No monitor in our Ratings had less than Good display quality. Many were Very Good, and one was Excellent. Even a Good score is adequate for many people.
A note to video viewers: Don't expect TV images to look as good as they do on your flat-panel TV. Even the best monitors fell short of most LCD TVs, with blacks that weren't as deep, slight haziness, and some light leakage around the edges of the screens.
Few monitors measure up to the best LCD TVs for viewing from a wide angle. That won't matter for typical computer use. But if you often share your screen with a crowd, say for viewing slide shows or playing games, you may want to pick a model that experiences less image degradation when viewed at an angle. When comparing specs, the bigger the number the better.
Virtually all new LCD displays tilt up or down, for a quick adjustment. For extra flexibility, look for a monitor that lets you adjust the height as well. Such models may also be able to rotate 90 degrees, from landscape to portrait mode, which is especially useful for viewing a larger portion of Web pages or text documents.
Also look for conveniently placed controls that adjust contrast, brightness, and other settings. We prefer a dedicated front-positioned contrast/brightness control.
Some new monitors feature at least one USB port, which can provide convenient connectivity for peripherals if your computer doesn't have many USB ports or if accessing those it has is difficult.
Like laptop displays, LCD monitors are showing up with glossy instead of matte-finish screens. The glossy screen can make dark areas of the image appear deeper and less washed out in bright, ambient light. But it can also reflect light-colored objects in the room like a mirror.
Some antireflective surfaces help minimize this problem. View the screen in bright light before buying, if possible.
Many monitors come with a three-year warranty on parts and labor, but others have only one-year coverage. It's worth looking for the longer coverage, especially if you're purchasing a more expensive model. Another consideration is the manufacturer's defective-pixel policy. Some consider a certain number of stuck, dead or hot pixels acceptable, while others will replace a monitor during the warranty period if it has even a single faulty pixel.