15 Best Monitors Under $400 – Ultimate Buying Guide 2021

15 Best Monitors Under $400 – Ultimate Buying Guide

Many shoppers online like to save as much money as possible and have a specific budget in mind, and we honestly get it. The most common price buyers allocate for a new monitor is around 400 dollars. Thankfully, you can actually get a lot for you money when purchasing a monitor under 400 dollars nowadays.

What Can You Get With a Monitor Under 400 Dollars?

Screen Size

Monitors under 400 dollars typically have a 19 inch to 32 inch screen, with the majority being 24 inches. 24 inch monitors are currently the best selling size of all monitors, compared to every size at every price. 27 inch displays are also very popular, since they provide a larger screen to work with while still not taking up too much space. 32 inch monitors are quickly gaining in popularity, and literally could be the next standard at any time.

Resolution

Most monitors under 400 dollars have a 1920 x 1080, Full HD (FHD) screen resolution. FHD works perfectly with the 19 to 27 inch screen range, because the pixels are not as widely distributed, and produce a sharper more detailed image. If you’re looking for a 32 inch display, you should get a monitor with a QHD (2560 x 1440) or 4K (3840 x 2160) screen resolution.

Refresh Rate & Response Time

Refresh rates and response times are key factors for display imaging speed and for games. Most of the monitors under 400 dollars come with a 60Hz refresh rate and a 5ms response time. This will get the job done for most of your daily tasks and standard gaming. There are some monitors with higher specs, that can range from a 75Hz to 240Hz refresh rate.

Display Technology

The best monitors under 400 dollars mostly utilize IPS technology. IPS or In-Plane Switching displays, are more vibrant in color and have increased viewing angles compared to TN panels. TN panels appear to be dull when viewed from sides, while IPS displays do not fade.

Best Monitor Under 400 Dollars 2021 – Quick List

  1. LG 32GK650F-B – Best Overall
  2. Dell S2719DGF – Best Adjustability
  3. HP 27f – Best Budget 27 Inch
  4. LG 27GL83A-B – Best 2K (1440p) Gaming
  5. BenQ EX2780Q – Best with Speakers
  6. Samsung S27R650FDN – Best for Work
  7. ASUS VG289Q – Best 4K Gaming
  8. Sceptre C275B-144R – Best Budget Gaming
  9. Acer Predator XB253Q – Best 240Hz Gaming
  10. Dell U2520DR Best Color Coverage
  11. ViewSonic VG2755 Best for Photo Editing
  12. LG 32UD60-B Best 4K 32 Inch
  13. Acer Nitro XV340CK Best Ultrawide
  14. LG 27UL500-W – Best 4K 27 Inch
  15. AOC CQ32G1 – Best Curved Gaming

Best Monitor Under 400 Dollars 2021 – Reviews

1. LG 32GK650F-B – Best Overall

Best Monitor Under 400 Dollars 2021 (Best Overall)

The LG 32GK650F-B exceeds expectations for a $400 budget. It may be categorized as a gaming monitor, but this LG monitor can literally do it all. From streaming your favorite movies and tv shows, browsing the web, reading and writing emails, creating spreadsheets, to gaming and more.

The LG 32GK650F-B packs a 1440p resolution with a 144 Hz refresh rate, so it falls into that golden zone for modern gaming. But on top of that, it uses VA technology which is popular with gamers and perhaps the best for this type of display.

It also has FreeSync support with low framerate compensation and it’s compatible with Nvidia GPUs. Some of the absolute cheapest monitors with these specs do not include adaptive sync, so having it here is not only welcome but a requirement for any modern gaming display.

Crucially, it’s also flat, which will please the curved display haters.

The LG’s QHD resolution of 2560×1440 will enable you to see every microscopic detail. Not only is your entertainment enhanced, but photo and video editing will be raised up a significant notch as well. You may never want to leave your pc.

What tops it all off is the massive 32 inch display. Your movies and games will be bigger and better, and you can also get more work done with multiple windows open simultaneously. It’s a game changer.


2. Dell S2719DGF – Best Adjustability

Best Monitor Under 400 Dollars 2021 (Best Adjustability)

Dell S2719DGF is a strong contender to our #1 pick. It has very similar specs with the exception of a smaller screen of 27 inches. That more compact size may be just what some people are looking for. It also has a highly adjustable stand that allows you to adjust the height, tilt, swivel, and pivot from landscape to a vertical, portrait mode.

It won’t produce the contrast of a VA panel, like the LG. But otherwise, it is the best 2k monitor for gaming at 155Hz, especially with video cards that support FreeSync.

Similar to the LG, the Dell S2719DGF is incredibly versatile. Even though it takes gaming to another level, it can also elevate your productivity tasks as well.

