Don’t buy cheap computer monitors.
If you are in a low budget, you might be tempted to buy a cheap computer monitor just the same way how you bought the cheapest version of other components of your computer. Your goal might be to save maximum money but that might not be a good idea in case of computer monitors and it might end up being penny wise and pound foolish. I will explain the reasons why in this post.
Caveat: If you are rarely going to use your computer, like once in a week or less, then it might be ok to buy cheap computer monitors as you are not using your computer much. This post is for other people who might be planning to use their computer on a regular basis.
Firstly let’s define what is a cheap monitor – We are talking about monitors with less than Full HD(1080p) resolution like the ones with 1366*768 resolution. These are usually the absolute cheapest monitor you will find on any website and they are generally priced under $70. People buy it because it is the cheapest monitor out there and not because of its features or specs. Now, let me explain the reasons why it might be a bad idea –
The monitor is the most used component of any computer.
You will be looking at it all the time. Now, if you will be looking at something for so much time of your life, why not spend slightly more and make it a much better experience?
Good computer monitors don’t cost much more.
You can get really good monitors for slightly more price and we are talking about night and day difference in quality and experience. The price difference between these absolute cheap ones and this is so small that it doesn’t make any sense to buy the cheapest option. You can get22inch 1080p IPS panel monitor with good colour accuracy for $100 why go for 15 inch 720p TN panel monitors with very poor colour accuracy at $70? Sometimes during offers, the price difference between these two options is barely $15.
Save your eyes
Cheap monitors use cheap TN panels and looking at it for prolonged periods can damage your eyes. Most of these low-cost monitors also use “flickering” technology to adjust brightness which means the monitor flickers its backlight to adjust the brightness and this is bad for eyes and can cause migraines or headaches.
Almost all panels used in the $100+ range use monitors with flicker-free panels which do not have this problem. Also, TN panels (typically found in cheap monitors)have horrible viewing angle problems which means if you are not looking at it from the straight angle, it will become washed out and unreadable. This problem is not there in IPS/VA monitors.
Small screens means less productivity, less enjoyment, less usefulness.
Low priced monitors generally also have small screens. We are talking about 15 to 18inches with 720p screens. In today’s day and age, many websites and software are designed to handle full HD resolution and are best viewed in a 21+inch display size. Anything lower will mean everything will look cramped.
Also, you cannot view two windows at the same time which might be useful for productivity. Also, you will not be able to enjoy videos or movies properly on a small screen.
Monitors last a long long time.
Most monitors do not go defective easily and this means they can keep functioning for a really long time. We are talking about 10 to 20 years. By that time every other component of your pc would be totally outdated and useless, but monitor would still be functioning properly. My 10-year-old Full HD monitor is still working as perfectly as the day it was bought. Meanwhile, the parts of the computer itself were replaced twice.
So, monitors are generally a long time investment. So, why not buy a good one instead of regretting it later requiring you to buy another monitor in a few years?
Businesses please help your employees
I am specifically mentioning this because many companies(even software companies!) seems to be opting to buy these cheap monitors just because it is low priced and they are buying 100s of units so they can save few thousand dollars. But, this might be a bad idea in the long run.
If you are a business which is buying monitors for your employees, then also it makes more sense to buy the slightly more expensive $100+ monitors instead of the absolute cheapest 720p TN panel monitors. By saving these few pennies you will be decreasing years worth of productivity of your employees.
Don’t buy super cheap monitors, instead if your budget is so low, then buy slightly more costly but still cheap monitors. That might be significantly more value for money if you consider all these points.