LCD Monitors for PCs and laptops. If you're in the market for a new, refurbished, or used monitor for your computer or surveillance system we have a great selection of all types and sizes. We carry a full selection of screens from small to large, LCD to LED, and more options (like speakers, IPS panels, etc.) The most common sizes we carry are 18 / 19 / 20 inches - which are good for general office use but not really recommended for gaming, 21 / 22 / 24 inch - which would be good for all purposes including gaming, and larger sizes and TVs which are great for home theater based systems and bedrooms. Our monitors have various input capabilities from VGA to DVI and HDMI. Always make sure that your video card output is supported by the monitor you choose. The smallest monitors we carry are 15 inch models.
FAQ & Section Info
What types of monitors are available?
There are multiple types of monitors. Some of the details are pretty similar but there are some differences that can really change the way you see your media.
LCD Monitors - Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) monitors are able to provide quality performance at a more affordable cost. Backlit by cold cathode flourescent lamps, the screen is actually a thin film of liquid crystals that displays images created by electrical current passed through the film. LCD displays are one of the more basic monitor types these days, but are still widely used and are a great a value.
LED Displays - Light Emitting Diode (LED) monitors have an LCD screen, but are able to provide a higher picture quality than cold cathode backlights. These are able to provide brighter images and they require less power, making them a more economical choice as well. LED monitors are also able to be much thinner than standard LCD displays.
IPS Displays - In-plane Switching monitors are a further step up from LED displays in that they are able to provide wider viewing angles which allow you to see the display clearly when not directly in front of the screen instead of those weird, dark, negative color washes that many screens are prone have.
Touchscreen Displays - Touchscreen monitors are ideal for systems running Windows 8.1, which is optimized for these type of devices. These have touch input generally ranging from 5-point to 10-point detection, and touchscreens come in the various display types as mentioned above, so be on the lookout for those technologies when reaserching these screens as well.
What monitor connection is best?
There are a few types of connections for your computer monitors. The most common are VGA, HDMI, DVI, and DisplayPort.
HDMI is the first choice for TVs, as it is very easy to just plug in and have audio and video connected through one cable. Some limitations of HDMI is that is has a rather short reliabel working distance of about 50ft, and HDMI 1.4 is limited to 3820x2160 pixels at 30 frames per section. This isn't a terrible thing for general use, but there are users that will want higher resolutions and higher FPS.
Display Port is pretty similar to HDMI, but is rarely seen on televisions as it is almost strictly a computer connection format. Capable of 3,840x2,160-pixel resolution at 60fps with DisplayPort 1.2 and higher with the Multi-Stream Transport feature, this is an ideal connection for gamers and higher performance users due to the 60fps support. Display port also supports both audio and video, and has a limited optimal working distance, as it is noted to only support 1920x1080 pixel resoluton at 15m or 50 ft.
DVI uses a video signal similar to HDMI as well, but the resolution may vary depending on the type of DVI connection. Single-Link DVI supports up to 1920x1200, while Dual-Link DVI supports up to 2560x1600. DVI is able to support audio in certain instances, but we don't suggset relying on it for audio.
Everything you Need to Know about Choosing a Monitor
Unless you're like me and have cursed yourself with a crappy laptop, you're probably reading this from a computer monitor. (I suppose, even if you're reading on a crappy laptop, it's still considered a monitor, just a stupid, crappy, stupid one.) They're everywhere, obviously, because you simply can't use a desktop computer without them. (Do blind people need computer monitors to use computers? Somebody should answer me that in the comments.) As with all computer parts, however, monitor purchasing can be a scary voyage through a dark forest of terms you've never heard before, like response time and pixel pitch. Let's go over the specs you'll want to understand when you're choosing a new monitor. Screen Size
Most people hold to the axiom "bigger is better" when asked a question about screen size, and that seems like a pretty good answer to me. Screen size refers to the distance between one corner of a screen to the corner diagonally opposite from it. The screen I'm typing this on a 19" inch screen, so if I stick a ruler diagonally across the screen it measures exactly 19" across.