As mentioned, many pc users prefer a 27 inch display. It’s larger than the current standard of 24 inches. The substantial screen provides plenty of space for multitasking in several windows. And you get an even clearer image with the QHD resolution packed into a smaller frame.

This is a very popular monitor, and it’s price may fluctuate and go somewhat under or over $400, but it’s worth it either way.


3. HP 27f – Best Budget 27 Inch

Best Monitor Under 400 Dollars 2021 (Best Budget 27 Inch)

The HP27f is a standard, no frills monitor, that still delivers a great picture and good performance. The HP 27f measures 27 inches and works on the IPS module that is viewable at every angle. Gamers will be satisfied with the low input lag. Those who use AMD will have the additional bonus of FreeSync support.

The 1080p resolution is standard, and provides enough detail for most pc users. The minimal bezels are definitely useful, especially for a multiple monitor setup. What really makes this monitor stand out though, is when you consider the fairly large screen size of 27 inches combined with a very attractive price tag.


4. LG 27GL83A-B – Best 2K (1440p) Gaming

Best Monitor Under 400 Dollars 2021 (Best 2K (1440p) Gaming)

For the price, you can’t go wrong with the LG 27GL83A-B. You’re getting one of the fastest IPS panels available with a blur-free gaming experience. The 2K, 1440p resolution and gorgeous colors ensure you have an immersive experience every time.

If you’re someone who is looking for high resolution gaming, but does not need 4K, this is it. With a 2K resolution monitor, you generally get faster frame rates, depending on your GPU. Who doesn’t want crisp and clear details, with blazing fast speed? You get the best of both worlds.


5. BenQ EX2780Q – Best with Speakers

Best Monitor Under 400 Dollars 2021 (Best with Speakers)

The BenQ EX2780Q is fairly similar to the LG 27GL83A-B, except the BenQ includes built in speakers. It’s the same size at 27 inches, has a 144Hz refresh rate, but the response time is not quite as good as the LG.

The BenQ has a unique feature of a HDRi sensor that optimizes your color, contrast, and image clarity. The sensor can automatically determine the ambient light and adjust the monitor’s screen for optimal performance.

The built in 2.1 channel speakers are pretty darn good for a monitor. It features 2x 2w speakers, a 5w subwoofer, and a DSP (Digital Signal Processor) which allows you to select the best audio mode for your game. It even comes with a remote to control it all.


6. Samsung S27R650FDN – Best for Work

Best Monitor Under 400 Dollars 2021 (Best for Work)

For those that allocate a good amount of hours towards work on their pc and are looking for the best possible deal, the Samsung S27R650FDN is for you.

The ultra minimal bezels on 3 of it’s sides and VESA support make it more than ideal for a dual or even triple monitor setup. You could seamlessly transition from one monitor to another.

The Samsung is 27 inches which is plenty of screen “real estate” to multi-task with various applications.

There’s a good amount of connectivity options including: 1x USB 3.0 B Type, 2x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0, DisplayPort, HDMI, RGB, and Audio & Headphone jacks.

The Samsung S27R650FDN can also physically rotate from landscape to portrait. It’s considerably useful for reading emails, browsing the web, programming, reports, spreadsheets, and more.

What may surprise you, is that with all of it’s bundled features the Samsung S27R650FDN is still very affordable.


7. ASUS VG289Q – Best 4K Gaming

Best Monitor Under 400 Dollars 2021 (Best 4K Gaming)

If you want a 4K gaming monitor with an IPS panel, the ASUS VG289Q is the best option in this price range.

Image quality

This 28″ monitor delivers vivid clarity and detail with its rich pixel density of 157 PPI.

Additionally, it supports 10-bit (8-bit + 2-bit FRC) color depth and 90% DCI-P3 wide color gamut for vibrant, consistent colors. For more accurate color output, you can simply use the provided sRGB emulation mode.

Its stunning colors and 4K UHD resolution make this monitor ideal for creating and consuming content, especially for jobs where color is essential, watching movies, gaming and other multimedia activities.

Characteristics

It supports AMD FreeSync over HDMI and DisplayPort with a VRR range of 40-60Hz, making it ideal for PC and console gaming. The VRR works fine with compatible NVIDIA cards, but your mileage may vary here as the monitor is not certified by NVIDIA as “G-SYNC Compatible”.

Other features include Shadow Boost (which changes the gamma curvature for better visibility of objects in shadow), a customizable reticle, pre-calibrated image presets, and on-screen timers.

HDR is also supported, but with a maximum brightness of 350-bit, it is not quality for VESA’s entry-level HDR support. Anyway, thanks to its wide color gamut, the colors will look a bit nicer on some HDR content, which is actually more than what some VESA HDR400 certified displays offer!

