How to choose a good monitor? Which monitor is better – 22, 24, 27 inches or more? Who makes the best monitors are Asus, Acer, BenQ, LG, Philips, Samsung, or someone else? How to determine the type of the matrix, other parameters of the monitor and not get lost among hundreds of models from dozens of manufacturers? What to look for when choosing a monitor?
The article understand how to choose the best monitor of 2016, the optimum ratio of price and quality. If the material seems too much and just want a ready answer, at the end of the article – recommended models of monitors.
Usually when choosing a monitor is not often the question is what it will be used, as the majority of customers, a good monitor should be universal – it can work without fatigue for long hours in a row comfortably play games until late at night, to surf the Internet until the morning in search of an exit or binge-watch your favorite movies and TV shows. Then why there are so many models, most of which differ from each other quite unimportant, isn’t it easier and cheaper to come up with some universal good monitors and churning out millions of them?The answer is simple – to sell more, because most likely You will choose a monitor that the manufacturer, which of their dozens of models, not someone who are three things, though very good. Well and simultaneously to create for You the illusion of choice. But among the hundreds of models required to have only a few monitors that can actually be considered the best in their niches. About how to find them, or help make your own choice, consider the following.
Screen size is the main characteristic that separates one monitor from another and this significantly affects the price. Clearly the difference in size for the most common diagonals shown in the figure, although a small image scale and allows you to really appreciate the difference.
According to the majority of buyers display with a diagonal of 18.5″ – small 19-21.5″ – normal, 23-24″ – a large, 27″ – very large, 30″ and more something like “wow.”
Conditionally on the sizes it is possible to allocate 4 groups of monitors:
Very rare system of several monitors, which have some advantages (e.g., high realism in games), but for normal operation this is not cheap at all monster required a very powerful computer besides , in the current 2016 is expected to start supply of virtual glasses/hats at a reasonable price, which are cheaper, more comfortable and have a stunning sense of presence in the virtual world. And although they are unlikely to rapidly displace conventional monitors, because they create too high load on vision, but is able to replace a large part of the monitors of the big diagonals.
It is strongly recommended to only buy large monitors with a diagonal of 24 inches and above for several reasons:
There is a common misconception that monitors with a diagonal of 24 inches and above is tiring for the eyes (“dazzled”). In reality, it’s just a weird legend, so as to a big monitor you get used quickly, can not be said Vice versa.
Design is second only to the size that draws the attention of the buyer when choosing a monitor, although the importance is almost the last factor. It is worth noting that the more unique and rare design of the monitor, the higher the probability to get a bad model that loves trips to the repair service center. For this reason, do not particularly pay attention to a variety of exclusivity, because we usually do not look “on a monitor” and “monitor” and all sorts of chips will cease to be noticed in a week.
However, when choosing a monitor for some design elements still need to pay attention to:
As at present, most media for personal computers (video games, many programs and websites) designed for 16:9 aspect ratio and standard HD resolution (1366×768 pixels) FullHD (1920×1080 pixels) WQHD (2560×1440 pixels) and UltraHD (4K, 3840×2160 pixels), for more complete compatibility, the monitor should choose such permission HD (small monitors), FullHD (medium and large monitors), WQHD (huge monitors) and UltraHD (large and huge monitors).By the way, the last format can be relevant to the mass market only a few years, as some time will be too little for it quality content, and watch series like “All 125 episodes + bonus on a single DVD” UltraHD monitor at least silly. For this reason, do not get involved in VHR data from “live” presentations of the monitors and TVs UltraHD in stores – it’s just a demonstration.The only thing where we can already appreciate the benefits of UltraHD is a quality photo of the original as captured with the camera of an average level or above.
The sale is still available so-called “square” 19-inch monitors with proportions 5:4 – with its relatively low price they are comfortable for working with documents and therefore in demand office workers, but for the reasons stated above, unsuitable for universal use.
Grain size (the smallest pixels) affects the quality of display of the information. It is larger than (higher granularity), the better to read small fonts, which is especially important for the elderly or with poor eyesight, but also rougher appears everything else – photos, smooth lines, etc. the smaller (lower grain size) is the more realistic photos and other complex objects, but at the same time, small fonts may be unreadable.The trend is that an increasing number of programs correctly use scaling and, therefore, in future, all new monitors will be with ultrafine grain, and the image will be very clear and realistic, and small fonts – correctly increased to an acceptable level. But currently there is still a lot of programs to work with that on monitors with very small grain size is almost impossible.
In most cases, the grain size of the monitors:
According to many customers, the best value, the diagonal and grain size have 24-inch FullHD monitor. If You have a weak eyesight, it is strongly not recommended to buy monitors with small and medium grain size, as many of the details and system fonts will be too small for comfortable work. And although you can later change the resolution or zoom to make the image larger, but it is usually much worse clarity and/or distorted proportions.
