What to look for in a budget-priced display

It’s easy to get caught up in the hype about the latest 30in feature-loaded IPS monitors but they are just never going to fit into a bargain build. Fortunately there are a lot of great budget-focused monitors around. Almost all use TN panels and until recently CCFL backlights. The new wave of LED backlit monitors are steadily dropping in price and even offer the potential to save a little money on your power bill.
An informal survey of available budget monitors puts the sweet spot between 23in and 24in. This includes a whole range of 23.6in monitors. Until recently the best bang for buck LCDs were all 22in but it’s surprising how much things have improved. Of course there are also plenty of 22in monitors kicking about that offer exceptional value for money but it’s hard to resist that slightly bigger screen.

You might have noticed that most affordable screens now run 1920 x 1080 resolutions. This lets manufacturers reduce prices by using the same panel in small TVs and computer monitors. The 16:9 ratio is still great on your PC for gaming or surfing the net and has the added benefit of better suiting many wide-screen movies and TV shows. While it’s tempting to shell out for the latest model LCD the real savings are found in the slightly older stock. While there are some CCFL-based monitors on shelves for bargain prices it’s still worth getting an LED backlit model if you can.

While we say this all the time it’s worth noting that you should always shop around online for the best price. Web sites such as staticice.com.au and shopbot.com.au will let you find the best deal. Watch out for shipping costs as sometimes that super cheap but far away hardware isn’t such great value by the time it gets to your door.