Design and connectivity

You can adjust the screen height up to 150mm, rotate the screen 90 °, tilt -5 ° / 20 °, rotate – / + 62 ° and mount it in VESA ( 100 × 100 mm).

Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports, a single DisplayPort 1.2 input, two integrated 2W speakers, and a headphone jack. The monitor also supports HDCP 2.2, allowing you to watch copy-protected content in native 4K UHD resolution on streaming services such as Netflix.


8. Sceptre C275B-144R – Best Budget Gaming

Best Monitor Under 400 Dollars 2021 (Best Budget Gaming)

If you’re a serious gamer that is looking for a low priced, high quality gaming monitor, look no further.

The Sceptre C275B-144R is currently one of the highest rated & best selling gaming monitors on amazon right now. This is largely because it packs as many features as it can into a display that is now priced under $300.

The Sceptre C275B-144R has a substantial 27 inch curved screen that will definitely pull you into the action. It has a solid 144Hz refresh rate and AMD Freesync to ensure there is no tearing or stuttering gameplay. Just smooth, high paced graphics and motion.

This is another monitor that would be great in a multiple monitor setup. Due to it’s small bezels, VESA compatibility, and low price. It’s a winner.


9. Acer Predator XB253Q – Best 240Hz Gaming

Best Monitor Under 400 Dollars 2021 (Best 240Hz Gaming)

Picture Quality:

The 24.5 inches screen combined with Full-HD resolution can easily give a respectable pixel density of 90 PPI (pixels per inch). It is just right for the text and graphics to appear sharp and easily visible. It is a very distinctive gaming monitor because there are not many monitors in the market with the advantages of having an IPS panel and still able to achieve such right refresh rate and low response time.

Moreover, Acer Predators XB253Q’s IPS panel can offer wide viewing angles of 178°. It means no color shift when gaming or using the monitor at any other viewing angle. If this is not impressive enough, you will definitely love the vivid, accurate, and consistent color produced by its IPS panel which will provide an advantage when gaming. It’s 99% sRGB gamut and 8-bit color depth produces 16.7 million colors which are impressive.

Besides, the panel has a standard contrast ratio of 1000:1 and peak brightness of 400 nits. It is VESA HDR400 certified meaning it can perform screen level local dimming. it increases the dynamic contrast of the screen.

Performance:

The performance of Acer Predators XB253Q is impressive. It is that rare monitor that has the advantages of an IPS panel and still manages to produce a refresh rate of 240 Hz and an amazingly low response time of up to 0.5 ms. The high refresh rates offer a smooth gaming experience and low pixel response time ensures no ghosting or trailing when objects are moving fast while playing games.

Besides, it supports VRR(Variable refresh rate) with AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-SYNC technology. It enables the capability of changing its refresh rate dynamically according to fps, which helps in eliminating screen tearing and stuttering.

What more you can ask. This is the reason it is the best monitor in terms of both performance and image quality. It is the perfect balance that is expected from an ideal gaming monitor.

Design:

The monitor stands on a tripod-like stand which gives a solid base to the monitor. The stand is quite flexible offering a Tilt of -5° to 25°, an overall height adjustment range of 4.7 inches, a swivel range of +/-20°, and a Pivot motion of +/-90°. The look of the monitor is aggressive and surely gives the vibe of a  gaming monitor. The monitor is made of high-quality plastic painted all in black.

The Acer logo is on the left side at the back and also you will find a predator logo on the tip of the stand. It also has accent lines near the top of the stand which adds up to the overall look of the monitor. The bezels around the monitors are very slim which makes it more favorable for a multi-monitor setup. Also, reflection handling is on point all because of its low-haze anti-glare coating on the screen.

To sum up, it is the best gaming monitor you can get at this price point currently. The refresh rate of 240 Hz, Low response time of 0.5 ms, VESA HDR400 certification, and on-point color accuracy and consistency of the IPS panel does it all.


10. Dell U2520DR – Best Color Coverage

Best Monitor Under 400 Dollars 2021 (Best Color Coverage)

Picture Quality:

The Overall picture Quality is the key aspect to look carefully when choosing monitor for photo or video editing, especially color coverage. It is the ability of the panel to display different range of colors. Dell U2520DR’s color coverage is astounding. It is rated 99% sRGB, 99% Rec. 709 and 95% DCI-P3 which is just right for professional editing work.

The 25-inch screen size with a high res QHD display translates to a pixel density of 117.5 PPI (pixels per inch). Meaning clear, easy-to-read text, and sharper graphics.

The monitor’s high-quality IPS panel produces excellent colors and is very consistent. Also, the monitor is calibrated out of the box at 99% sRGB, ▲E < 2 for accurate colors right. The native contrast ratio is quite standard being 1000:1. Peak brightness is 350 nits which is okay unless using the monitor under direct sunlight also because of poor reflection handling. It supports HDR10 which works fine. Nothing extraordinary because of the fact it has an average peak brightness rating and decent black uniformity.