Some buyers complain about the so-called “crystalline effect” (fuzzy boundaries of individual pixels of the image), the other in the same the monitors never notice, as it is associated with the peculiarities of perception and vision of each individual. For this reason, the presence or absence of crystalline effect is not indicated in the specifications of the monitor and he is determined personally or subjectively according to the test results.It is worth noting that crystalline effect may be present only on monitors with a matte finish, glossy glossy and reflective it never happens, but they can impact well-lit objects located behind that can irritate a lot stronger this effect. Above located near two macrophoto monitor with medium crystal effect (left) and the monitor without the crystal effect (right).As the tangible benefits of the matte screen in most cases more important than glossy, it is currently more than 80% of monitors are produced with a matte screen.
The second important feature of the monitor after it is matrix type but there is also the angle type, brightness and uniformity of illumination, contrast, and response speed, which are very closely linked and usually good values for one parameter assuming that other parameters are at least good. Adds complexity that types and subtypes of matrices there are more than a dozen (for example, the most common are TN and IPS, and there are PVA, MVA, PLS, etc.), each of which in turn have different characteristics.
But if it is very simplistic about the main types, the TN-matrix is the fastest and cheapest, but they have worse viewing angles and black depth, IPS-matrix (PLS version Samsung) have the best color reproduction and viewing angles, but simultaneously, expensive and relatively slow, and matrix PVA and MVA best convey the black color, but at the same time there are difficulties in the transmission of tones and the problem with changing the colour balance at different angles of view.
The conclusion is unfavourable – with such a variety there is no perfect type of the matrix all have flaws and, if desired, they can be easily overlooked. You should know that in most cases the monitors on the matrix…
Technology does not stand still and often monitors with different types of matrices have very similar features and even an experienced specialist is not always “the eye” will be able to properly distinguish one type from another, so the choice of monitor is not particularly hung up on the type of matrix. What is really important for the monitor – so it’s viewing angles, maximum brightness and contrast of the matrix.
One of the most unpleasant features of modern monitors is the limited viewing angles (image distortion when viewing from different angles), especially for monitors of the big diagonals on TN-matrices, as in some cases even in direct view of the monitor image in the corners will be distorted. To protect yourself from these problems, you need to choose a monitor with viewing angles not lower than 170 horizontal and 160 vertically.
The screen backlight until recently was carried out by special fluorescent lamps (CCFL), which have been notable disadvantages – limited life and uneven illumination. Currently, most monitors have LED (LED) backlight, which is in some ways much better than CCFL – uniformity is usually less pronounced and the expected service life will end much later than the monitor will end up at landfill as outdated.Unevenness of illumination on cheap monitors (up to $ 100.e.) can often be very noticeable, but on more expensive models it rarely spoils the life and usually can be seen only if specifically test the type of “a dark screen in a dark room”, or when viewing dark movie scenes with huge margins top and bottom. The problem of uniformity of illumination is relevant even for the best expensive monitors, but again, if you really want to see her. Ultra-thin monitors are more likely to suffer illness of uneven illumination than a similar class monitors standard thickness.
Low values of the contrast of the monitor (500:1 and less) are typically expressed in a complete inability to display the black color in the light areas of the images that will be noticeable, but the dark and black areas will appear dark gray. Various technologies like dynamic contrast in some situations it may a bit to correct this deficiency, but it’s better to buy monitors with the value of the static contrast of 1000:1 and higher. It is also necessary to consider that according to the test results of the real contrast ratio is usually slightly below the passport.
Response time and scanning frequency (refresh). The first is almost mythical for gamers parameter, which for the most realistic games are often shoved aside all other factors and choose those monitors, the response time in which 5 or less milliseconds (think about it, what does this low value for our not-so-quick brain – 0.005 seconds!).In fact, the problem of slow matrices have long been eradicated even the most inexpensive modern monitors, but due to the peculiarities of human vision (which is still 10-20 MS as if to remember the previous image) and the differences in the output images on a CRT and LCD (from the first picture goes out after 1 MS after drawing and 9-15 MS to the next frame we would see only darkness, and the second previous frame remains unchanged until the next replacement) “old phony” monitors often seem faster than even the best modern monitors.As you can guess, for the observed maximum performance of the monitor our eyes is important not only response time but also the maximum refresh rate of the image. Because the standard image refresh rate matrices of most modern monitors is 60 Hz, theoretically the response time of 15 MS is enough, but because of some other reasons, monitors should be chosen with a response time not exceeding 10 MS (but if it is less, then the worst of it, of course, will not).By the way, so it doesn’t make sense to “squeeze” out of modern graphics cards the FPS is above 60, as the “extra” footage on these monitors will be simply ignored.
