What Are the Key Features to Look for When Buying a Monitor

Are you looking for a new monitor? This blog post breaks down all the features that matter, from screen size to refresh rates, response times to Adaptive Sync, and beyond!

A monitor serves as a gateway to your digital world. You use it to play games, do office work, stream Netflix and YouTube, and scroll social media. Everything you perform on your desktop will be lacklustre without the correct display. Only some monitors come with the same size and similar capabilities. Whether your old display is dead or you want to enjoy the benefits of the latest software, choosing the best monitor for yougamr needs makes a huge difference. 

However, which features and specifications are most necessary? How will you decide which screen size is perfect? How do you choose refresh and response times? Which resolution can provide the most excellent pixel clarity? Are G-Sync or Free-Sync important? We will uncover this all in this comprehensive “Monitor Buying Guide”. 

So, let’s dive in! 

Monitor Size

When choosing a LCD monitor, the first thing to consider is its size, precisely the screen’s dimensions. You will get average-width monitors in sizes ranging from 24 to 34 inches. 

A larger screen can feel luxurious and level up your gameplay and productivity. Still, their practicality declines in work, where prolonged use close to the eyes might be uncomfortable. In addition, larger monitors tend to cost a lot more. Of course, they occupy more desk space and exhibit fuzziness relative to their smaller counterparts at the same pixel density—a suboptimal configuration for jobs such as data entry, design, or editing.

We recommend the 24-27 inch monitors for the best balance of form and faction. This model has enough screen real estate for home or business use and fits smaller workstations, making it a cost-effective option. On the other hand, if you are a creative professional, you may find an ultrawide curved monitor reaching at least 34 inches or more to be a better fit.

While the final decision is based on personal tastes, workplace space limits, and economic concerns, it is generally said that only settle at least 24 inches for an immersive viewing experience. 


Another essential factor to consider when choosing a computer monitor is resolution. An excellent resolution means higher pixel density crisper and more precise images.

You’ll see 4K resolution (3,840 x 2,160) on 27-inch and 34-inch monitors for superior visual quality at a more significant cost. A 1440p resolution (2,560 x 1,440) on a 27-inch monitor is a more cost-effective option that provides a crisp image, making it ideal for tasks like conventional office documents and spreadsheets. It is best to avoid using 1080p resolution (1,920 x 1,080) on monitors 24 inches or more extensive because it can produce grainy and pixelated visuals.

If you seek a 34-inch monitor, only settle for a resolution of 3,440 x 1,440. This resolution has a pixel density roughly comparable to a 27-inch monitor with a 1440p resolution. Some ultrawide monitors with low prices have a resolution of 2,560 x 1,080, but this resolution could be better for an optimal experience, similar to how 1080p appears on a broader screen. As a result, invest in a higher resolution to get ideal visual clarity on a larger monitor.

Refresh Rates 

The refresh rate is measured in Hertz (Hz) and refers to the number of times your PC monitor takes to refresh its screen within a second. Higher refresh rates mean fluid and seamless motion with no input lag and screen shuttering. Most monitors have a 60Hz refresh rate, and some models have 144Hz, 240Hz, or 360Hz.

Those who don’t value gaming and professional work can stick to 60Hz, while most gamers will appreciate the upgrade to 144Hz. IPS panels can now hit 240Hz, which means they can smoothly and swiftly handle demanding applications on fluid motion without screen tearing.

Response Time

Response time refers to how quickly the monitor changes its colours of pixels. A low response time is recommended for fast-paced action video games and resource-intensive applications. Response times are calculated in milliseconds, with the best monitors able to switch pixels at only a couple of milliseconds. 

Colour Contrast

Several other aspects of a monitor’s display, such as colour contrast, contribute to just how extraordinary an image it can create. The contrast ratio is the difference between how white and black a monitor screen can get. Higher contrast ratios mean your screen’s colours will be more vivid, punchy, and differentiated. Multiple measurements for contrast ratios are available, but the stated specs are only sometimes reliable. 


Depending upon the type of panel, the brightness levels of a computer monitor vary, and HDR support will amp that up considerably. Most monitors are designed to be used in typical office settings, but a few high-end models push the brightness to the limit. Most modern displays have a brightness range ranging from 300 to 350 nits. On the other hand, Premium versions promise peak brightness of 1,000 nits or higher, and many often exceed the 700-nit level. This extra brightness can be helpful in well-lit environments or spaces with plenty of natural light, such as near large windows. Nonetheless, it is essential to take caution because extreme brightness could lead to eye strain.

Video Outputs

The most common video options on a monitor include VGA, HDMI, DVI, and Displayport. You must ensure that the ports on your monitor correspond to the options on your desktop PC. If price is not an issue, you can ignore HDMI and DisplayPort in favour of USB-C and Thunderbolt.

USB-C and Thunderbolt provide a streamlined solution requiring only a single cable for the most recent computing devices. This allows you to connect your laptop to the display for video transmission and laptop charging through the monitor. Premium USB-C displays provide additional ports for increased connectivity and improve the user experience by acting as a hub. These monitors easily manage audio, video, and power using a combination of USB-A, USB-C, and Ethernet connectors.

Adaptive Sync

Modern monitors integrate Adaptive Sync technology, a feature designed to synchronise the frame rates of the GPU with the display refresh rates. The two prevalent types of Adaptive Sync are AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync. Both technologies serve the same purpose: to ensure optimal frame rates and minimise issues such as screen tearing, hitches, and shuttering. 

While Adaptive Sync is a particularly “must-have” feature for gaming and video editing, it’s worth considering this feature even when purchasing a monitor for home and office use. The advantages of smoother graphics transitions and improved visual performance can contribute to an improved experience in tasks such as data analysis, design, and multimedia presentation. 


Like any other technology, you get what you pay for when buying a computer monitor. In general, the cost of a display rises as the screen size and resolution increase. A primary 1920 x 1080 24-27-inch monitor with a few extras is available for around £100. On the other hand, you can find a premium 32-inch or larger monitor with 4K resolution and adjustable height for about £500 in the upper tier. Notably, there is a considerable price difference between a 27-inch 1080p display that costs less than £150 and a 27-inch 4K panel that costs around £400.

Bottom Line

The monitor is a fundamental component of computer hardware no matter for which purpose (gaming, home, office) you use it. However, choosing the right monitor requires careful consideration of several factors to get an excellent viewing experience adapted to your needs. This careful consideration involves balancing size, resolution, refresh rates, response time, colour contrast, brightness, video outputs, Adaptive Sync technology, and budget constraints. Consider these factors to ensure your new monitor brings the best bang for your buck. 

Ready to elevate your digital experience? Visit Laptop Outlet and choose a PC monitor that  meets your requirements and exceeds your expectations! 


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