Computer Monitor Size and Remote Work Factors to Consider
The computer monitor is an important computer component, so you should still consider weighing your options because working on the wrong monitor for extended periods could cause eye strain and affect your overall remote work experience.
This mini-guide should help you understand monitor sizes and resolutions, along with other factors to consider when shopping for a computer monitor.
What Monitor is BIG enough?
This is the question most people ask themselves, but it shouldn’t be as simple as that. The best way to decide this is to figure out the location where the new monitor awill be placed and measure the spot.
If you buy a 34-inch monitor and your home office can only accommodate a 24-inch monitor, your new display would just cause additional issues. If you need your monitor to be portable since your work requires you to bring your device on the field regularly, there’s no use in buying a monitor sized 40 inches or bigger.
For those who don’t need a portable monitor and are lucky enough to have no limitations when it comes to office space, you’ll have a lot more options. You still need to consider the resolution and other factors though.
Understanding Monitor Resolutions
In the past, ask any expert what resolution to look for and the gold standard would be 1080p or HD (full HD). These days, full HD resolution is just the baseline and several other resolutions are more popular.
- 1080p (HD or 1920 x 1080) – Ideal for 21- to 24-inch monitors. These monitors are affordable and provide reasonable image clarity, as long as the sizes are don’t go over 25-inch.
- 1440p (Quad HD, QHD or 2,560 x 1,440) – This resolution provides sharper images than regular HD, but isn’t as clear as 4K. It’s an upgrade for 1080p, especially if you’ve decided to buy larger than 24 inches or if you have a low-grade graphics card.
- 2160p (4k, Ultra HD or UHD) – This monitor resolution is now the gold standard, especially for gamers and those whose profession requires super-crisp details. The downside to this resolution is that the graphics card must be powerful enough to accommodate the monitor’s requirements.
- 5k (5120 x 2700) – 5k monitors aren’t as popular because they’re still expensive and only a few manufacturers offer them. It did wow many people when Apple showcased 5k on its latest iMac. 4k resolution monitors are still recommended simply because the difference between 4k and 5k are minimal.
There are also 8k resolution monitors available, but there is no need for such a high resolution.
Do note that if your monitor size is too small, a super-high resolution would cause images to shrink and result in hard-to-read text or a scenario where you have to enlarge everything to see the graphics.
Other Factors to Consider
If you figured out the monitor size and resolution that your remote work setup requires, check these several specifications to watch out for as well:
- Aspect ratio – This is the aspect your monitor shows images in, or the length compared to height. You’ll find most monitors use 16:9 aspect ratio, but some feature others (like 16:10, 21:9, or 3:2 for laptops) so you have check the specs first.
- Refresh rate – The refresh rate tells you how often the monitor will update the images on your screen. Most monitors support 60Hz refresh rates, but if you’re dealing with motion (games, videos, and other similar content), you’d need somewhere 120 to 144Hz to prevent lags.
- Brightness – You’ll need a monitor with a brightness higher than 300 cd/m2 if you’re going to position the display in a brightly-lit room. If not, anything around 250 cd/m2 will do.
- Contrast ratio – If your job requires you to distinguish and use the whitest whites or darkest blacks, you need to find a monitor with higher contrast ratios.
- Response time – This measures the time your monitor transitions from one image to the next. A low response time is ideal for activities like online shooter games.
To Pick Curved Monitor or Not
Curved monitors provide an immersive experience, but they’re not for everyone. Because angles need to be considered with curved monitors, resolution would also be an important factor.
- Go for 25-inch monitors or less if you decided to pick 1920×1080 resolution curved monitors
- 27-inch monitors would look best with 1440p resolutions
- 4K resolution monitors are ideal for monitors 27-inch to 43-inch big
Samsung revealed a 55-inch curved monitor at the 2022 CES, making it the biggest-sized curved monitor launched in the market.
You see, your journey to find the right-sized computer monitor isn’t simple. But if you spend some time and effort weighing your options before buying one, that monitor will serve you best for several years to come.