Author Topic: Computer monitor purchase- any opinions?  (Read 1894 times)

MayDay

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Computer monitor purchase- any opinions?
« on: November 12, 2017, 06:39:22 AM »
There is such a huge price range in computer monitors.

I want to get my H a 32" monitor for Xmas. He works full time from home and a large monitor might be anti MMM but I figured 200$ on something he uses 40 hours a week was reasonable.

I was going to get this from Costco: https://m.costco.com/Dell-32-Ultra-Wide-IPS-Monitor.product.100385824.html

But one review says it isn't enough resolution for Excel type use. I'm scrapping this idea if I can't find one in the 200$ range. I tried reading other reviews but they are all reviewing $$$$ monitors.

H does Excel, and other engineering things. I don't know exactly what software he uses. Matlab or something. He does analytics, whatever software that would be. No gaming so I don't think I care about refresh rates or anything.

Thoughts? Should I bag it and get him the usual socks and underwear?

maizeman

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Re: Computer monitor purchase- any opinions?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2017, 07:43:12 AM »
So this is a 1920x1080 monitor. That's an incredibly common resolution because it's the same resolution as a 1080p TV so there are factories all over the world building LCD screens with this resolution. It's a relatively high resolution for a laptop, and plenty of people use excel on laptops.

On a bigger monitor like this one, that resolution will allow him to sit much further back from the screen and still be able to read excel. It'd probably be a big upgrade in comfort and posture if he's currently working on a laptop at home.

However, the other reason people get really big monitors is to be able to have more windows open at once (which really does seem to improve productivity in comparison studies). The resolution of this monitor is such that he probably wouldn't be able to have more excel windows open than he could on a laptop or smaller external monitor.

One extra caveat: if you can, try to find out if he tends to read word or excel documents at standard "100%" zoom, or at higher zoom levels. Many of my colleagues with slightly older eyes are always sending me documents that have been reset to 150% or 200% zoom. If your husband does that, then the resolution of the monitor is no worry at all. He can go back to 100% zoom, the text will still be bigger because each pixel on a 32 inch monitor is physically larger, and he'll be able to have more windows open at once than he does now.

Hope this helps.

EarthSurfer

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Re: Computer monitor purchase- any opinions?
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2017, 07:50:25 AM »
MayDay,

As you can imagine, there is a lot of personal preference which drives the individual choices made by "us techies." When the funds are coming from the family finances (W2 employee) rather than the employers, choices tend to be more economical. Even when self-employed where I can expense a purchase before taxes, I skew more economical.

Most of us enginerds have optimized on using 2 each of 24 inch monitors (1920x1080) monitors rather than one larger monitor. Decent versions of these monitors typically fall in the $130-150 for a IPS LCD monitor with LED backlight. These monitors typically have HDMI, VGA and DisplayPort inputs. Cabling and interfacing remains relatively simple and cheap, and most modern desktop and notebook computers support dual monitor configurations at these resolutions.

A 32 inch monitor with a 1920x1080 resolution will have large pixels / dots. These monitors are primarily targeted to casual home use and PC gamers. This monitor would generally not be acceptable for all-day use for technical work.

A higher resolution 30 - 32 inch monitor gets pricey, and the choice of video interface and cabling becomes more specific. At this level, you are looking at a $350-500 monitor and using a DisplayPort video interface.

27 inch monitors fall in the 'in between' range for resolution. Personally, I would just want a higher resolution than 1920x1080 at 27 inch, and I don't like spending the $$ to get the higher resolution.


Engineer_Erik

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Re: Computer monitor purchase- any opinions?
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2017, 09:04:19 AM »
A few months ago I was looking at monitors.  I thought I was going to go with a 34" ultra wide LG monitor for ~$900 but I ended up buying a 28"4k wide Asus monitor for around $450.  The resolution on the ultra wide monitor was too low for my taste.  Plus the standard "wide" monitor was half the price.

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sequoia

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Re: Computer monitor purchase- any opinions?
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2017, 01:35:48 AM »
So I take it that the budget is $200 right? Does it has to be new, or would you consider refurb Dell monitor?

https://www.dellrefurbished.com/computer-accessories/computer-monitors

I have bought several refurb monitors from Dell. I am using 3 of them everyday in the past 6 years, without problem. YMMV of course. Personally for $200 I would get two refurb monitors, assuming your computer can support them.

Just quickly browsing here, this one seems nice. I like IPS panel, instead of TN. You can google the difference between two panel. Also look for reviews online.

https://www.dellrefurbished.com/computer-accessories/computer-monitors/dell-professional-series-22-p2217h-89682.html

Also, Dell run promo from time to time, so I would check often, so when the price drops, that is when you make the purchase. I would imagine the prices may get discounted around Black Friday - Christmas. 
« Last Edit: November 16, 2017, 01:49:12 AM by sequoia »

MayDay

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Re: Computer monitor purchase- any opinions?
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2017, 06:39:28 AM »
Thanks everyone.

