What is a Monitor | What are Different Types of Computer Monitors?

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A computer consists of two kinds of devices, mainly input and output. While input devices include the things through which you provide input and output devices, display the result. Likewise, one of the most popular output devices is the Monitor. Further, the Monitor is an integral part of the computer system that shows us everything we desire, starting from texts to movies. 

You can measure the performance of a monitor based on resolution, aspect ratio, response time, refresh rate parameters. However, with the advancement in the IT field, monitors have evolved to a great extent. Nowadays, different types of monitors are available—for instance, LED, OLED, LCD, and Plasma. Therefore, a lot of people get confused with these terms. If you are one of those, well, you are in the right place. Let’s begin our journey to find out what a monitor is and its different types. 

Table of Contents

What is the Monitor?

All of you are undoubtedly familiar with television [TV]. A monitor is similar to a TV and even looks the same. However, the TV has more functions to perform, and the Monitor has only one, i.e., to display. Nevertheless, nowadays monitors are coming with other features like speakers and webcam, but they cost a lot. 


Now let us look at the working of the Monitor. 

A monitor is connected to the CPU using a VGA 15 pin cable or using a recently introduced HDMI cable. Further, the CPU interacts with the Monitor, and you start seeing what is happening. Also, a monitor helps other input devices to interact with the CPU and you. Because while you type on a keyboard or drag the mouse, the result is usually displayed on the Monitor screen.

While this was just an excerpt about monitors, the working of monitors can be understood better if you continue reading and understand the different types of monitors. 

Different Types of Computer Monitors

At the time of writing this post, there are primarily Cathode Ray Tube [CRT] monitors, Thin Film Transistor [TFT] monitors that include LCD, LED, and QLED. These are the main monitors that in existence, however, CRT is extinct and isn’t used anymore nowadays. To know more about these monitors, keep reading.

Cathode Ray Tube Monitors

Cathode Ray Tube or CRT monitor is the first of their kind. Moreover, they were the first ones one can actually call a monitor. Here’s an image of a CRT monitor. 

CRT(Cathode Ray Tube) Monitor
CRT Monitor

A CRT monitor came into existence in the 1960s; however, the first CRT that was available to the public was made by Sony in 1990. That was the first CRT monitor with HD resolutions. CRT monitors were used earlier when there were no TFT monitors. 

CRT monitors were available in three options, namely monochrome, grayscale, and color. The thirds one was the most popular among the other three. Further, the CRT monitors were heavy and had an aspect ratio of 4:3. Being the only option for computer screens, they lasted for decades, and you can even find one in the field of military and medical.

Moreover, they used a VGA cable with a 15 pin connecter that was again evolved into something we will discuss in the next section. Nevertheless, they used to consume vast amounts of electricity that consecutively increased users’ electricity bill, thus making it a bad option for household computing. 

Plasma Monitors

A plasma monitor, though old, was a lot better than a CRT monitor. In fact, it was the best of both worlds. In a plasma monitor, the screen is illuminated by tiny bits of plasma and charged gases, just like a neon light. Further, plasma monitors are thinner in comparison to CRT.

Plasma Monitors
Plasma Monitor

As mentioned earlier, being the best of both worlds, the Plasma monitor consists of a Flat screen display different from a curved CRT, while the plasma or gas charges illuminating the screen made viewing from the side more comfortable. A point to note is, you cannot see LCD screens from the side, but in plasma, you can. 

Moreover, plasma monitors were available in different sizes that ranged up to 60 inches which made them the best family movie watching experience even while sitting on a computer. 

LCD Monitors

The CRT monitors were replaced by LCDs. Earlier, they had some performance issues regarding response time, but as time passed, the issue got resolved, and the LCD monitors got huge fan followed and were able to attract a lot of customers. 

LCD means liquid crystal display as the name suggests; the crystal molecules are placed in between two electrodes. The amount of electrical charge applied to the electrode decided the amount of light that can pass through it, creating a seamless display.

LCD(Liquid Crystal Display) Monitor
LCD Monitor

Moreover, the LCD monitors required a backlight for illuminating the image that one can see. Interestingly, that backlighting technology has evolved much more than one can even think of.

When introduced, LCD monitors used Cold Compact Fluorescent Lamps or CCFL. As a result, the transformer that stepped up the voltage for powering them was unreliable. At last, they were replaced with LEDs, and this gave birth to the new LED monitors that changed everything. 

Nevertheless, LCD monitors were cheap on the pocket as they used to consume less electricity and were light to carry. Best of all, LCD monitors can be turned and titled according to your need because they were slim. 

LED Monitors

LED or Light Emitting Diode is the latest innovation from monitor manufacturers. Besides this, they are also a competition for LCD and Plasma screens. However, LED monitors don’t contain LEDs in actuality, but they use LEDs for backlighting the screen instead of CFL that is used in LCD. 

LED(Light Emitting Diode) Monitor
LED Monitor

Typically LED monitors are LCD in disguise with a source of backlighting other than CCFL. LED monitors can be found in different styles like curved and flat-screen. LED monitors can display high-resolution images and is beautiful to look at. Moreover, the LED screen is also flicker-free making a more pleasant user experience.

Nonetheless, LED monitors are relatively expensive than LCD monitors. But good things come at a cost, so if you are in search of a great monitor that can last long, consider buying a LED unit. LEDs are extensively used by gaming enthusiasts for playing high graphics and High Definition games.

OLED Monitors

Organic Light Emitting Diode, also known as OLED, is the darling of monitors. Above all, it is made using organic materials like carbon and polymers that convert electric current into light. Moreover, monitors using OLED panels are the best to look at and provide a true-to-life experience.

OLED(Organic Light Emitting Diode) Monitor
OLED Monitor

Not to forget, OLED monitors are the latest in the market and hence cost a hefty amount. However, that price is justified once you start looking at it. No one can ignore the color, contrast, and vividness of this beauty. 

Professional video editors, photo editors, and filmmakers often use OLED monitors because of their color accuracy. And needless to say, they are a delight during watching movies and TV shows.

The best thing about OLED monitors is that they offer the best viewing angles, faster refresh rates, extremely fast response time, and are perfect for use as gaming monitors. They have higher refresh rates and are available in Full HD to 4K. Some rumors suggest 8K monitors are in development, but now they are out of the question. 

The only dealbreaker for an OLED monitor is its lifespan that is less than other traditional monitors because of their construction using organic LEDs.


Here we have discussed what a monitor is and what are the different kinds of monitors available right now in the market. At the time of writing this post, the best Monitor is an OLED monitor with everything one can ever need, but they offer a short lifespan. On the other hand, LED is the second-best, followed by LCD. If you are out in the market and want to buy any monitor but in short of sufficient funds, you can go with an LED monitor and rest assured. 

Rohit is a software engineer. A pro lover of Technology and tech gadgets. I am a gamer too. Our team is here to help you find the best monitor products to decide which one is best for you.

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