Gaming monitors with a refresh rate of 120-144 Hz display allow a very fast dynamic scenes in games much more natural than conventional models of monitors, but have a much higher price and almost always – a TN-matrix, respectively, not the best viewing angles, contrast ratio and depth of color. Mandatory “Supplement” to these monitors is the presence of very powerful cards capable of the same or higher values of FPS in most games, which significantly increases the cost of the whole system, so buy such monitors is only recommended in cases where dynamic games occupy a very important place in life.A much more reasonable solution is to buy expensive monitors with the technology G-Sync (only for NVidia) or a much cheaper monitor with similar technology FreeSync (only for AMD), since the image refresh rate in them corresponds exactly to the game at this point in time, so there is no jerking/tearing even at frequencies up to 60 Hz the gameplay looks much more realistic and of high quality.
The safety of modern monitors pretty high (no frightening many x-rays and similar horror stories from the past), but it is worth remembering that the increased brightness causes eye fatigue and after a few hours may appear slight pain in the eyes.Too low brightness too easy on the eyes, since it is necessary to look, also in this mode, the backlight of the most inexpensive LED-monitors starts to flicker significantly – for consciousness almost unnoticed, but many people may cause extra eye fatigue, as the pupil has to try to have time to adapt to the change of brightness of the entire surface of the matrix monitor. In the photo above – the famous “pencil test” (you need to quickly hold a pen or pencil in front of the monitor).If You see the pencil smeared, as it were frames – is necessary to increase the brightness, to reduce the burden on the eyes, but it’s better to buy monitors with backlight Flicker-Free, which is no shimmer at any brightness value. The optimal value for a monitor with a maximum brightness of 250 CD/sq m is 70-90% – the image is bright enough not to stare, but the flickering weakly expressed, so as not to bore sight.Buy a monitor with a maximum brightness of the matrix 200 CD/sqm and less strongly not recommended, as in good ambient light the image is too faded.
Most monitors have legacy analog input D-SUB (VGA) – as the most compatible with other devices, but the information on it is transmitted in analog (non-digital) form, so there are always distortions (most often it is the loss of clarity and blurring), and the higher the resolution of the monitor – so they are more noticeable. Therefore, for monitors with HD resolution and above it is strongly recommended the presence of a digital input – DVI or HDMI (the second is better because it has higher bandwidth, integrated channel for audio and looks neater).
Though built-in speakers are very convenient, but it’s hard to believe that they will be able to give a deep high quality sound. Built-in speakers perfect for office monitor and home is no match for even the initial decisions 2.1 (2 speakers and a subwoofer) at a price of 30-40.e. (for example, budget manufacturer Genius), not to mention more serious devices. But if you buy a monitor with built-in speakers, you need not forget about the built-in webcam.
If you plan to install the monitor on the Desk, wall or special stand, you must have the back of the monitor VESA mounting. Also the VESA mount is often used not for its intended purpose, and for fixing the back of the monitor system a compact unit, to teach a monoblock that the price will be much cheaper than the factory models.
Touch screen indispensable in tablets, it can even be handy in laptops-transformers, but setting it on the monitors of the big diagonals is very doubtful, as the active work causes serious hand fatigue. Maybe with the advent of large touch screens translucent (like in the movie “Avatar”) and ushering in an era of “big sensors”, but still try to experiment a few minutes to move the hands in front of him imaginary window and realize that chasing a mouse on the table is still much easier.
Curved screen – fashion piece, which promises much greater immersion in a virtual reality game or movie, but it also has very noticeable flaws. First, the effect of immersion was really tangible, the monitor must be very large diagonal (30 inch) and be placed very close (60-100 cm). Second, this monitor “for the egoist”, as it is located must be strictly in front of him, the image for the viewer side will have a very strong distortion.And third, curved screens are more difficult to manufacture, therefore, theoretically have less reliability, but at significantly higher cost. Fans of the most profound immersion in virtual reality in the current 2016 will be available at an acceptable price, high quality virtual glasses/hats, incredible depth and realism of the image which in principle can not be compared with existing technologies for monitors.
Modern monitors are very complicated, but at the same time and secure the device (during the first six months fail less than 1%). The reason for this reliability is high integration of the components and no mechanical wearing parts. As practice shows, the most popular reasons for the failure of monitors – the voltage drop (especially familiar to such a force majeure for people in the private sector) and problems with the inverter/backlight (not applicable for LED models). But the physical death from old age comes much later than from the moral – is still in some institutions securely employs 17-inch monitors 2002-2005 model years and usually retire only for reasons of wear of the backlight lamp or replacement with newer models.