The size of your screen doesn't have all that much impact on your image quality, but it does have a pretty massive effect on the price. As of today (March 30, 2011), 19" monitors cost around $100, 21" monitors around $150, 23" monitors around $170, and 27" monitors around $300. If I were buying a single monitor, I'd personally go with a 23" since that provides a good amount of screen real estate without breaking my budget. Rather than just one screen, though, I'd prefer two 19" monitors-twice the screen for almost the same price as a 23"!Aspect Ratio
Aspect ratio is simple; it's just telling you whether your monitor is wide-screen, (like a movie theater screen) or if it's more on the square side (like an old-school CRT display). A wide-screen aspect ratio is 16:9 while a traditional aspect ratio is 4:3. This does not impact the quality of your images and is really just a matter of personal preference. Native (Recommended) Resolution
Resolution refers to the number of pixels on your screen, measured by the number of pixels in a column by the number of columns the display supports. An LCD monitor's native, or recommended, resolution refers the actual arrangement of LCD transistors with which a screen was designed and cannot be changed. While it's true that smaller resolutions can be displayed on a monitor, they're really only smaller images that are stretched out to fill the screen's native resolution. To get the best picture from your LCD, you'll want to stick to the monitor's native resolution as much as possible. (Resolution is probably the most difficult display specs to fully grasp.)Viewing Angle
If you open a blank word document on your screen and then start turning the monitor away from you, you'll notice that once you reach a certain point, the blank white document will stop looking white, but may appear a little bit grey or yellowed. A monitor's viewing angle refers to the size of the area from which you can view your display and still have that white page look white. Most screens on the market today have a 176o
viewing angle. Pixel Pitch
Pixel pitch refers to the distance between the pixels on your screen and is measure in tenths of millimeters. The smaller this number, the sharper your image will be.Display Colors
16.7 million Colors are the standard for LCD monitors today. If your monitor fluidly displayed the entire spectrum of colored light from red to purple (like a rainbow), display color would refer to the number of stops the screen would make on the way. Some high end monitors advertise 1.07 billion Colors, but they're very pricey and, frankly, I've never seen one so I have no idea if it's worth it. Brightness
Brightness is measured in "Candelas per meter2
," candelas being the Latin word for candle which was chosen as the SI for brightness. Cheaper monitors start around 250 cd/m2 while the highest-end displays sit around 350 cd/m2. A screen's brightness will determine how easy it is to see when the sun's shining directly on it and how easy it will be to watch a movie while laying in bed several feet way. Contrast Ratio (native vs. dynamic)
This spec has been the biggest source of contention between consumers and monitor companies for several years now. Basically, it refers to the difference in lightness/darkness between the blackest pixel on your screen and the whitest pixel on your screen. Going back to the blank Word document, this would define how white your monitor can make the page vs. how black it can make the text.
The confusion arises in the difference between native and dynamic contrast ratio. The spec that manufacturers love to advertise is dynamic contrast ratio, which refers to the light/dark difference between a completely black screen vs. a completely white screen. Native (sometimes called static) contrast ratio, on the other hand, refers to the light/dark difference between a black and a white which are displayed together on the screen at the same time. So an LCD company might advertise a 5,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio to impress consumers with a big number, while glossing over the fact that the more useful, native contrast ratio is only 600:1.
Conflicts aside, a monitor's contrast ratio directly influences your picture quality by measuring the light's and darks of which your screen will be capable. If you're watching a scene in a movie that takes place mostly at night, like the fight scene at the dock in Batman Begins, on a screen with a low native contrast ratio, it's going to be more difficult to tell what's going on, since all the blacks are going to blur together. A higher native contrast ratio will help distinguish the differences in shade. Look for a monitor that has a 1000:1 native contrast ratio, they're pretty common and will deliver good results. Response Time
This defines the length of time it takes for one pixel on your screen to change color, measured in milliseconds. Screens with slower response times will change sluggishly, something you probably won't notice when checking your email, but which will result in blurry images during a car chase in a movie or during an intense sequence in Call of Duty. Faster response times will deliver a much crisper image, shoot for 5ms or lower and you'll be a happy camper.
To check your monitor's response time and loads of other specs, check out this extremely useful website: Lagom.nl
A monitor's refresh rate defines the number of times per second an LCD monitor re-draws the image on the screen. The minimum on most monitors these days is 60khz, but more is better, mid-ranged monitors will typically offer around 72khz refresh rate which is plenty.
Have you ever wished you monitor was smaller? Me neither. Visual display is a field where bigger is always better. Larger displays provide plenty of benefits; they're easier to read, they offer more all around real-estate for multiple windows and tasks, they make movie watching SO much better, and they just plumb look good! The downside of the display issue is that as monitors grow in size so do their price tags. A large, 27" display will run you a minimum of $260.00.
