LCD Monitors

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Everyone needs a good monitor to get the most out of a PC. However, which monitor you need depends on several factors – what applications you use, how much space you have on your desk, how much screen real estate you need to view your programs comfortably, and of course, how much you want to spend. From 19″ standard editions to 27″ monsters, here’s what you need.

The big picture

If you’ve replaced an old PC in the past few years, you may have kept your old monitor to use with the new device. That’s fine if it’s in good condition – most old monitors are probably CRTs, which typically have a lifespan of around five years – but if it’s a worn 17-inch CRT rated at 1024 x 768 pixels produces barely readable text, you will slow down your productivity.

Most monitor manufacturers today offer entry-level LCD models that combine very low prices with reduced features. These monitors work well enough for web browsing, email, and other office tasks – as long as they offer decent screen adjustment controls for brightness, color, and other settings. Mid-range and professional models often offer better image quality and extensive functions, such as B. superior image adjustment controls and a greater range of ergonomic options (e.g. height adjustment). Some professional-level monitors also include asset control features to help information systems managers manage their company’s assets remotely, and hardware calibration that adjusts the monitor and/or graphics card to provide accurate color tones guarantee.

CRT vs LCD

Historically, graphics professionals have preferred CRT monitors because they support a wider range of resolutions (including resolutions greater than 1600 x 1200 pixels) and display more true-to-life colors and greater tonal nuance. However, manufacturers stopped producing the top-performing CRT models (known as Aperture Grille models) in 2005. Many professionals are now using high-end LCDs, which approach the color quality of CRTs, but use about 50-65 percent less power required for a CRT of similar screen size. The development of color calibration hardware and software specifically for LCDs has helped convince many professionals to switch to flat panel displays. This transition will become even easier in the near future, with improvements in the range of colors that can be displayed on an LCD and in the black level, which has traditionally been a bit soft or greyed out on LCDs. Another plus: the higher brightness of LCDs also frees graphics professionals from the confines of their darkened studios.

People who primarily work with text have always been drawn to LCDs because pixels on an LCD have well-defined edges, resulting in sharply focused letters. Some gamers still prefer CRTs because LCDs take time to change the color of their pixels, which can cause some blurring in moving images. However, as technology improves, this delay in response time continues to decrease, minimizing the adverse effects. Modern LCDs can change the colors of their pixels fast enough to make them playable for most users.

Unlike CRTs, LCD displays do not flicker. While a CRT needs to be refreshed, the LCD has a constant light source across the entire screen, meaning that once a pixel is turned on, it stays on until it’s turned off. LCD lifespans vary by manufacturer, but expect an average of 50,000 hours. Also unlike CRTs, LCD monitors can often suffer from “stuck pixels” which manifest themselves as constantly glowing dots on the screen or “burnt pixels” which manifest themselves as constantly black dots on the screen. The pixel policy varies by monitor manufacturer, but generally a certain number of stuck or burned-in pixels within a certain area of ​​the screen is required before a screen can be replaced. It’s best to check what the manufacturer’s pixel policy is before you buy.

Today, new 17-inch and 19-inch CRT monitors are in short supply and not exactly bargains. The cheapest we could find at the time of writing was $230 for a 19-inch Acer-branded model. The cheapest LCD monitors start at around $215 for a 17-inch model, which offers a screen real estate similar to a 19-inch CRT. (Check out the latest LCD monitor ratings and prices in the Good Gear Guide). As LCD prices drop, especially for larger sizes (19 inches and larger), more and more users and businesses are opting for the LCD’s slim form and low power consumption. So from this point forward, this guide will only cover LCDs.

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