Unfortunately, available statistics on the reliability and durability of monitors most popular brands (Acer, Asus, BenQ, Dell, LG, NEC, Philips, Samsung, ViewSonic) on the Internet. According to the Internet and personal observations are the most reliable and durable expect LED monitor, Samsung and Philips, which is indirectly confirmed by the repair shops monitors from the manufacturers suitable for repair in 95-98% of cases, while the average 85-90%. The presence of various chips (3D, a variety of non-standard or legacy inputs/outputs, camera, tuner, speakers, remote controls, etcD.) also slightly reduces the reliability of the monitor.
The life expectancy of these monitors is up to 10-12 years, with the possibility of failure or even not repairable minimal. All the recommendations are relevant primarily when you are working in Windows or Android.
For all its benefits shopping online (huge selection of models, lower price) to buy a monitor in store, as for some reason very often what we see in the characteristics of the monitor does not match the reality, moreover, very often different instances of the same model are pretty significant differences. The difference in 5-10% of the cost is not so high, but it will minimize the possibility of a bad purchase. Maybe the seller thinks You are very meticulous, but that’s his problem.
So, what should pay attention when buying any monitor:
Don’t know what You say to the seller, but the following three tests can only be done in a very dark room.
Well, actually, the ideal would be to surf the net half an hour to determine, not much if tired eyes from a new monitor, but for this test, the seller is unlikely to agree. At home before using it is advisable to do a factory reset of the monitor, then the brightness is to put in 70-90% and contrast by 60-80%.
If all the above seem to be too long or complex, you can simplify the task and to choose a good monitor recommendations below. And don’t forget the perfect monitors don’t exist and each model if you want you can find flaws.
Affordable (small) – cheap Samsung S19F350H with excellent performance for its price or even cheaper, but with a much more narrow viewing angles Philips 193V5LSB2 – standard 18.5-inch HD monitors “on all occasions” (games and office work)
Affordable (large) – Samsung S24D300H (Samsung S24D300HS) – 24-inch very good monitor with many advantages (standard FullHD, a fast matrix, the best size, the presence of a digital HDMI input and a nice price), which is ideal for most economical buyers – both for work and for games. Be careful not to confuse with the much cheaper Samsung S24D300HL.
Affordable (very large) – Philips 273V5QHAB – 27-inch monitor with good viewing angles for those who believe that “size matters”, but for the amount not willing to pay a premium. A feature of this monitor is very large grain, so the picture is a bit rough, as the normal distance to be noticeable the individual pixels, but small fonts will be read very well, which is particularly appreciated by customers with low vision.
Optimal 24 inch – Samsung S24D590PL – a good monitor with the original design, quality matrix, more or less normal black color, clear image and a nice price. This monitor is a pleasure to work with photos and documents, and in his spare time you can comfortably play your favorite games and enjoy quality movies.
Optimal/gaming 27-inch – Samsung S27E370D – very nice “designer” monitor with great color reproduction, sharp images and flicker-free illumination, which can be as comfortable to work with, and love to watch movies and play games, which feature AMD FreeSync will be displayed without jerks and breaks of personnel. The large size of the standard FullHD resolution makes small fonts are well readable, but at close range can already be noticeable the individual pixels of the image.
Chic – Samsung S32D850T – huge size (32 inches!), high resolution (2560×1440) and the optimal grain size (small fonts readable). This monitor will need to get used a week, but then all “regular” monitors will seem pathetic small “tablets”. High realism in games and movies, almost live photos, very comfortable working with large objects (drawings, schemes, complex tables) – and that’s not all the advantages of this monitor. But be careful, as the huge size of the monitor is not suitable for everyone, besides for gaming in native resolution you must havea very powerful video card.
Buy UltraHD monitors (for example, a relatively inexpensive 28-inch Samsung U28E590D, 32-inch Samsung U32E850R or professional 32-inch models Samsung U32D970Q) is currently not recommended due to the very high prices, some of the connectivity features in native resolution for most computers (especially released a few years ago), the high requirements for the video card and processor, too small grain size and the almost complete absence at this time, 4K content.
As it is strongly recommended to connect monitors with a resolution above HD (1366×768) only digital inputs (HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort), complete with monitors, often there are no such cables, they must be purchased separately. It is also worth considering that even the best monitors are not perfect, the individual instances even in the same batch can have significant differences related to their different factory tune or bad mood of the collector, so meticulous buyer the monitor is better to buy at the store to “see what to buy”.If You are going for hours on end to do tests to look for the defects of the matrix with a magnifying glass, then to throw a tantrum to the seller, then you can safely save by buying a monitor online.