He would definitely run two or more windows side by side, not one giant Excel file. So I do think he would need higher resolution. Bummer! I was so excited that big monitors were so cheap. Now I know why.

I really didn't want two 24" side by side, and I'm not going to make that decision for him. Currently he has one 24" and opens his laptop (which is what I do at work too, and I don't find it sufficient- I'd rather have one giant monitor than two side by side which is why I was thinking 32").

Thanks for the different links. I'll check them out. I am fine with refurbished so that seems promising. Budget could be over 200 but I'm definitely not spending 400+.

nereo

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Re: Computer monitor purchase- any opinions?
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2017, 07:01:07 AM »
...adding to the chorus

When talking about monitors where you'll be sitting a couple feet away, the resolution of the display is what gives you more usable space, NOT the physical size.  I'd take a 24" monitor running at 2560x1440 over a 32" monitor running 1920x1080 anyday.  The former (with its smaller screen) will allow me to have more windows open or a larger section of an image at 100% crop.  The former has 1.8x more pixels.

Very large screens are only useful if they have correspondingly high resolutions OR if they are to be viewed several feet away, like in a classroom or conference room. 

There's a reason why technerds all use 4x or 5x displays (the latter having resolutions of 5120x2880) - they offer 4x and 5x the pixels of your now 'standard HD' at 1920x1080.  Unfortunately these are still expensive, $400 - $2000+ depending on brand and features.  You might find a re-furbished 4x at/around $300.  Otherwise search out 2560x1440 monitors if you want the lowest cost that will still give more screen real-estate.

Hope that helps more than it confuses.

ketchup

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Re: Computer monitor purchase- any opinions?
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2017, 07:59:35 AM »
...adding to the chorus

When talking about monitors where you'll be sitting a couple feet away, the resolution of the display is what gives you more usable space, NOT the physical size.  I'd take a 24" monitor running at 2560x1440 over a 32" monitor running 1920x1080 anyday.  The former (with its smaller screen) will allow me to have more windows open or a larger section of an image at 100% crop.  The former has 1.8x more pixels.

Very large screens are only useful if they have correspondingly high resolutions OR if they are to be viewed several feet away, like in a classroom or conference room. 

There's a reason why technerds all use 4x or 5x displays (the latter having resolutions of 5120x2880) - they offer 4x and 5x the pixels of your now 'standard HD' at 1920x1080.  Unfortunately these are still expensive, $400 - $2000+ depending on brand and features.  You might find a re-furbished 4x at/around $300.  Otherwise search out 2560x1440 monitors if you want the lowest cost that will still give more screen real-estate.

Hope that helps more than it confuses.
I'd echo this.  A 32" monitor of any resolution might be impractical for his use case, but he might be too polite to tell you that, so he'll end up using it anyway.  I'd just ask him.

At work, I have two side-by-side 22" 1920x1080 resolution monitors (used for email, spreadsheets, development, web browsing, etc; I work in IT), and in our home office we have a 24" 3840x2160 (used almost exclusively for Photoshop; GF is a pro photographer).  Use and user preferences dictate which monitor setup is best.

Cromacster

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Re: Computer monitor purchase- any opinions?
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2017, 08:07:53 AM »
Thanks everyone.

He would definitely run two or more windows side by side, not one giant Excel file. So I do think he would need higher resolution. Bummer! I was so excited that big monitors were so cheap. Now I know why.

I really didn't want two 24" side by side, and I'm not going to make that decision for him. Currently he has one 24" and opens his laptop (which is what I do at work too, and I don't find it sufficient- I'd rather have one giant monitor than two side by side which is why I was thinking 32").

Thanks for the different links. I'll check them out. I am fine with refurbished so that seems promising. Budget could be over 200 but I'm definitely not spending 400+.

If you're adamant about one monitor for work excel, matlab etc... I would get a wide or ultrawide.  1920x1080 will cramp the windows to fit on the screen side by side, even on a 32". 

I used to have a job with lots of matlab, excel, and sql,  I preferred two monitors because it's easier to separate tasks and windows.  Add in a dual mounted stand, turn one screen vertically and you'll have one happy spreadsheet nerd.

I've been eyeballing this one, but have no real use for it.

https://www.amazon.com/24-inch-FreeSync-Monitor-VG245H-Response/dp/B01JGYM5H6/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1510844921&sr=1-1&keywords=asus+75hz+low+blue&dpID=51ID-EdTh5L&preST=_SX300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch
« Last Edit: November 16, 2017, 08:09:26 AM by Cromacster »

sequoia

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Re: Computer monitor purchase- any opinions?
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2017, 09:21:58 AM »
...adding to the chorus

When talking about monitors where you'll be sitting a couple feet away, the resolution of the display is what gives you more usable space, NOT the physical size. I'd take a 24" monitor running at 2560x1440 over a 32" monitor running 1920x1080 anyday.  The former (with its smaller screen) will allow me to have more windows open or a larger section of an image at 100% crop.  The former has 1.8x more pixels

@nereo is correct ^. I work from home, and this is why I am lusting for 4K giant monitor :)