Nowadays a vast portion of our time is spent in front of a screen, whether we’re watching television or reading business memos on a tablet. Most of the information we get on a daily basis comes from a screen or monitor, so it should come as no surprise that manufacturing companies compete to outdo each other in terms of quality and distribution. Having replaced the humble CRT monitor, LCD screens are the most commonplace. That being said, there are many variants within the LCD range with a whole lot of acronyms. So which is best: IPS, TN or PVA?
What to look for in a monitor
When looking at any monitor the key things to look at are:
i) Native resolution
ii) Pixels per inch, and
iii) Contrast ratio
The best computer monitor is not necessarily the biggest. A 42″ monitor with 1080p still has the same resolution as an equivalent 21″ monitor. The key difference being that the smaller monitor will have more pixels per inch (ppi). This means that the exact same picture will look better on the smaller screen. A good contrast ratio means that the image on the computer monitor can be viewed at more angles. The problem typically found with the more traditional computer monitor is that black images look out of place when viewed from the side. The better the ratio, the less often this happens.
The cream of the crop
The Apple Thunderbolt Display: With a 27-inch display and a 2560×1440 native resolution, the new Apple computer monitor is on the grandiose size, but not quite as grandiose as the price (at around $1000). So it’s not cheap, but it packs one heck of a punch. The key thing about this particular monitor is in the name: Thunderbolt. Instead of using traditional HDMI or VGA inputs, it instead relies on Thunderbolt technology to produce crisp, lightning fast picture quality. However to fully utilize this piece of kit you do require a Thunderbolt connector which means having an Apple computer.
The Eizo Foris FS2332: For those wishing to look at more traditional inputs this model from Eizo is a peach. It comes with standard 1080p resolution for all your HD needs, but more importantly makes use of IPS technology. This means that the screen delivers a contrast ratio of 1000:1 allowing the screen to be visible from almost any angle. It may not look as nice as the Thunderbolt, but it delivers. And at under half the price it’s difficult to moan too much about it when the quality is that good.
Picture: .shock – Fotolia