Long hours spent in front of a computer screen can be physically taxing, but the right monitor can make a huge difference. The best business monitors provide a clear view of your work, improve desk ergonomics and enhance your productivity. Picking the best monitor for your business involves weighing up several factors based on the type of work you need to do. In this guide, we’ll walk through the different considerations you should take into account before you go shopping.
First off, you’ll need to decide on the type of panel you want in your PC monitor. There are three main types of panel normally favoured by business users, each with its own pros and cons.TN (Twisted Nematic) panels have high refresh rates and fast response times. They can sometimes be cheaper than other types of monitor but they don’t offer great viewing angles or brightness levels. IPS (In Plane Switching) panels are more expensive but provide better image quality with wide viewing angles and high levels of brightness. VA (Vertical Alignment) panels offer improved contrast ratios compared to other technologies while still providing good image quality.
Next, you’ll need to decide on the size of your PC monitor. Generally speaking, larger screens will give you more space to work with, but it’s important not to go too large as this can impact readability and make it harder to focus on specific tasks. It’s also worth considering if you need a multi-monitor setup or just one single display. As a general rule of thumb, 24-inch monitors are usually the smallest monitor size we’d recommend for mainstream users who have limited desk space or want a setup with multiple screens side by side. 27-inch screens are better for multitasking and will give you more display room if you want to view multiple windows on the same screen.
It’s worth mentioning aspect ratio as well which is a measure of the difference between the screen’s width and height. Most monitors available today are widescreen (16:9 aspect ratio), which provides 25 percent more viewing area than older 4:3 monitors. You can also purchase ultra wide monitors (21:9 aspect ratio) that split the screen, allowing you to organise your content much easier.
Resolution is a measure of the number of pixels that make up your display and affects how sharp images look on screen. The higher the resolution, the more detailed images will be. For mainstream business use, a full HD (or 1080p) monitor which has 1,920 x1,080 pixels is fine. Pretty much all current monitors offer at least full HD resolution. If you work with image editing software or need to display fine text or large spreadsheets, a WQHD screen (2,560 x 1,440 pixels) or a UHD / 4K (3,840 x 2,160 pixels) resolution monitor would be best although you’ll need a screen that’s 32-inches or larger to easily pick out the extra detail. Keep in mind that the higher the resolution, the higher the price tag generally is and the more power the screen will consume.
Ports and connectivity
You should also take into account what ports and features your PC monitor has. This includes the interfaces you need to connect the monitor to your computer. Most commonly this will be HDMI or DisplayPort although some older models may also provide DVI or VGA ports. For a resolution higher than full HD you’ll need HDMI or DisplayPort connectivity.
Some monitors include USB ports allowing easier connections to peripherals like mice or keyboards rather than plugging these directly into the computer. Other ports worth mentioning are audio jacks for sound output although you can find some monitors with built in speakers too. If a monitor offers USB-C connectivity, a single USB-C cable provides the video and data signal as well as providing power (e.g. to charge a connected laptop). Mac friendly monitors come with Thunderbolt ports for fast data transfers when connected to a Macbook computer.
A good quality display should have accurate colours that are consistent across the entire screen. A monitor’s colour gamut is the specific range of colours it can produce. A wider colour gamut means that the monitor can display more accurate colours and more lifelike images. There are distinct standards for measuring colour gamuts, and monitors are typically represented as a percentage of whichever standard they’re based off of (e.g. 72% of NTSC). A higher percentage means a greater range of reproduced colours and a more lifelike image overall. For the most accurate colours possible, look for a monitor with at least 99% sRGB coverage and an 8-bit colour depth.
Multiple factors determine the overall quality of the picture a monitor can display. We’ve already mentioned resolution and colour accuracy which affect the clarity and realism of the image. A monitor’s brightness and contrast ratio will also have an impact. A higher brightness can translate into clearer, more realistic images but brightness should be considered together with the other attributes that affect image quality rather than in isolation. Contrast ratio refers to the difference between the brightest white and darkest black that a monitor can produce at any given time. A good rule of thumb is to look for a monitor with a static contrast ratio of 1000:1 or higher. This ensures that you get deep dark blacks and bright whites without sacrificing colour accuracy
Most monitors come with a stand, but on cheaper models these aren’t always height adjustable. More expensive monitors can be tilted, rotated and swivelled and often include features like cable management to help keep desks tidy. Multiple monitors take up more desk space, so if you’re working with limited room, mounting them on arms helps preserve desk space and manage cables better too. For multiple monitor setups, look for monitors with thin bezels (the border between the screen and frame of the monitor) so they slot together neatly and keep the viewing area as uninterrupted as possible across the different screens.
You can find a variety of both flat and curved monitors for sale, but what are the benefits or drawbacks to each? Curved monitors offer an improved, more immersive viewing experience due to less image distortion around the edges of the screen. They also cope better with glare and reflections; however, these benefits mainly impact individuals with larger screens (27 inches or bigger). Disadvantages include not being able to mount them on walls like flat screens and they’re not really suitable for viewing by a group of people simultaneously either.
If you spend a lot of time on video conference calls, there are a number of monitors that have built-in webcams for seamless video calls without the need to buy and plug in a separate webcam. Workers who spend hours sitting in front of a screen would be wise to look for models that offer low blue light settings as these have been shown to help reduce eye strain and fatigue. Most monitors come with a variety of colour and image settings allowing you to customise the display to suit your individual preferences and working arrangement.
Choosing the right PC monitor for business use is key to getting the most out of your workstation setup. By considering the above features and key specs you can make sure you’re investing in the best possible display for your needs and you should be well on your way to finding a great quality monitor that suits your specific business requirements.