Enhance Work, Gaming and Film with Computer Monitor Deals from hotukdeals
Posted by Matthew Carrington
Computer monitors are display screens used to deliver visual output, they can be connected to cameras, PCs, DVD players and other video-producing devices. Quality monitor screens help to boost productivity and provide a more cinematic experience. A cheap PC monitor will be sufficient for buyers with basic needs, but for demanding tasks it’s worth investing in a model that has more features.
Monitors come in a huge range of sizes with features adapted to suit home offices, multimedia viewing and general computing. As part of a desktop set up, they customise or upgrade a computing experience. Monitor screens can be positioned at a suitable height for the user which means some people find them more comfortable to use than a laptop. Formally known as VDUs (Visual Display Units), computer monitors first appeared in the 1970s. The original monochrome displays were basic, but the advent of LCD and Full HD technologies has vastly improved their output.
Read on to find out more about computor monitors and where to find the best monitor deals.
Important Features of a Computer Monitor
Here are some key features to look for when buying a new monitor:
The right screen size for you will depend on how much space you have available and what you plan to use the monitor for. The smallest screens are 15-inches from corner to corner and can be stored away when not required. Standard monitors of 22-inches or 24-inches provide cinematic benefits and make text easy to read, but also sit comfortably on the average desk. Large ultra-wide monitors dominate a room and cost more, but make gaming and detailed work a more epic experience.
This refers to the number of pixels used to create an image, choose a higher resolution for sharper, crisper visuals. Pick at least Full HD (1920x1080) panels for clear home computing graphics on large or small screens. A higher resolution 4K monitor (3840 x 2160) is ideal for professionals and serious gamers, but always check you have a powerful graphics card to match the screen’s capabilities.
Type of Panel
Monitors usually have one of three different types of LCD (liquid crystal display) panels. If you have a limited budget, cheap TN (twisted nematic) screens are ideal, but the contrast, colour and viewing angles are limited. With fast response times and good motion handling, a high-end TN screen makes a solid gaming monitor. VA (vertical alignment) screens are suitable to use as work monitors. They offer a wide range of viewing angles and provide great contrast. If you need a panel to suit the whole family, go for an IPS (in-plane switching) version. These all-rounders tend to cost more, but deliver great graphics and colour accuracy.
You can give your computer the intuitive feel of a phone or tablet with a touchscreen. Gamers and cinema fans may not feel the benefits, but for family computing and professional art or design work, they could be a worthwhile buy.
Refresh rates are quantified in hertz, the number refers to the times per second an image is refreshed. Higher refresh rates mean clearer images of moving objects and generally sharper visuals. For modest work and media use, 60Hz will give an excellent experience. To avoid lag and make for smoother visuals, gamers tend to prefer higher refresh rates of up to 144Hz and even 240Hz.
Check which ports you need the monitor to be compatible with before you buy, as they don’t all have the same connections. On cheaper models, you can expect DVI, VGA and HDMI ports, which are fine for older computers and devices. If you have a newer, thinner computer with USB-C ports, look for a monitor with that option or buy an adaptor.
To watch films or video in a widescreen or ultrawide screen format, you’ll need a newer panel with 16:9 (widescreen) or 21:9 (ultra-wide screen) ratios. These will create a vivid display with no distortion of the image. The older 4:3 ratio monitors will cope well with basic computing but aren’t ideal for viewing video.
Major Monitor Brands
There are monitors to suit every need and budget, here are some of the most popular brands.
HP – The average HP monitor is not a show-stopper, but with more than 80 years in the industry, Hewlett-Packard is still producing reliable and robust hardware. In their online store, you can shop for cheap PC monitors, mid-range gaming models and elite screens designed for precision work which come with workflow tools built-in.
LG – Established in 1958, LG is a global electronics company offering monitors that cater to every budget. Whether you need an LG monitor for under £100 or a 4K gaming monitor, this brand has a huge range to browse through. They also sell curved screen and ultrawide monitor models.
BenQ – BenQ is a Taiwanese tech company that was originally part of Acer. After becoming independent in 2006 they produced monitors in all sizes, including massive 32-inch displays in Ultra HD. Their models have useful features such as built-in speakers, CAD/CAM modes and extremely accurate colour rendering. Premium monitors such as the BenQ PD3200U are designed for creative professionals but have become popular with gamers.
