Monitor Buying Guide

Monitor Buying Guide

A clearer picture for your monitor needs

When purchasing a monitor, there are some things to keep in mind to ensure you've made the right choice such as screen size and resolution. At first glance, shopping for a monitor can feel overwhelming because of the extensive list of specifications. But by the end of this guide, you’ll be confident enough to decide which monitor is best suited for your needs.

How Do You Plan to Use Your Monitor?


Perfect for basic computing tasks such as web surfing, e-mail, paying bills, and social media.


Usually larger in size allowing the user to open multiple documents within the same display area.


Ideal for photographers and digital artists as they provide higher screen resolutions to display detailed imagery.


Offer a minimum of Full HD screen resolution and typically a monitor response time of 5 ms or less.

Screen Size & Resolution

These smaller displays are often specialized for specific tasks. They are frequently used with Point of Sale (POS) systems or as companion screens to larger displays.

Efficient for daily at-home tasks or simple word processing. These monitors are great for use in small offices, yet display plenty of information on-screen.

The most common display size and are large enough to watch movies and play games. These monitors often includes a wide variety of connection ports.

These monitors are popular with gamers, designers and photographers for their size and ability to provide large display areas along with the highest screen resolutions.

Native vs Maximum Resolutions

Every monitor has a fixed array of pixels and this is referred to as the Native Resolution. On the other hand, Maximum Resolution is the number of pixels the monitor can emulate electronically. It's important to note that the quality of the image produced will only be as good as the monitor's native resolution.


If you're looking for a monitor to display true Full HD, not an upscaled image, you will want to make sure the native resolution of the monitor is 1920 x 1080 pixels.

Full HD (1920 x 1080)

4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160)

Shop by screen resolution:

In the world of resolutions, the higher the resolution, the better the picture quality.  Screen resolution is measured in pixels – horizontal x vertical.  

  • HD: At 1366 x 768 pixels, the picture quality enables easy web surfing, email exchanges and basic PC activities.

  • Full HD: At 1920 x 1080 pixels, you can now watch Blu-Ray movies and play video games in stunning detail.

  • QHD: Quad HD offers a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels. This resolution delivers crisp detail and sharp text. It is best suited for professional graphics, photography and editing, as well as high-definition games and movies.

  • 4K Ultra HD: 3840 x 2160 resolution equates to quadruple the pixel size of Full HD, offering vibrant colors and lifelike imagery.


Ultrawide Monitors

Most modern LCD monitors are widescreen and offer either a 16:9 or 16:10 aspect ratio. But if you're looking for a more cinematic experience, we suggest an Ultrawide Monitor as they offer a 21:9 aspect ratio. The wider aspect ratio makes tackling multiple tasks, simultaneously, that much easier. Ultrawide monitors are also very popular with gamers because they offer an unparalleled viewing experience.   

Display Types

LCD (Liquid Crystal Display)

Allows you to adjust the settings for brightness, contrast and other features. LCD monitors display colors appropriately.

LED (Light-Emitting Diode)

A LED monitor is simply a LCD monitor that uses additional LED backlighting technology while consuming less energy and emitting less heat.

IPS (In-Plane Switching)

IPS technology allows you to clearly view your monitor from almost any angle with minimal color distortion or warping.

Touch Screen

Use familiar tap, swipe, and pinch movements to make your experience more intuitive and fun with a touch screen monitor.

Monitor Features

When purchasing a monitor there are additional features you may want to consider before making your final decision.  Below we’ve covered many of these features to help you find your perfect monitor.

Bezel Size

When using a dual-monitor setup, a thin bezel is important for viewing a near seamless image. Single screens with larger bezels are great for sticky notes.

VESA Mountable

The standard four screw-holes arranged in a square pattern for mounting monitors to either a stand or wall mount. 


This feature allows you to move the monitor to the most comfortable and convenient viewing angle. Adjustments come in several options including height, tilt and pivot.

Curved Displays

The curvature of the display allows for a greater range of viewing angles as well as minimal distortion compared to that of a flat screen display.

3D Ready

The monitor is capable of displaying 3D images.  Additional hardware needed to produce 3D images sold separately.

Refresh Rate

The refresh rate (measured in Hertz) is defined by the number of times, in a second, that a display’s image is redrawn or refreshed.  A higher refresh rate is extremely useful for gaming, as it means the monitor is truly capable of rendering individual frames beyond the 60 frames per second (fps) standard.


Shop by refresh rate: 60Hz │ 75Hz │ 120Hz │ 144Hz

Monitor Response Time

For LCD displays, this is the amount of time it takes, in milliseconds, for a pixel to go from active black to inactive white. Higher rates (9 ms and up) can cause ghosting, motion blur and “smearing” of text. Gamers and Multimedia professionals should seek a monitor with a response time of 5 ms or less.

Ports and Connectivity

There are several connection port options that can be used to connect your monitor to your computer, HDTV, and other electronic devices.  Make sure to check the monitor’s ports to confirm what your available options are with that specific monitor.

Below is a list of the most commonly used ports:

VGA (Video Graphics Array) - A VGA port or cable uses an analog 15-pin connector. While VGA can technically output Full HD (1920 x 1080), its weakness is that it’s an analog connection. So as the resolution increases, you will notice a decrease in image quality as the signal is converted from analog to digital.

DVI (Digital Visual interface) - Another common connection port included in computer monitors. It is very similar to that of an HDMI port with one exception, it generally does not transmit audio. Single-Link DVI supports up to 1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz while Dual-Link DVI supports up to 2560 x 1600 @ 60 Hz.

HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) - HDMI ports and cables allow you to transmit audio as well as video. HDMI connections also reduce the amount of cables and clutter.

  • HDMI 1.2 - capable of 1920 x 1200p @ 60Hz
  • HDMI 1.3 - capable of 2560 x 1600p @ 60Hz
  • HDMI 1.4 - capable of 4096 x 2160p (4K Resolution) @ 30Hz
  • HDMI 2.0 - capable of 4096 x 2160p (4K Resolution) @ 60Hz

DisplayPort - As DisplayPorts allow the transfer of more information per second, they are a great choice for audio/visual connections.

  • DisplayPort 1.2 - capable of 3840 x 2160 (4K Resolution) @ 60 Hz
  • DisplayPort 1.3 - capable of 7680 x 4320 (8K Resolution) @ 30Hz; or 4K @ 120Hz
  • DisplayPort 1.4 - capable of 7680 x 4320 (8K Resolution) @ 60Hz; or 4K @ 120Hz

Shop cables by type: VGA │ DVI │ HDMI │ DisplayPort

Essential Monitor Accessories

Now that you’ve read about our wide range of monitors, you can browse our assortment with confidence, knowing you have the information you need to choose the right one.  Also, consider these essential accessories that are a must have for your new monitor.