Monitor size is measured diagonally across the face of the monitor, from one corner of the casing to the other.
You are likely to spend a lot of time looking at your monitor. A fuzzy, flickering monitor will strain your eyes and make you tired. Beware; a lot of computer dealers will often include sub-standard monitors in their low-end systems – as they say ‘you get what you pay for’. Remember you cannot put a price on your eyesight; it is worthwhile to make your selection carefully.
Do I get a CRT or TFT?
For basic use a 15-inch monitor is adequate. A 17-inch monitor is preferable for page layout, imaging and graphics programs. A 15-inch monitor should be able to support up to 1024 x 768 pixels. Many 15-inch monitors support higher resolutions but you may find things appear too small. 17-inch monitors will support higher resolutions, such as 1280 x 1024 pixels, without things appearing too small. Although CRT’s are still available I would recommend you use a TFT/LCD monitor for the many additional benefits, such as space and energy saving.
TFT / LCD
LCD monitors based on TFT technology (thin film tube) have had a massive impact in the last few years. They are very slim and you can reclaim a lot of desktop space over the traditional CRT monitors. In the last few years the quality has improved to the point where it is now not worth replacing your CRT with anything other than a TFT/LCD. You should budget around £100 for a reasonable 17-inch widescreen TFT/LCD.
The first thing to know about LED (Light Emitting Diode) TVs is that they are simply LCD TVs with a different kind of backlighting. The screen remains the same but LEDs are used in place of Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamps (CCFL) that are found in most LCD TVs.
The LEDs can come in two forms, Dynamic RGB LEDs which are positioned behind the panel, or white Edge-LEDs positioned around the rim of the screen which use a special diffusion panel to spread the light evenly behind the screen.
RGB Dynamic LED TV This method of backlighting allows dimming to occur locally creating specific areas of darkness on the screen. This means you see truer blacks and much higher dynamic co ntrast ratios.
Edge-LED TV This method of backlighting allows for LED TVs to become extremely thin. The light is diffused across the screen by a special panel which produces a superb uniform colour range across the screen.
Currently LEDs are not small enough to be used for individual pixels in domestic televisions, and so the use of true LED TVs is restricted to much larger screens in places such as sport stadia.
Don’t let this put you off however, as there are some great benefits to choosing an LED TV over a standard LCD TV.
• Improved brightness and contrast levels, with deeper blacks.
• The use of Edge-LED lighting allows the TV to be thinner than standard LCD TVs.
• LED TVs can consume up to 40% less power than a LCD TV of similar size
• They can offer a wider colour gamut, especially when RGB-LED backlighting is used.
LED TVs are also more environmentally friendly due to there being no mercury used during manufacture. Overall there are many benefits to buying a LED TV rather than a standard LCD TV.