This sponsored post is produced in association with LG.

If you’re reading this, it might be a long time since you last bought an LCD monitor. Anecdotally, good monitors last four to five years, but most desktop computers, which typically have the same lifetime, come with their own monitors.

Nowadays, the market is full of quality monitors with different screen sizes, resolutions, and connections. There are plenty of options out there, but some are better for you depending on what you’ll be doing on your computer. This guide tells you what to know when purchasing a monitor that will meet your personal, professional, or somewhere-in-between needs.

If you seek pleasure …

PC gaming and videos are greatly enhanced when using the right monitor. With the right rig, gameplay becomes sharp, enemies become easier to see, and small details become noticeable.

Most gamers say they prefer a screen that’s between 24 and 30 inches, as viewing a screen that’s too big can cause headaches. Screen resolution is another important consideration. Resolutions of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels and up are good choices here, as many high-end graphics cards can handle the added demand.

Response time is also an important factor, as your monitor needs to be able to handle fast-moving images for gaming and movies. Here, you’ll be looking for a monitor that has a response time of five milliseconds and under from black to white, or else these images may appear smudgy on your screen.

If you plan to use your monitor as a home entertainment screen, you’ll want to find a solution that’ll give you many inputs. Monitors that support multiple HDMI, USB 3.0, and headphone output will allow you to simultaneously connect an array of devices to your screen.

If you value price …

The technology inside LCD monitors has greatly changed during the past five years. As a result, if you’re looking for lower-end products for applications such as word processing, you’ll be able to get more bang for your buck.

A 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution is no longer high-end. You should be able to find smaller monitors with this resolution at around $150 to $200. These monitors typically include basic ports, such as DVI, that’ll connect to your desktop computer.

Be careful not to go too cheap, however. Monitor manufacturers tend to give their products warranties that span two to three years after the date of purchase, so be wary of companies that don’t include this guarantee. It’s better to pay slightly more for a warranty than take a chance on a cheaper screen that could die at any time.

If you desire productivity …

Chances are you use multiple monitors to boost your multitasking capabilities, whether you’re writing code, cutting video, or editing photos. Widescreen monitors are becoming more prevalent on the market, giving you a bigger workspace without creating the hassle of setting up many screens.

Professionals will need a screen with high color accuracy, a resolution of 3,440 x 1,440 pixels, and an aspect ratio of 21:9. These settings will enable you to easily and accurately work on your important projects. Ports are also important, and it may be worth having at least one Thunderbolt port, which is quickly being adopted by many video-capturing devices.

The top of the line product at this level will soon be LG’s 34-inch IPS UltraWide QHD monitor, the 34UM95. When the monitor releases on June 2, it’ll be the world’s first 34-inch monitor with an aspect ratio of 21:9. The 34UM95’s display also packs a color depth of more than one billion colors, letting you edit your timeline or photos with ease and precision. Professionals serious about their work should look into this monitor, as it’s one-of-a-kind.

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