A bit more economical, and a lot more fun, is the dual display route. Your current monitor is likely a 19" or 21", the cost of which is much more reasonable (~$100.00.) Pick up a second monitor to match your first and you can run them both, side-by-side, with your desktop stretched across both screens. Studies have shown that by using two displays you'll improve your productivity by 10-50% depending on the type of work you're doing. As I'm writing this I've got Microsoft Word open on one screen and a web browser open on my second. Adding a second monitor is cheap, easy, and awesome! Once you try it you'll never go back.
How to fix a scratch on an LCD Screen
If you've ever scratched your monitor, your laptop screen, or an LCD screen on your camera - you know it can be frustrating. Especially since the replacement parts are difficult to find (or in some cases out of production). So most people just live with the scratched screen - but you don't always have to!
Obviously LCD screens are very susceptible to scratching and marks that come from drop damage, fingernails, car keys, or other sharp objects. Obviously you want to protect these screens as much as you can both before and after they get scratched to minimize any future damage. There are several methods to attempting to repair a scratched LCD and we'll go over them here. Are any of these methods 100% fool-proof? No! It really depends on how deep the scratch is and what your situation is. But they're worth a try.
Disclaimer: Check to ensure any chemicals or substances you apply to your screen are not going to cause it damage PRIOR to going forward with the applications. Contact your manufacturers to ensure that using any of the methods outlined below will not void any warranties you may have. We do not take responsibility for any damage caused by using one of these techniques. Proceed at your own risk.
- Start by cleaning the LCD screen and wiping away any smudges, dirt, or debris
- Carefully smear in some Vaseline into the scratch / cracked part of the LCD
- Use a business card or credit card to wipe off excess Vaseline from the areas surrounding the crack
- Use a non-abrasive cloth to clean the rest of your screen
If you do this correctly the Vaseline should fill in the cracked area and match the optical density of the material closely. This should generally looks like the scratch is no longer there. Make sure when you're cleaning the surrounding area you don't accidentally wipe away all the Vaseline in the crack.
- Rub some automotive rubbing compound into the damaged area (for this we recommend BRASSO but you can also get by with toothpaste). Make sure to rub in a circular motion and apply a slight amount of pressure to ensure that the damaged area gets fully covered.
- Use a DREMEL with a buffer piece or felt cone bit to buffer over the excess compound. Polish until it goes flat.
- By doing this you'll notice that the anti-glare coating on the screen area you buffered may have been stripped away. Now to reapply this! First, clean the surface area of the screen affected
- Get a thick piece of paper and poke a 5mm hole in the middle of it
- Place the paper closely over the scratch but do NOT let it touch the surface of the screen
- Spray clear lacquer in small puffs through the hole of the paper along the length of the scratch.
- Let everything dry before turning on the monitor once again
You'll notice that when the screen is OFF the scratch that you filled in will be shiny and stand out. However, if you do this correctly, when the screen is ON the scratch should mostly disappear.
- Clean the surface area of your LCD screen
- Take a pencil eraser and rub lightly back and forth along the scratch area
- Rub until the scratch disappears. Remember to never put too much pressure on the screen!
Should I get a 27 inch monitor?
27 inch monitors are great for professionals that need a larger screen to work on, or gamers that love to have that all-encompassing view. These beautiful, large monitors are great for helping to make your computer system more than just an email-checking, web-surfing machine; these 27 inch monitors provide 1920x1080 HD resolution for an incredble user experience, whether making a digital painting, running through the battlefield, or watching your favorite movies online.
What monitor connection do I need?
These monitors are compatible with HDMI, DisplayPort, and/or DVI. Some are also compatible with VGA cables. Check the compatibility of both your system and the monitor before purchasing. Also, note that if the monitor comes with speakers, you'll likely want to use HDMI or DisplayPort as they both easily support audio as well as video. DVI has the ability to support audio, but it is dependent on other factors, so it's best just to use one of the other two cables if you want one cable for audio and video. VGA does not support audio.
What is the difference between a TV and a PC Monitor?
The line between these two devices is blurring, as both PC and TV screens have both gone the way of high definition and people interchange the usages of the devices so often now. If you're talking about modern hardware, TVs are generally going to have lower refresh rates and sometimes lower resolution support capabilities than a high quality PC monitor - but usually this is at a much larger screen size so that makes sense. TVs can also sometimes cause issues with "ghosting" or freezing on frames as they aren't necessarily designed to support gaming with high FPS rates. But more and more with the improved LED/LCD technologies out there, this issue is going away and people are directly connecting their computers to high definition televisions.