The world market for flat panel displays exploded to unheard of proportions in the last several years. The reasons are obvious. Flat panel monitors employ TFT (Thin Film Transistors) LCD technology that creates gorgeous, high quality images. The attractive, thin-bezel design captures the imagination of everyone who values substance coupled with style. Virtually everyone is abandoning their CRT monitors and buying flat panels – and industry prices are dropping fast. To help you decide which sleek, LCD flat panel monitor fits your needs, our editors have compiled this handy LCD Flat Panel Display Buying Guide.
There are many factors to consider when choosing an LCD powered flat panel display monitor.Â The first and foremost is your own sense of style and desire.Â This basically means that what you want is the most important factor.Â The reality is that there is a flat panel display for almost every price bracket, so choosing the right LCD monitor is based primarily on what you are looking for.
What You See is What You (Should) Get
When it comes to a flat panel LCD monitor, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If you love what you see, then give it serious consideration. After all, you are shopping for an LCD monitor because you it gives you sharper images, better resolution, and richer colors than your CRT, as well as a stylish space-saving contemporary design. So when it comes to monitors, the image is everything.
Bigger is Better When it Comes to Flat Panel LCDs
You might find some great deals on 15-inch LCD flat panel monitors, but thatâ€™s because theyâ€™re disappearing fast. 15â€ screens are now common on most notebook computers, so discerning desktop users must find a larger screen to keep up. Nonetheless, a high quality 15-inch monitor makes an excellent secondary display when using a two-screen desktop setup. A 15-inch display can function as a decent primary screen if you are on a budget. The price difference between a 15-inch and 17-inch monitor is negligible (in this case, negligible means substantially less than 100 dollars per extra inch) and you will see noticeably better widescreens with the larger unit. Remember, you will be replacing your 15-inch monitor in favor of a larger screen eventually. So itâ€™s a good idea to select a 19-inch monitor – you will gain spectacular image quality and will not regret it. Both 17-inch and 19-inch monitors usually offer 1280 x 1024 resolutions.
Connect for the Future
Besides price and size, connections and resolution are two major factors that you should consider when choosing an LCD monitor.Â In the near future, more television and recording mediums are going to make the switch to High-Def, or high definition.Â High Definition (and itâ€™s nearly-there cousin Enhanced definition) is defined as any monitor screen capable of 760 or greater vertical pixel-count while displaying a progressive scan signal. Many LCD monitors have better resolution than this; many LCD televisions do NOT. It is important to determine whether you will ever use your LCD monitor as a television when selecting a model.Â Connectivity is also an issue.Â If you compare input options on LCD monitor models, you will see a variety of options.Â The inputs you need depend entirely on what kind of duty your monitor is going to serve.Â The LCD models with VGA (15-pin D sub) or other PC-only connections will have limited uses other than as a monitor.Â If the model is rife with connections that match up with all your other multimedia and digital devices, it might be the right model for you.
A Few Words About Price
Like most products, LCD flat panel monitors come in a wide variety of prices. You can easily spend more thousands on a higher-end model. Some monitors may have identical specifications yet carry big price tag differences. This is caused by a difference in component quality and what features differ between models. They can vary in brightness, contrast and many other areas including connectivity, resolution, and compatibility with multimedia applications. If you are completely in the dark as to what you want in a LCD monitor, it is a good idea to peruse the selection in a large electronics retailer. These places usually have a wall full of LCD flat panel models; you are going to notice huge disparities in screen quality, features, and price. If the screen youâ€™re considering looks better than the others, has excellent specifications, and fits your budget, go for it!
The Final Decision
Because there are so many models to choose from, itâ€™s impossible for us to make specific recommendations. Consider such factors as resolution – the higher the better – and response time (expressed as ms)- the lower the better. Try and let your visual impression be your guide.Â Factor in such things as price, size, and comparable quality and respectability of the manufacturer.Â Resolution and response time are very important, so is the application you intend to use your LCD monitor for.Â Brightness, contrast, pixel pitch, and other specific ratings are important, but when you buy an LCD monitor, the most important factor is you!