Dell – A US tech multinational which has been in business since the 1980s, Dell develop and manufacture monitors of all sizes. On their website, you can search based on what features are important to you, the size of monitor you need and the price. Dell products are considered reliable, rather than cutting edge.
Alienware – A subsidiary of Dell, Alienware is known for producing faster and more innovative monitors than its parent company. Models like the Alienware AW2518H 24.5-inch are extremely desirable and highly rated by gamers, but not cheap.
MSI – Another tech company that dates back to the 1980s, MSI or Micro-Star International focus on competitive pricing as well as bonus features. You can find USB-C connectivity, punchy colour palettes and extended viewing angles on models like the gaming monitor MSI Optix MPG341CQR. Even cheaper versions like the Peripherique Gaming Msi Optix G241VC, have a 75Hz refresh rate and a sought-after curved screen.
How to Connect a Monitor to a Computer
Whatever monitor you have, the process for connecting it to your computer tends to be pretty universal:
Locate the connector cable for your monitor.
Match this cable-type with a port on the computer.
Plug the cable into the computer and the monitor.
If using a DVI or VGA cable, screw the connector into place. HDMI cables will just need to firmly pushed into the port.
Plug in the monitor’s power cord.
Switch on the computer and the monitor.
Change the monitor’s input type if necessary.
Make the Most of your Screen With a Few Useful Accessories.
Check out some of these computer monitor accessories:
Computer Monitor FAQs
How monitor size is measured?
Computer monitor screens are measured diagonally from the lower left-hand corner to the upper right-hand corner to establish the size of the screen. Therefore, a monitor sold as 24-inches will often be slightly wider than that overall. It’s something to consider if space is limited.
Can monitor be used as TV?
The short answer is yes, you could use a monitor as a TV. As long as the ports are compatible and you have the right cables, you can get set up in minutes. If a monitor does not have built-in speakers, you’ll need another solution for the audio output.
Does monitors have speakers?
Most monitors do not have onboard speakers, but there are some that do. Monitors with speakers produce clear, acceptable audio, they take up minimal space and make for a convenient alternative to setting up a standalone sound system. If you prefer richer audio with excellent sonic quality, you will have to pay more for a monitor or buy separate speakers.
Is monitor refresh rate important?
If you are a gamer, higher refresh rates improve the performance of a monitor. If not, you are unlikely to see any significant difference compared to the average refresh rate of 60Hz. Gaming monitors often have 120Hz, 144Hz or 240Hz refresh rates which are considered high. These rates keep action games and shooters with faster sequences running smoothly.
Does monitor affect FPS?
When a computer has a higher or lower frame rate per second than the monitor it’s attached to, gaming visuals can be affected. Often referred to as 'screen tearing' by gamers, there is a glitch which results in two or more frames overlapping in a single frame. It won’t do any lasting harm to your software or hardware but tearing can be distracting. For seamless gaming sessions, choose a monitor which can equal your computer when it comes to FPS.
Shopping for Cheap PC Monitors and Gaming Screens
Whether you are searching for a premium 32-inch Retina 6K Display from Apple, a 21.5-inch LCD monitor from Argos or a curved gaming monitor from Samsung, you can find what you need online. On the high street, stores including John Lewis, Currys PC World and Staples have a selection you can look at before spending any cash. Monitor sale events are often held by large electronics retailers including Amazon, Maplin and Argos over the Black Friday weekend. In previous years, monitors have been reduced by 25% at the end of November, to attract early Christmas shoppers. You can also search for monitor deals during seasonal sales in the summer and spring, or on bank holiday weekends.
Choose a New or Replacement Monitor Depending on its Purpose
As everyone has different requirements, there is no single best monitor. To get the perfect panel for you, shop around, do your research and pick a model which can manage the tasks you have planned. Broadly speaking, it always makes sense to avoid monitors with lower resolution. The visuals won’t deliver on clarity and almost all quality models now come with full HD. If you’re using an older HD or 1,600 x 900 panel, you’ll immediately see the improvement with a Full HD version.
Gamers and professional people who work with design programs will appreciate and utilise the features of elite monitors. Extra-large screens, refresh rates of 144 Hz or more and curved monitors provide a smooth, immersive experience, but are not essential for general computing jobs. For everyday use, you can easily find a good, practical monitor at less than £100. If you specialise or can afford a larger, more advanced monitor, higher prices buy you a faster, crisper and more responsive display.