There are several different types of computer monitors, and it can be overwhelming to try to determine which one is best for your needs.
You should consider the size and shape of the monitor so that you know how well it will fit into your workspace.
Next, you will want to look at the display technology, which is the tech and material it uses for its display.
Finally, you will want to consider how you intend to use the monitor. Gamers might need a specific type of monitor, and photo or video editors will need something different.
Continue reading to learn all about different types of computer monitors.
To start with, let’s see how monitors differ by size and shape.
Table of Contents
1) Square Computer Monitors
Square monitors usually have an aspect ratio of 5:4 or 4:3. The sides will measure approximately the same length as the tops and bottoms. This type of monitor was the first kind made, and people used them for many years before widescreen technology came out.
These monitors work well for searching on the Internet, and they are great for reading text and creating written content.
They have more pixels than widescreen models with the same diagonal size. However, they are not the best choice if you are playing games or watching movies.
It is also hard to work in different windows because you will have trouble placing them side-by-side. They are becoming less common than the wide screen versions.
2) Wide Screen Monitor
Wide screen monitors are rectangular in shape. They normally have a 16:9 or 16:10 aspect ratio.
You can find just about any display technology you want if you choose a wide screen monitor. They are great for gaming and watching movies.
You can also easily work in two windows side-by-side on the screen. They do provide more white space when you are viewing websites, and they have fewer pixels than a square computer monitor of the same diagonal length.
Square vs Wide Computer Monitors
The biggest difference between the square monitor and the wide screen monitor is the shape. The shape can make certain activities easier; for example, many movies are filmed in wide screen format, so the wide screen monitor is a better option for watching movies. Gaming also is set up for a wide screen monitor.
You can use a square monitor for working with text, surfing the Internet or developing code. The aspect ratio is the primary difference, with square monitors being 4:3 or 5:4 and wide screen monitors being 16:9 or 16:10.
In addition, wide screen monitors have a wider range of display technologies available.
Let’s now see various types as categorized by the display technology and material used.
3) CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) Monitors
CRT monitors are usually square in shape. They make this technology by having a beam of electrons move hitting the screen and come into contact with a lot of small green, red, and blue phosphor dots. When electrons hit these phosphor pixels they create the various colors that your eye see as images on the screen.
This is what produces the images you see on the monitor. The term cathode stands for the heated filament, which is on the interior of a glass tube.
The other term, ray, refers to the electrons that flow off of the cathode to create the image. They coat the screen of this monitor with an organic material called phosphor.
When the phosphor is hit by a beam of electrons, it glows. Old fashioned monitors and some square monitors today use this technology.
4) LCD Monitors
An LCD monitor is a liquid crystal display monitor. The LCD technology replaces the CRT technology, and it has the ability to have higher resolution and better picture quality.
When they were first made, the picture quality wasn’t as good as CRT, but LCD has a clearer picture now and is less expensive.
This technology is created when light is blocked. It has two pieces of glass that have a liquid crystal material in the middle.
There is a backlight that causes light to pass through the first piece of glass. Then, as a result of currents of electricity, the liquid crystal molecules create the different images you see by letting different amounts of light come through. This technology is flatter than the old CRT display.
5) LED Monitors
An LED monitor is a light-emitting diode monitor, and it is usually a flat screen, flat panel monitor. It has a short depth and weighs less than other types of monitors. The primary way that it differs from the LCD monitor is in the backlighting.
They are able to run at a lower temperature, so they use less energy. They are reliable and often have a pretty long lifespan.
They are smaller than the LCD monitors, but they are more expensive, even though they cost less in energy over their lifespan.
This type of monitor is better for gaming and 4K resolution because it has higher performance. It is also more environmentally friendly because it doesn’t use mercury.
6) Plasma Monitors
The plasma monitor has a flat screen, and it has small fluorescent lights with color that are lit up to form images on the screen.
Every pixel is comprised of three individual lights of blue, green, and red. The plasma display will vary the intensity level of these lights to create a variety of colors.
The central element in each of these lights is plasma, which is a gas that is made up of electrically charged ions and electrons.
As these electrons, which are negatively charged, rush across the negatively charged area, they have collisions that cause the gas in the plasma to release photons of energy.
The plasma monitor has xenon and neon gas between two plates of gas and when it is ionized, the photons are released.
They hit the phosphor atoms and heat them up, which makes them a visible light photon. These phosphors give off colored light, which creates the pixels. The advantage is that you can have a very wide screen using very thin materials.
7) OLED Monitors
OLED stands for organic light-emitting diode. This type of monitor is thin and light, and it offers incredible contrast and color.
It can produce both light and color from a single diode, which eliminates the need for a backlight. With this type of display, each pixel is a self-contained source of light.
The benefit of using this type of display technology is that the monitors are very thin and flexible. In addition, because there is no backlighting and each pixel contains its own power and brightness, when it is turned off, the screen is completely black.
Let’s see a couple more types by usage.
8) Gaming Monitors
Wide screen monitors are ideal for gaming monitors. You want a 16:9 aspect ratio and a Full HD display. People like to use LCD monitors with LED backlighting, but the OLED monitors are starting to have the technology necessary to make them a serious contender.
In addition, people often like curved monitors because the experience in gaming is more immersive. They look for color accuracy combined with sharpness. It is important for gaming monitors to have high refresh rates and lower input lag; you need at least 60FPS.
Another important feature for gaming monitors is the In-Plane Switching. This IPS makes the colors and contrasts more attractive because they display a wider range of color.
They are made to be larger and many have additional features, such as RGB backlighting and more.
9) High-Resolution Monitors
High-resolution monitors are usually called 4K monitors, and they are getting popular nowadays. 4K is a term that describes the horizontal resolutions of around 4,000 pixels. The K stands for kilo or thousand.
There are two types. One is 4K UHD, which is 3840 x 2160 pixels, and the other is DCI 4K, which is 4096 x 2160 pixels.
The higher the resolution of a monitor, the more details you can see in the image. 4K resolution has about four times the resolution of a typical full HD resolution monitor.
They also offer more features as well as advanced settings. The highest resolution currently available is 8K, which is 7680 x 4320 pixels.
This technology is very new, so broadcasts that support this resolution are just starting to come out.
It is important to understand what you are looking for when you buy a new computer monitor. You should also know how you intend to use it.
If you are primarily gaming or watching 4K movies, you will want to get a high-resolution wide screen monitor. You can surf the Internet and write and read documents easily with any kind of monitor, but for gaming you need something to bring out the best details and colors.
You might also consider the energy used and the cost of the monitor. The CRT and Plasma monitors are not being made and sold as much today because the new technology provides greater detail, is more energy efficient, and has great color contrast.
You want a lightweight monitor, and most LCD, LED, and OLED monitors are lighter, thinner, and less expensive. Once you understand the different types of monitors, it is much easier to choose the one that is best for your needs.