Choosing Your Monitor
Five Things to Think About When Choosing Your Monitor
Your monitor is, in many ways, the most important part of your computer purchase. Sure you can make a case that without a keyboard you
couldn’t enter data, but that’s not totally true. You could have a touch screen monitor or you could use a computer mouse. Naturally you need a
box containing a CPU, but years ago the monitor was included in a box with the motherboard and all connecting boards. But leaving that argument
aside, just remember that the monitor is your window to the world of computing. It is the part of the computer that you look at. It shows you
what your software is doing and it shows you that your commands to the software have been properly inputted. If you make a spelling error you’ll
notice it on the monitor, either by proofreading the screen, or running a spell checker. Your monitor could be called the personality of your
There are many types of monitors and before choosing one you should be familiar with the types available. The first type to consider is the
traditional monitor, also known as a CRT because it uses the cathode ray tubes found in television sets. With these monitors a beam of
electronics is passed over tiny red, blue and green phosphor dots on the front of the screen. Traditional monitors, because they are so close to
TV sets, are the original computer monitors and have been with us for many years. The most common type is 17 inches, though larger monitors are
available. The only real drawback to this type of monitor is the size. They need a lot of room for the large and lengthy picture tube.
LCD monitors are very popular these days and are also called flat panel or flat screen monitors. LCD stands for liquid crystal display, much
like those used in laptop and notebook computers. With LCD monitors a thin layer of liquid crystals is sandwiched between layers of polarizing
filters and a special glass that is conductive. This creates an electrical grid with millions of miniscule transistors, switched on and off to
allow light from fluorescent tubes to pass through. These monitors are much thinner than traditional monitors and have a greater viewing area
than their CRT cousins. They also suffer less from electrical interference and generate less radiation. The downside here is that sometimes from
some viewing angles the picture can be harder to see than on a CRT.
There are other specialized types of LCD monitors. They include the Wide Screen Entertainment Display, and the Stereoscopic or 3D Display.
Both CRT type monitors and LCD type monitors are also available in touch screen versions, which allow you to touch a spot on the monitor to get
the desired result rather than using a mouse or keyboard.
When choosing a monitor the questions to ask first are:
Where will I use the monitor? Do I have plenty of room, or is space at a premium? If you have plenty of space, then a traditional CRT might be
just fine. If space is as a premium, then look at flat screens.
What type of work will I do with the monitor? If you are simply playing games, doing spreadsheets or surfing the web, a standard 17 inch
monitor might be fine. If you are a graphic artist, or make your living doing word processing then a larger monitor that is easier to read and
allows a view of an entire document page might be a good investment.
Will I use it only for computing, or do I want to replace my traditional television set and use my computer monitor? If that were the case,
then a larger size monitor would be better if you have family members.
How important is resolution to me? Do you need fine detail and multiple colors? Then a higher priced high-resolution monitor could be the best
Do I have special needs? If you do, then the 3D monitors, wide screen entertainment monitors, or the touch screen monitors should be looked
Remember, you have to live with and use your monitor, so look at all the options out there and choose carefully.
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