Buying a monitor for your business is a bit more complicated than buying one for your home PC. Many of the same concerns — quality, resolution, connectivity — apply, but your decision-making process will be a little different. In particular, you’ll want to consider the nature of your work and choose a monitor that provides the best fit.
We cover selecting a laptop display separately, and so this article focuses on external monitors. Many of the technical considerations carry over, with a few differences. We suggest that you check out that article to learn some of the details about display technology. We’ll focus here on the business considerations of purchasing a monitor, which might be done by you if you’re a sole proprietor or work in a small company or by an IT department in a larger organization.
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What is the job function?
What kind of monitor makes sense for a given user depends entirely on the job function that the monitor needs to support. This can vary widely from job to job, and so we’ll consider a few different job types here as examples.
If your job revolves around creative work, such as editing photos or video or creating marketing documents, then there are a few specific factors you’ll want to consider. Chief among them is color support — you’ll want a monitor that provides a wide color gamut, which describes how many colors a monitor can support, and one that is highly color accurate.
There are several color gamuts to consider. If you create web pages, then you’ll want to focus on the sRGB color gamut. If you edit photos, then you’ll want a monitor with strong AdobeRGB support. And if you edit video, then you’ll want a monitor that covers a wide range of the DCI-3P color gamut. In many cases, a single high-quality monitor will provide good support for all three gamuts, but that’s not always the case. Some will allow you to select a color profile that’s optimized for one gamut or another, which is a nice feature to have.
The best monitors will provide close to 100% of a color gamut, and again, sometimes all three. In addition, monitors that are optimized for wide color gamuts tend to also have very accurate colors. Color accuracy means that the color that’s displayed on the screen will match what’s intended in the desired output, and is defined by the difference between the two. Measured as DeltaE, the smaller the color accuracy number the better, with anything less than 1.0 considered to be excellent.
One excellent choice for the creative professional is the 27-inch Benq SW271. This isn’t an inexpensive monitor at $1,099, but it provides 100% sRGB, 99% AdobeRGB, and 93% DCI-3P support. The monitor is also very accurate with an average DeltaE of 0.31. As a 4K (3,840 x 2,160) display, it also offers a high resolution to allow for editing large photos and native 4K video.
Less expensive monitors exist that also provide good color support. One example is the $599 Benq SW2700PT, a 27″ monitor with 99% AdobleRGB and 100% sRGB support and a 2K (2,560 x 1,440) resolution. You’ll likely end up spending this much money or more to get a monitor with truly superior color support, but the investment is worth it.
Sales and marketing users
If you’re in sales and marketing, then chances are you’re going to be working with large spreadsheets to track sales, expenses, and other numerical data. You’re likely not as worried about color support, but you’ll want a display that can show off a lot of spreadsheet columns.
Often used by gamers, widescreen displays can work wonders for showing off all that data. The $380 MSI MAG342CQRV 34″ display is just such a display, with a curve that wraps around and immerses you in the image and avoids any distortion at the edges. It’s a 3,440 x 1,440 resolution panel, meaning it can display copious amounts of information.
Another option is a 4K display, which will also let you show lots of information on the screen at once. A good option is the $430 LG 27BL85U-W, a 27-inch 4K display that also supports USB-C for direct connection to a modern laptop — a boon for sales reps on the go.
For other employees, a more basic monitor might suffice. We suggest that you start at 24-inch monitors and at least Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) resolution. The $150 LG 24BK430H-B is a solid option with a 24-inch panel and Full HD resolution. For a larger display, Dell’s $240 P2719H is a 27-inch Full HD monitor with an anti-glare screen to avoid reflections from overhead lighting.
Not everyone’s needs are as basic. Admin staff might also deal with large amounts of information and so a 4K or widescreen option like those recommended above might be necessary. What’s important is to evaluate each user’s needs to determine the right monitor, and of course to fit the best option into the available budget.
There are other factors to consider when buying a monitor for business. For example, you might want a model that incorporates a hub or USB connections for connecting other peripherals. As mentioned earlier, a display that connects via USB-C can be a real benefit for anyone who needs to connect and disconnect a laptop as they head into and out of the office.
Yet another option to consider is whether a monitor includes built-in speakers. That can help avoid the issue of external speakers and stringing wires around the desk to connect everything. Similarly, a monitor with a built-in webcam avoids the need to add a separate device.
We’ve touched on a few of the features and capabilities that you’ll want to consider when purchasing a monitor for business. Again, we suggest that you visit our laptop display article to learn more about specific display technologies. We’ll also stress again that determining the specific needs of individual users — or types of users, in larger organizations — is key to finding just the right monitor to allow for efficient and comfortable productivity.
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