Monitor sales have been falling steadily as laptops take the foreground over desktops. But that doesn't mean they're are on their way out. A monitor is sort of an essential buy for any desktop owner, and stand-alone displays can come in handy if you're using your laptop in a multi-screen set-up, or just want a bigger view of things.
We look at all kinds of criteria while testing a monitor, from contrast, colour fidelity and response times to power use, hardware and more. We use equipment like colour sensors, wattmeters, 1000 fps cameras, etc. We also take into account a monitor's display uniformity, input lag and sometimes extra functions like built-in media players and any other neat features a given model might have.
What to look for
Below you'll find all of our monitor reviews. Use the filters on the left to find the right model for you. Or head straight over to our Buyer's Guide to see our pick of the best monitors of the moment.
Screen size is on the up (22" to 27"), quality is improving and prices just keep dropping. And with accurate picture quality, good contrast, connections galore (VGA, HDMI, DVI, audio, USB...) and sky-high resolution (1920 x 1080 Full HD, all the way up to 2560 x 1440 on some 27" models), stand-alone displays have all kinds of advantages over the often low-quality screens used in laptops.
Monitors are built using a variety of types of screen panel. Unfortunately, TN panels are still widely used in many manufacturers' ranges. TN panels make for tight viewing angles and colours that aren't always consistent across the display. Thankfully, IPS and VA panels are starting to appear in most manufacturers' ranges, which greatly improve the picture quality. Monitor-makers are also starting to load their displays with extra functions, such as touch capability, 3D, 120 Hz modes for ghosting-free 2D gaming, position sensors that make sure you're sitting properly, presence sensors and TV tuners.