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Buying a monitor? Here’s what you need to know

The market is flooded with various monitors, each available in different sizes and offering different refresh rates and aspect ratios. FRANCOIS RHEEDERS, Product Manager at Rectron, discusses what to consider when buying a monitor.

With the rise in mobile devices such as tablets, smart phones and phablets, as well as the ever-increasing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend, I’m often asked about the relevance of desktop monitors. I firmly believe that monitors remain irreplaceable; as long as there is a demand to consume content via mobile device, there is a need to create that content somewhere. And of course, there’s a very real space for monitors whether you’re a serious gamer or even a businessperson who needs to work on something a bit larger than a tablet screen. So, what should you be looking for in a monitor to make it a valuable and necessary addition to your tech devices?

Form follows function

The most important part of your decision is defining what you want to use your monitor for, and then narrowing your search options accordingly. Certainly considerations like size, resolution, connections, incorporated audio, refresh rate, dot pitch, blur reduction, black enhancement (I could go on) may seem daunting, which is why it’s so important to find a reseller who is well-versed in finding the best fit for you.

The optimal gaming experience

When it comes to best fit for your gaming experience, think about what kind of games you play. If you’re a racing fan, you may want the immersive experience a large, curved monitor offers; on the other hand, if you prefer shooting games you may favour the fast output of a 144Hz monitor. Generally, when it comes to gaming monitors, you need one that can optimally display your graphics output. If you invest in a high-end graphics card, you want to be able to see the great new resolutions it offers.

Along with graphics, you also need to consider the response time and refresh rate of your monitor, which can range from 60Hz to as much as 200Hz now.

And lastly, think about the size of your monitor. Perhaps “size does matter” to you, but be aware that large monitors tend to have a trade-off on pixel density, or come at a greater cost to give you the desired resolution along with size.

The right monitor for your job

Moving from pleasure to business, there is also still a clear role for monitors in the workplace. Despite BYOD, many people still enjoy the option of plugging into a docking station. For example, I like to work on a wide screen or two in order to maximise the window space I have. I care less about resolution as long as I can fit as much as possible on the screen. Alternatively, you could be a graphic designer who needs the great colour replication that comes with the IPS panels, not to mention a large resolution and screen size too. Either way, a mobile device just isn’t going to cut it.

Getting from point A to point B in style

With all that said, I’m still seeing the trend for price to determine which monitors are purchased for both the home and the office. And size still wins over resolution locally, regardless of resolution or refresh rate.To this I say, any car can get you from point A to point B, but your experience will differ significantly whether you choose a 4X4 or a racing car. So it all comes down to your needs and expectations. But either way, just like cars on our busy South African streets, I don’t see monitors disappearing any time soon.

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