics and multimedia makers need a 32-inch, or larger, high-resolution monitor, at least UHD, and most importantly, with the most accurate color reproduction possible. Therefore, they should have the highest possible percentage of AdobeRGB color space coverage and 10-bit color depth. For monitors in this category, the size of the diagonal is important – optimally 32 inches or more. Of course, even a regular user will certainly not make any mistakes by buying a professional monitor (apart from paying a high price), he will be very satisfied with it, but he will probably never appreciate its main advantages.

Introductory photo: Resul Kaya on Unsplash

Philips 243S1

The monitor with USB-C docking station has a diagonal of 24 “(60.5 cm), full HD resolution and accurate color display. You will appreciate USB-C connectivity especially when working on ultrabooks or MacBooks, because you only need one cable to transfer the image and power the laptop power up to 65 W. The built-in docking station has not only USB connectors for connecting a keyboard or mouse, but also an Ethernet RJ-45 connector.

Cena: 299 EUR
n More information: www.philips.sk

Xiaomi Mi Curved Gaming Monitor 34″

A universal and unusual ultra-widescreen monitor for both gamers and those who need a large area for work. It offers up to a 34-inch screen diagonal with a 21: 9 aspect ratio and a distinctive 1500R curvature. This 8-bit VA panel has a WQHD resolution (3440 × 1440 pixels), a typical 3000: 1 contrast and up to 121% sRGB spectrum coverage. The icing on the cake is a refresh rate of 144 Hz. Its stand handles height change, tilt and rotation. On the one hand, you get a game monitor that draws you into a game or movie, on the other hand, a large desktop for working with editing or tables with PiP (picture in picture) support.

Cena: 499 eur
More information: www.mi-store.sk

MSI Modern MD271QPW

A design-attractive monitor for efficient work and fun with a diagonal of 27, “WQHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels, refresh rate of 75 Hz and a response time of 5 ms. AdobeRGB gamut coverage at 94% guarantees true colors. Anti-Flicker technology and blue light reduction protects your eyes, height and tilt can make a significant contribution to ergonomics, easy to assemble the monitor without the use of tools, or connect via USB-C, and integrated speakers as standard.

Price: 360 EUR
More information: cz.msi.com

ViewSonic ELITE XG270QG

The ViewSonic ELITE XG270QG monitor is rightly called a gaming delicacy. The Quad HD display with a 16: 9 aspect ratio, a player-generated refresh rate of 165 Hz and a 10-bit color depth will enhance any gaming experience. This monitor achieves an even better image thanks to the use of IPS Nano Color technology, which improves the properties of popular IPS panels through nanoparticle film. It achieves more accurate color and wider color gamut coverage.

Cena: 528 EUR

More information: https://lnk.sk/acs7

Acer Nitro VG270UP

Enjoy a completely smooth image thanks to Radeon FreeSync technology. The Acer Nitro VG270UP LCD monitor offers a fast refresh rate of up to 144 Hz and a latency of 1 ms. Thanks to the Visual Response Boost (VRB) technology, playing is absolutely smooth and virtually blur-free. The ZeroFrame design minimizes frames – ideal for using multiple monitors side by side.

Cena: 274,90 EUR

Dell S2722DC Style

The Dell LCD monitor will enrich your computer set with a 27 “panel. The aspect ratio is then 16: 9. The display is based on IPS technology, which boasts perfect color rendering and very good viewing angles. The monitor has a resolution of 2560 × 1440 px. An instantaneous latency of 4 ms is required especially when playing games where the picture remains sharp, and a refresh rate of 75 Hz is a normal value.

Cena: 309,90 EUR

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Source: Nextech by www.nextech.sk.

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