What to Look for When Buying a Graphic Design Monitor

June 7, 2016

4:05 pm

Has the idea of being able to design something while wearing 3D glasses ever crossed your mind? It sounds ridiculous, right? Perhaps it might be an innovative aspect in the near future, but given the level of technology today, it will only distort your perspective while designing. Speaking of distortion, using a monitor that’s not fit for the job can be quite detrimental in terms of productivity. So, when you are choosing a a graphic design monitor, you need to know what features to look for. If you don’t, then there is no reason to fret as this article addresses exactly that. But first, let us a take a quick look at what you should not look for:

The Design

Yes, everyone is attracted to the cooler looking monitors, due to aesthetic reasons of course. However, this is not a living room screen; it’s a design work monitor. So, considering the design before all other factors wouldn’t be a wise move.

The Response Time

Of course, if you are a gamer and a designer, this is something to factor in, but if you are looking for a design monitor only, this is not the time to ask whether the response of the screen is 2, 3 or 8 ms. A 144hz  monitor for gaming will require a different set up than monitors used solely for design.

Unnecessary/Special Features

Built-in speakers, TV tuner, 4 USB ports, e.t.c. They are all useful, but do they add value to your design job? Keep that in mind.

In my opinion, there are more important features that you should consider before digging your pocket deeper for the features mentioned above:

The Panel

The quality panel of the panel determines how good the monitor is. Twisted nematic panels are the cheapest and most popular because of their affordable prices. However, for a designer, this isn’t the best panel for your monitor as the viewing angles are particularly poor and tend to misconstrue your perspective when working on designs.

IPS or In Plane Switching panels are the ideal choices when it comes to performance vs. price. They are more expensive than the TN panels, but the performance difference easily justifies it. You get not only accurate color rendition but also perfect viewing angles, which is what you should look for as a designer.

You will also come across super IPS panels nowadays. They are the newest in the market, and the main aim for their creation is to achieve a better response time and color rendition while keeping them at reasonable prices.

The Size

When it comes to designing work, bigger is always. You should never sacrifice performance of a screen for a slightly larger one.  If you want to watch movies or game on a larger monitor, you are better off buying a TV. A gadget that is said to be good at everything is more often than not poor at performing all those things. So, if you come across a 27 inch TN with built in speakers and a TV tuner and a 22 Inch IPS monitor, you are better off with the latter if you are serious about designing.

The Connector

In this day and age, you might think that connectivity shouldn’t be a problem, but from brand to brand and model, things tends to vary, drastically for that matter.

Consider these:

  • Do you plan on adding another monitor for your work?
  • What input slots does your graphics card feature?
  • Are you using an integrated card or a dedicated one?
  • Are you going to require an adapter?
  • Does the monitor come with the cables or do you have to purchase them separately?

Monitor Calibration

This might be the last feature, but it’s not the least important. In fact, it is one of the most important elements to consider when it comes to buying a monitor for design work. Being able to calibrate the monitor properly can make a huge difference in the quality of your work and can save you a lot of money. Top-end monitors usually come calibrated, but some come with a tool which will help you to achieve the best color display.

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As someone with a love of rugby, marketing, social media, craft beer brewer and music - I'm delighted to contribute to Tech.co. Follow me @brightoncormac or check out one of our great infographics

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