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New computer monitor

Cefca
Dabbler
Posts: 12
Registered: 03-10-2011

New computer monitor

So I'm wanting to buy a new computer monitor as my current one is old and knackered but don't really have much idea where to start. I don't know what the decent brands are nor which type of monitor is best for me. I mostly browse the net and game on my computer, with a little bit of TV watching too.
What type of monitor would suit me best? If you need any other information, just ask. I'm not sure what else would dictate what monitor to get.
Cheers.
13 REPLIES
wacky17
Grafter
Posts: 134
Registered: 25-06-2008

Re: New computer monitor

I use a site called ebuyer.com for all my hardware as they have a great customer service and at low prices. Last year i bought a full HD 1080 22" samsung monitor for 110 pounds. Also check on the site on sunday's i think for their "123 when its gone its gone" deal as that might well be a monitor. Oh yeah if its your birthday coming up soon reg with them now as you can get next delivery free on your birthday.
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,767
Thanks: 102
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Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: New computer monitor

There's the type of back-lighting to consider.  It used to be a bulb but some more-modern monitors have a row of LEDs or an array of LEDs to provide the back lighting.  This tends to give better contrast between light and dark areas and a brighter more-vibrant picture.
If you think your monitor might outlast your computer then you might want one with an HDMI input as well as the VGA input I imagine you will use.
Remember that if you buy, say, a 22" monitor with full HD 1920x1080 pixel resolution then for best results you need to run it at that resolution so all your icons and default fonts will appear quite small.  That's not good for anyone with poor eyesight.   
JamesM
Grafter
Posts: 1,103
Registered: 24-06-2009

Re: New computer monitor

I bought a monitor about 2 years ago and the first thing I look for is the response time, most are about 5 or 6 m/s but I got mine which was 2 m/s.
Have a look on here for comparisons http://www.digitalversus.com/
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,553
Thanks: 195
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: New computer monitor

Another site worth looking at is:
http://www.misco.co.uk/?ssid=-1
CX
Grafter
Posts: 745
Thanks: 2
Registered: 16-09-2010

Re: New computer monitor

At todays prices I don't think it's worth going any less than 1920x1080 at 21/22/23".
Be aware that a lot of the very cheap monitors lack DVI or HDMI input, which means you will have to use VGA. This is fine, but a lot of VGA cables, and graphics cards DAC, are inadequate for handling the bandwidth that 1080p requires and the result will be a shadowy, smeary or blurry mess which also requires recalibrating from time to time. Get a monitor with DVI and you should be fine.
In terms of the panels themselves there are various technologies. Pretty much any 'regular' monitor is going to have a TN panel, but there is also IPS and PVA (and sub-types of them). The benefit of TN is that is cheaper and can give good response times, the downside is reduced viewing angles. The viewing angle problem isn't that significant these days though - I use a modern TN monitor at work and the viewing angles are acceptable. IPS and PVA tend to be much more expensive.
Backlights - LED is the way forward for sure. You're less likely to get annoying hum when reducing the brightness, the power consumption will be lower and longevity is potentially better.
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 16,799
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Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: New computer monitor

Further to the above I would recommend getting the largest you can afford.
If you ever decide to get into photo or video editing you will sincerely benefit from the extra size.
I have a 26" 16:10 llyama which really is a delight to use.

Forum Moderator and Customer
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
He who feared he would not succeed sat still

Community Veteran
Posts: 5,472
Thanks: 288
Fixes: 4
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: New computer monitor

I get a lot of newspapers and magazines delivered electronically, and would find a vertical resolution of less than 1200 a problem for these publications.
Having a high vertical resolution is also very useful for getting more on your screen when viewing long websites such as eBay, so you feel less like you are browsing the site through a letterbox.
It would be worth finding out what the maximum capability of your PCs graphics adaptor is, and then using that as a minimum specification for the monitor.
Cefca
Dabbler
Posts: 12
Registered: 03-10-2011

Re: New computer monitor

Thanks for the all the replies, I'm gonna try and collate all the suggestions to make the choice a bit easier.
So, I should look for one that's:
LED Backlighting
HDMI and VGA input (or DVI?)
Good response time
1920x1080 resolution minimum (possibly 1200 min for height?)
At least 21/22/23 inches (size will have a limit, unless I get a new table too, already have a decent size TV on it)
TN panel generally cheaper?
And suggested sites to buy from are: Misco and ebuyer.
In reply to the last post, my graphics card is an ATI Radeon HD 4300/4500 if that makes a significant difference to the above that I should look for.
Again, thanks for the help and I shall start looking!
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 16,799
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Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: New computer monitor

Quote from: Cefca
And suggested sites to buy from are: Misco and ebuyer.

Two other good sites are Novatech and Aria. I have purchased from both and never had any problems. Even purchased a 22" monitor for SWMBO from Aria by mistake when I really wanted a 23". A quick call and they said to reject the monitor when it is delivered. Meanwhile they sent the required one out and no return charge. Refund was given within a few days Smiley

Forum Moderator and Customer
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
He who feared he would not succeed sat still

Community Veteran
Posts: 26,434
Thanks: 684
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: New computer monitor

I read this review yesterday: http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/monitors/1287658/philips-221v2sb?CMP=NLC-Newsletters
Looked a pretty good deal to me.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Cefca
Dabbler
Posts: 12
Registered: 03-10-2011

Re: New computer monitor

Certainly looks like it fits most of what I want (especially the price Cheesy). Any other opinions on the above monitor?
Cheers by the way jelv.
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,645
Thanks: 204
Fixes: 9
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: New computer monitor

Brightness and contrast seem to be the same as my (slightly older) 22" Iiyama screen, which cost more!
Response time seems to be a pointless figure with flat screens.

CX
Grafter
Posts: 745
Thanks: 2
Registered: 16-09-2010

Re: New computer monitor

It looks very good on paper.
Nice low power consumption too (41W) - my 24" Dell can't get that low even on minimum brightness, all for a similar resolution.