Choosing the Right Monitor For Your Laptop/Desktop

Choosing the Right Monitor For Your Laptop/Desktop

Range Govindan
Aug 18, 2010

When you're putting together your home office, especially if you are a mobile warrior and work off your laptop most of the time, it's really nice to have a big monitor at home so that you can use your laptop more like a desktop. In the past, docking stations were a must, but nowadays, mobile users just need a decent-sized keyboard, and a mouse so that they are ready to go coupled with a good monitor.

The most important thing about a monitor is its general size, which is measured from diagonally in inches from one corner to the other. Anything under 20" is definitely too small for most users. The other thing that important is the screen resolution. Most computer monitors have great resolution, which is still better than HDTV resolution, so it's important to get as high of a resolution as you can. The thing is that you can always select a smaller resolution when setting up your computer, or simply use the zoom feature of many apps.

Refresh-rate is also a particularly important feature. This will cut down on the flicker rate that can be perceptible to some users. The latest monitors use LEDs, which offer great brightness. It's almost shocking when you put an older LCD next to a new LED screen and compare them. LEDs are the way to go, even if they are slightly more expensive.

A brand that I trust is Viewsonic. My last two computer monitors have been from Viewsonic and I've had no complaints. My latest is a Viewsonic 22-inch screen. There are almost no dead pixels and the resolution is good at 1680 × 1050. I always trump the largest size possible, within a certain budget. When I upgrade, I'll go for a 27-inch screen.

Dell also makes some good screens as does Sceptre. You can get a 27-inch monitor for around $500 and you can easily spend up to $1,000 on it if you go with Dell. The new Apple Cinema Display will also cost a lot more. The 30-inch used to cost $1,800. The 24-inch LED LCD from Apple is sometimes available on special for $599. Check out our full review of this monitor here.

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