Computer Monitor Buying Guide

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Computer Monitor Buying Guide

Purchasing a new desktop computer can be a time-intensive endeavour. In some cases, however, replacing a computer monitor can give an older computer a new lease on life by allowing users to see graphics, videos, and games in a completely new way. Today, there is a huge variety of computer monitors available, each with its own options and advantages. As with any major electronics purchase, it is important to consider what a computer monitor is intended for in order to purchase one that makes the most sense.

Computer monitors of all types and from an array of brands are available from electronics retailers and other specialty shops, as well as online from eBay. A computer monitor is an integral part to any desktop computer, and therefore, should be a carefully considered purchase. Fully exploring the types of computer monitors and options that are available is the best way to choose the best computer monitor for any situation.

Types of Computer Monitors

The first thing to explore when shopping for a computer monitor is the wide array of types of computer monitors that are available. Each type comes with its own set of concerns as well as features. The best computer monitor for someone working on spreadsheets is not necessarily the best monitor for someone who plans to play graphics-heavy games or watch high-definition films. By becoming familiar with the different types of monitors available, it is easier to find the right one for an individual user's needs.

HD Computer Monitors

High-definition computer monitors, or HD computer monitors, are so called because of the display resolution that they offer. An HD monitor displays images much more clearly than one that is not HD, because of its technology. The minimum standard for an HD monitor or television is known as 720p, where the p stands for "progressive", which represents the display technology. A monitor that is advertised as 720p has 720 lines of vertical resolution. High-definition monitors also come in resolutions of 1080i and 1080p. High-definition computer monitors are highly desirable for gamers and users who want to watch Blu-rays or other high-definition videos on their computers. High-definition monitors can also come at a high priceer than other monitors, so someone who is using a computer solely for word processing or other tasks that do not include many graphics may not want to incur the extra cost for this type of monitor.

3D Computer Monitors

Computer monitors that are able to display images in three dimensions are among the most technologically advanced monitors that are available. While many people may have no need for this type of technology, gamers who are specifically interested in playing games with an immersive, three-dimensional experience may find a 3D computer monitor to be well worth it. Some 3D monitors require the use of special 3D glasses, while others are able to display 3D images without the aid of glasses. The best choice depends on the needs and level of comfort of the individual user.

LED Computer Monitors

An LED computer monitor is one that uses light-emitting diode (LED) technology to provide the backlight for the display. Modern monitors that do not use an LED backlight most often use a cold cathode fluorescent (CCFL) backlight. LED monitors consume less power and also allow for monitors to be thinner and lighter in weight. Keep in mind that the LED descriptor does not affect other display technologies. For instance, an LED monitor may also be an LCD monitor. Rather, LED refers only to the backlight.

Computer Monitor Sizes

Aside from the technology used to produce a monitor's image, there are other important factors to consider when purchasing a computer monitor. One of the major considerations is the size of the monitor. Some people want the largest monitor they can afford, while others do not want to take up much desk space. The following table outlines some of most common monitor sizes, as well as their benefits. The size of a monitor is measured diagonally across the display and does not include the bordering edges of metal or plastic.

Size (inches)



17 to 20

Fairly inexpensive

Smaller monitors are not able to display high-definition videos at their natural aspect ratio

21 to 23

Small while still being capable of high definition

Less costly than larger monitors

Not as many features or advantages as larger monitors


Large enough without being unwieldy

High-definition capabilities

Pricier than the smaller monitors, with some being very costly

27 to 30

Large, rich display capable of any definition and suitable for detailed graphic work

Costly and may be too large for some users and some workspaces

The right size monitor depends largely, if not exclusively, on a user's personal preference. Some people may simply not like a very large display or may be unwilling to shoulder the extra cost associated with the biggest monitors. The best idea is to choose a monitor that is big enough for the computer's main uses and not so big that it overwhelms a user's workspace or budget.

Computer Monitor Options

In addition to the display itself, there are other features to consider when choosing a computer monitor. This includes the mechanical construction of the monitor, how the monitor connects to the computer, and the intended use of the monitor. Be sure to evaluate the different options that are available before choosing a monitor.

Ergonomic Computer Monitors

Sitting at a computer for long periods of time, whether it is for work or entertainment, can cause a strain on the body. Some computer monitors are constructed with features that are specifically designed to ease these strains. Ergonomic computer monitors usually feature an adjustable stand that can be made taller or shorter depending on the user and his or her preferences. A monitor that does not come standard with this feature can usually be mounted onto an ergonomic monitor stand so as to improve comfort and safety.

Wireless Computer Monitors

It should not come as a surprise that a computer monitor needs to be connected to an actual computer in order to function. Usually this is done with a cord of some type that comes from the back or side of the monitor and connects directly to the computer. Whether for aesthetic or practical reasons, some people may prefer to make this connection without the use of wires. While most computer monitors are not designed to support this functionality, it is possible to find adaptive kits that can make this possible. Still, it is important to remember that even if this functionality works perfectly, there is still a maximum range for the computer and monitor, so they must remain fairly close together.

Computer Monitor Connections

Aside from connecting to the computer itself, it is a good idea to examine the connection ports that a monitor has so that it can be hooked up to other peripherals. This is an especially important feature when connecting a computer monitor to other devices, like a Blu-ray player or gaming console. The three most common types of monitor connections are HDMI, DVI, and DisplayPort. The HDMI connection is the most common, and virtually all modern monitors have this capability. It is this port that connects the monitor to, for example, a Sony Playstation device. Be sure that a monitor has the proper connections for its intended use before making any purchases.

All-in-One Computers

Computer monitors are intended for use with desktop computers, or with laptop computers that are connected in order to benefit from the larger display. However, there are also computers on the market that are actually integrated into the monitor, itself. One of the most popular options is the iMac, which features display sizes up to 27 inches with no separate computer tower. While there are certainly benefits to this type of all-in-one device, the drawback is that it is impossible to replace the monitor without replacing the entire computer. Still, it can be a good solution for some people.

How to Buy a Computer Monitor on eBay

Once you have selected the type of monitor that is right for you, or even if you want to browse those that are available, you can begin searching on eBay. The easiest way to search is to utilise the search box, which you can find on any page of the site. Enter general terms like "computer monitor" in order to browse what is available. You can be more specific in your search terms, the more you know about what you want. For instance, you may want to search for a Samsung monitor or a 19-inch computer monitor in order to find exactly what you need.

Computer monitors, particularly those that are very large, can also be quite heavy. This is true even with the slimmest LED monitors. When shopping on eBay, it is always important to consider shipping. While many listings allow you to calculate your shipping costs easily, make sure that if you have any questions or reservations about shipping that you bring them up with the seller before completing your transaction. Send a message through the eBay interface and wait for a satisfactory response, so that when you do complete your purchase, you can do so with confidence.


Having a computer monitor with a rich and colourful display can do wonders for any computer user. More and more people use their computers as a main media hub, and the right computer monitor can successfully display design work, video games, and high-definition films, and do so with clarity. Shopping for a computer monitor can seem daunting simply because there are so many different options. When the process is broken down into the different types of monitors that are available, as well as what each type offers users, it can be a lot less overwhelming. The best way to choose the perfect computer monitor is to compare the different features that are available. Decide which features are most important for the monitor's primary user and go from there. With this knowledge, it should be easy to find the perfect computer monitor to suit any user's needs, as well as his or her budget, whether that is in a retail establishment or online.

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