Buying Cheap Monitors

Cheap Monitors
Cheap Monitors

If you are thinking of buying a cheap monitor, you need to read  this short computer monitor buying guide.

Doing buying research will help you to make a wise decision about the right monitor for your needs at the lowest cost. Remember though, a bargain is only a bargain if it actually suits your needs.

If you find a cheap monitor, but it is not compatible to your computer, you will end up wasting money. If you save money buying a cheap monitor you may also waste money later having to buy a new one when you upgrade your computer. Check what kind of computer you already have now and what you are likely to buy in the near future before buying a cheap monitor.

Depending on what uses you have for your computer, you can find very good computer monitors, at very reasonable prices. But you need to know what features to look for, and which features you may be paying for, but do not necessarily need. Being able to get the best quality for the lowest price, is always the goal, and below are some things to keep in mind when comparing computer monitors.

Questions Before Buying a Monitor

What type of computer you have?

What you will be using your computer monitor for?

How much space you have?

Do you intend upgrading your computer?

Do you play computer games?

All these questions will determine the preliminary features needed for a monitor.

If you are going to be using it for e-mails, record-keeping and internet browsing, you can get by with minimum requirements. If however, you will be using multimedia, such as games, video editing, or digital photography, or compuer games then you will need higher image quality and better color fidelity.

Computer Monitor Inputs

VGA and DVI
Most monitors will have at least two video inputs, usually video Graphics Array (VGA), and Digital Visual Interface (DVI) connections.

S-Video
You may need a Separate Video (S-Video) connection, if you are planning to connect to a VCR or an older video camera.

Component video connection

You may need a component video connection if you are planning to connect to DVD players, or new video games such as Xbox, or PlayStation.

The digital connections in monitors are made through DVI, however, some support High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) connections. If you are planning to watch HD content, your monitor connections need to be High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) compliant.

Basic monitor features

The basic necessities to look for are an adjustable stand, and software to help set up the monitor. Your monitor should have a fast response time, or how it is fast turning pixels on and off, to avoid picture blurring. This will not affect reading e-mails, or browsing, but will affect watching videos, or playing games.

Screen resolution

If your computer runs at 1024 x 1280 resolution, you will need a monitor that supports at least this resolution, and ultimately higher, just in case you decide to update your computer at a later date. This will define the sharpness of pictures. The refresh rate should be at least 75 MHz in your desired screen resolution. The response time of at least 16 milliseconds will suffice for non-multimedia, but for gamers and multimedia users, 12 ms or less, and for video professionals, 8 ms or less. In this category, less is definitely more.

LCD or CRT Monitor?

Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) screens are usually preferable over Cathode-Ray Tube (CRT), because the LCD screen takes up less space, weighs less, uses less energy, and prices have now fallen. However, CRT monitors provide the best color fidelity, and a wider viewing angle. The LCD comes in two formats, the standard, and widescreen. If you are viewing or editing video, or viewing multiple documents, the widescreen is preferable.

Important Features To Compare When Viewing Different Brands of Computer Monitors

  • Interface connections
  • Response Time
  • Adjustable Display Angle
  • Resolution
  • Aspect and Contrast Ration
  • Size
  • Compatibility with Existing Computer
  • Warranty

Deciding what Computer Monitor to Buy

When you’re making the decision about which monitor to buy think of what you will be using your computer for, and what necessary features will be required. If you will be updating your computer soon you also need to get a monitor that will be compatible with your upgraded computer. Who are you buying from? What are the return policy procedures? Is there a warranty for the product?

Recommended Computer Monitor Manufacturers

I recommend the following manufactures based on consumer reviews and brand reputation:

Hewlett-Packard
Samsung
Asus
Viewsonic
Dell
Acer

These computer monitors have received good customer review scores, and each of these brands have model that represent value for money. Depending on what you are looking for, they provide the minimum features and more. If you look at a range of computer monitor buying reviews, these manufacturers will usually be amongst the top recommendations, and they all have a wide range of models to choose from.

Regards,
Ray

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