Updated January 09, 2018 by Sam Kraft

The 9 Best Monitors

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It doesn’t matter if you’re working in design, crunching spreadsheets or simply gaming during your free time, without a quality monitor, your PC experience will leave a lot to be desired. Whether you value a crystal clear picture, deep contrast, true colors or all of the above, you should be able to find a solution to satisfy your needs in one of these models. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best monitor on Amazon.

9. Sceptre C278W-1920R

8. LG 32MA70HY-P

7. HP VH240a

6. LG 27UD58-B

5. Dell E2318Hx

4. Viotek GN35LD

3. LG 34UC80-B

2. AOC i3207VW3

1. Dell U3818DW

A Major Decision: Choosing The Right Monitor

Monitors between twenty four and thirty inches are the standard choice for most people.

In recent years, computer monitors have undergone a series of rapid improvements. Gone are the days of massive vacuum tube monitors that weighed dozens of pounds and offered limited image clarity. Today's monitors boast sharp detail, amazing color fidelity, and are much slimmer and lighter weight than older models. Monitors have also become relatively affordable these days.

You can get a decent computer monitor measuring just under two feet in size (remember that screens are measured across the long angle bisecting their screens) for just a little more than one hundred dollars, for example. One the other hand, top of the line monitors can easily cost three or four times that much. Yet for most consumers, a budget of two to three hundred dollars will be more than enough for a great external monitor.

When considering the right monitor for your office, your gaming setup, or for any other use, first think of the ideal size. You should never but a monitor that is too large for the space it will occupy, whether this means a unit that will over crowd a desk or that will be too large for your easy viewing based on where you sit. Monitors between twenty four and thirty inches are the standard choice for most people.

Next consider the image quality you want in a monitor; a unit featuring 1,920 pixels by 1,080 pixels is capable of high definition image display, and will be more than suitable for most people who primarily use their computer and monitor for work or for basic tasks. The gamer or movie lover, on the other hand, may look for pixel resolution closer to 1,140 by 2,560. At this resolution, even the newest high def media will look crisp and lifelike.

For the serious gamer, monitor response time is an important issue. Look for a unit that offers response times of a single millisecond for the ultimate immersive experience and to make sure you are fully in the game, ready to react quickly whenever needed.

"Extras" Worth Your Consideration

If you use your monitor for nothing more than basic word processing, browsing the web, sending emails, and other simple tasks, than your primary concerns when looking for a computer monitors should indeed be nothing more than a good price, decent image clarity, and a reliability rating that means rare replacement.

Look for monitors with stereo speakers if listening is nearly as important as viewing to you.

For those people who use their computer for more specialized purposes, there are extra monitor features that are well worth consideration and might be worth their spending extra cash. Beyond the criteria covered above, the next thing to look for when considering a monitor is the amount and type of inputs it can accommodate. The more input types a monitor can handle, the more hardware you can connect; this can include computers linked via USB, Blu-ray players linked via HDMI, and gaming consoles, just to name a few items. Multiple inputs mean multiple devices can be connected at once and enjoyed when you wish without the need for juggling cords.

Most monitors don't feature built in speakers, but those that do can save you money on additional audio hardware or else can be a part of a great surround sound system, helping to fill the room with sound. Look for monitors with stereo speakers if listening is nearly as important as viewing to you.

And finally consider the range of viewing angle a given monitor offers. While not usually a concern for the mentor's primary user, a wide viewing angle can help many people enjoy the content on the screen at the same time. Look for monitors with that allow for clarity at more than 170 degrees of angle.

A Few Words On Ergonomics

Simply stated, the word ergonomics refers to the design and arrangement of the objects with which humans frequently interact. In practical terms, it means a conscientious approach to the development of furniture, furnishings, hardware, and even interior design that makes a workplace more productive, a home more comfortable, and generally makes life more efficient, safer, and more pleasurable.

Simply stated, the word ergonomics refers to the design and arrangement of the objects with which humans frequently interact.

The study of ergonomics began in earnest in the years following World War II, though the concepts underpinning the field date back centuries earlier. With the foundation of The Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors in the mid 1940s and a subsequent body of publications and studies conducted by this group and others, researchers and designers around the globe began to take an interest in this new and unique field of study.

In the daily life of anyone who routinely sits at a desk and uses a computer, there are three major factors to be considered in terms of ergonomics. These are the design, shape, and height of the person's office chair (assuming he or she has not opted for a standing desk), the type of computer keyboard and mouse, which can have a direct impact on issues like carpal tunnel syndrome, and the placement of the person's computer monitor.

This last factor alone can have a radical impact on both acute and chronic comfort. Monitor placement can have an effect on everything from neck and shoulder comfort to lower back pain reduction (or exacerbation) and can impact eyestrain, fatigue, headaches, and more. A monitor should be set up at approximately arm's length away from a person's eyes, and with the user's eyes level with the top of the screen when he or she is sitting upright. This allows for a comfortable, natural slight downward gaze. A slight tilt upward can make reading the entire surface of the monitor more comfortable, and a reduction in the brightness of the monitor (and the lighting conditions of the entire room) can allow for more relaxed reading and viewing.

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Sam Kraft
Last updated on January 09, 2018 by Sam Kraft

In addition to his corporate career as a marketing and communications professional in Chicago, Sam runs a popular blog that focuses on the city’s flourishing craft beer and brewery scene. He received his degree in journalism from DePaul University (which spurred his interest in freelance writing) and has since spent years developing expertise in copywriting, digital marketing and public relations. A lifetime of fishing, hiking and camping trips has left him well-versed in just about any outdoors-related topic, and over several years spent working in the trades during his youth, he accumulated a wealth of knowledge about tools and machinery. He’s a travel junkie, a health and fitness enthusiast, and an avid biker.

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