Buying an LCD monitor for your desktop computer is about matching its features and functions — including size and usability — with your specific needs. Our comprehensive guide to choosing a monitor makes the decision easier.
Why Should You Buy An LCD Monitor?
LCD (liquid crystal display) monitors – LED screens are also available – are lighter, brighter and smaller than the old CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) monitors. This makes them perfect as a second computer monitor (working on multiple documents), or for watching movies and playing games in restricted spaces.
How Big Should I Go?
- LCD screens most commonly range between 21.5-inch and 29-inch, measured diagonally across the screen
- Ensure you measure the space where your monitor will sit before purchasing
- If you work on multiple documents on your PC, two smaller monitors might be better than one large screen
Usability Is The Key
- Look for LCD monitors with height-adjustable stands; the top of the screen should be in line with, or just below, your eye level
- The monitor controls should be easily accessible and the options menu (to change contrast, brightness etc.) easy to navigate
How Do I Connect My LCD Monitor?
- Most monitors come with a DVI (Digital Visual Interface)
- To connect with older computers, look for a VGA port
- An HDMI connection is desirable for connecting Blu-ray, PS4, etc
- To connect external speakers, look for Audio In and Out
- Resolution: Measured in pixels (horizontal x vertical). High Definition (HD) content, such as Blu-ray, is delivered at 1920×1080 (1080p)
- Aspect ratio: Proportion of width to height. A contrast ratio of 16:9 (seen in 1920×1080 screens) will display full HD content without distorting the image
- Contrast ratio: The difference between the light intensity of the brightest white and the darkest black. Look for the highest ratio possible; above 10,000:1 is good
- Pixel response rate: How quickly the pixels can change colour, measured in milliseconds (ms). A good response time is between 5ms and 2ms
- Luminance: Measures brightness in candelas per square meter (cd, m2), otherwise known as nits. Between 200 to 300cd/m2 is fine, but 500cd/m2 is better for TV and movies
- Viewing angle: LCD pixels tend to distort the further at an angle you view the screen from. Look for the widest viewing angle possible; greater than 150 degrees is advisable
Match Your Lifestyle
Whether you work from home or in an office, make sure the LCD monitor is usable for extended periods of time.
- Size: Consider two smaller screens to work between multiple documents
- Height adjustable stand: Reduces strain on your neck and eyes
- Brightness: You don’t want to strain your eyes, so aim for above 250cd/m²
Design and Photography
Make sure that you get the best picture quality and colours possible to view and edit images.
- Brightness: Aim for around 500cd/ m²
- Contrast ratio: Look for over 100,000:1
- Resolution: Aim for the highest possible; a 1920×1080 screen is considered full HD
- Movie Buffs and Gamers
Use your LCD monitor as a gaming station or a movie screen.
- Brightness: Aim for around 500cd/ m²
- Pixel response time: A fast time like 2ms is ideal
- Connections: Look for HDMI to fit Blu-ray
- Simple LCD Monitor Choices
- Size: Measure the space where your screen will sit before deciding on size
- Better moving pictures: Look for LCD monitors with a pixel rate of 5ms or less
- Widescreen: An aspect ratio of 16:9 is best for widescreen movies
Most Popular – Monitors & LCDs
NEC AS193i 19″ LED Value Monitor$ 310.10 Inc. GST Read more
Philips Monitor 32″ 16:9 LED,BDM3270QP2, 2560×1440 (2K), Input: DVI-DL/VGA/HDMI,DP, Speakers, USB HUB, VESA$ 675.00 Inc. GST Read more
NEC PA302 SpectraView II Solution – Bundle includes PA302W-BK, SpectraView Software$ 3,098.70 Inc. GST Read more
NEC EA273WM LED / 27″/ 16:9/ 1920 x 1080/ 1000:1/ 6ms/ IPS Panel/ VGA,DVI, HDMI, DP/ Speakers/ HAS$ 786.20 Inc. GST Read more
Samsung Monitor 24″ 16:9 LED, S24E450BY, 1920×1080, T/S/P/HAS, Input: DVI/VGA, VESA, 3YR Warranty – D-Sub Cable, DVI Cable included$ 334.00 Inc. GST Read more
Philips Monitor 21.5″ 16:9 LED, 223V5LHSB2, 1920×1080, Black, VESA, Input: VGA, HDMI, 3YR Wty$ 203.00 Inc. GST Read more
BenQ GL2460HM LED / 24″/ 16:9/ 1920 x 1080/ 1000:1/ 5ms/ TN Panel/ VGA,DVI,HDMI/ Speakers$ 227.00 Inc. GST Read more
HP Z Display Z24i 24-inch IPS Gen 2, LED Backlit, 16:10, 1920x 1200, DVI+VGA+DP,4USB, Tilt, Swivel, Pivot, 3Yr$ 679.00 Inc. GST Read more
NEC EA193Mi-BK LED / 19″/ 5:4/ 1280 x 1024/ 1000:1/ 6ms/ AH-IPS Panel/ VGA,DVI, DP/ Speakers$ 358.50 Inc. GST Read more
Samsung LS24F350FHEXXY 23.6″ Wide PLS 1920×1080 HDMI+Cable/Dsub Vesa Mount 60Hz Free Sync$ 227.95 Inc. GST Read more
LG Monitor 22″ 16:10 LED, 1680×1050, Tilt/Swivel/Pivot/Height Adjustable Stand, Input: D-Sub, DVI-D, USB , VESA, 3 Years Warranty$ 250.00 Inc. GST Read more
Philips Monitor 24″ 16:9 LED, 243V5QHABA, 1920×1080, Input: VGA/DVI/HDMI , VESA, Speakers , 3YR Wty$ 250.00 Inc. GST Read more
NEC PA302W-BK 30″ Professional IPS LED$ 2,796.10 Inc. GST Read more
Samsung Business Monitor, LS22E45KBSV/XY 21.5″, 1920x 1080, D-Sub, DVI, Swivel, Pivot, Wall Mount, Windows 10H, 3Yr$ 334.00 Inc. GST Read more
NQR – Philips Monitor 19.5″ 16:9 LED, 200V4LSB, 1920×1080, Input: VGA/DVI, VESA, 3YR Wty (Box Damage/Great Condition)$ 171.00 Inc. GST Read more
Fujitsu P27-8 TE Pro LED, 27″ LED, IPS panel, 5ms, 16:9, QHD 2560×1440, Height Adj, swivel, DP, HDMI, DVI, USB, WHITE, 3yr (no cable included)$ 833.00 Inc. GST Read more