Moreover, the monitor is VESA HDR400 certified, a basic level of VESA HDR ratings. As a result, the monitor can dynamically increase its contrast and color remain consistent and rich even at peak brightness.

Performance:

The Dell U2520DR is a decent performing monitor and that is okay considering it primarily for photo or video editing. You can use it for casual gaming at 60 Hz as it has extremely low input lag and an impressive response time (5 ms).

Design:

The U2520DR is a very sleek and modern looking monitor. It has a black finish in front and grayish at the back. The stand is sturdy, minimalistic, and provides solid support to the monitor. Also, it supports a wide range of movements like swivel (90°), Tilt (-5°/+21°), Rotation (180°), and height adjustment of 5.1 inches. If you want to mount the monitor for some reason, you would be happy to know it has VESA 100 x 100 mm mount.

Overall, Dell’s U2520DR provides solid color accuracy and coverage, a minimalistic and modern design, and a wide range of ports.


11. ViewSonic VG2755 – Best for Photo Editing

Best Monitor Under 400 Dollars 2021 (Best for Photo Editing)

Picture Quality:

Let us start with one of the important aspect for the office monitors that is screen. It has QHD(2560 x 1440) display and 27 inch screen size which delivers enough pixel density for the text to be very clear and crisp. Also, it features wide viewing angles of 178° both H/V. It helps you easily share your screen with colleagues without losing color accuracy and consistency.

Another essential aspect is Flickr handling. It is because it makes long sessions on the monitor easy to the eyes. Fortunately, ViewSonic VG2755 – 2K has Flicker-Free technology and a Blue Light Filter which does the job well. The monitor also has 100% sRGB coverage means it can show a wider range of color than other standard monitors.

Performance:

The performance on ViewSonic VG2755 – 2K is more than enough for office work. Surprisingly, its low response time of 5 ms and low input lag combined with a 60 Hz refresh rate makes it suitable for decent gaming also.

Design:

The monitor stands on a firm rectangular base stand. The stand itself is rectangular shaped and provides strong support to the monitor itself. Its thin and seamless bezels around make it even more suitable for a multi-monitor setup.

The stand is very flexible. It provides a wider range of movements of Tilt: -5° to 40°, Height Adjustment Range: 130 mm, Swivel: 120°,  and Pivot: +/-90°. It can be adjusted accordingly whether you are sitting on the desk or standing at times.

In conclusion, 27-inch QHD display, wide viewing angles, modern look, and flexible adjustments of ViewSonic VG2755 – 2K makes it a perfect monitor for office under $400 in 2020.


12. LG 32UD60-B – Best 4K 32 Inch

Best Monitor Under 400 Dollars 2021 (Best 4K 32 Inch)

Picture Quality:

LG 32UD59-B’s 4k 32″ screen is best suitable for viewing movies or streaming online. It can produce deep blacks-perfect when watching movies in the darkroom. It has a contrast ratio of about 3000:1 which is about 3 times higher than other LED LCD panels. Also, the monitor has wider color coverage meaning it can show a wide variety of colors and hence improves color accuracy.

Moreover, color reproduction on this monitor is in its league of its own. Once calibrated, it delivers excellent color reproduction. However, the two disadvantages of this monitor are one, its poor viewing angles. Eventually, the color accuracy and brightness as viewing from side decreases notably. Another disadvantage is its lower peak brightness. It is only problematic if you are using it in a very bright room or under direct sunlight.

Otherwise, it is a very impressive monitor for movies or streaming and gives an immersive viewing experience

Performance:

An important aspect many people might be sensitive to is flicker. It is important, especially when looking at monitors for longer times like in gaming or movies. Thankfully, it has no signs of visible flicker. Talking about other factors, it has a very impressive pixel response time of 4ms, which is fast than most other monitors. It also supports AMD FreeSync technology which matches fps to screen refresh rate in the range of 48 to 60 Hz. It can eliminate screen tearing or stuttering in that limited range.

Design:

Nothing too extraordinary in the looks of the monitor. The monitor is made of high-quality plastic. It has this matte black color coating. The bezels around the monitor are okay. Not too thin nor too thick either.

The stand of the monitor is solid and doesn’t let this huge monitor wobble too much. It is also painted in a matte black color similar to the monitor. However, it is slightly disappointing that the ergonomic options are limited. It only supports height adjustment (120 mm) and Tilt (-5° to 40°). But, you can mount it on VESA 100 x 100 mount.

To summarize, it is a very well suited monitor for movies in this budget. It has deep blacks, a wider color gamut, rich color reproduction, high res, and a huge display which says it all.


13. Acer Nitro XV340CK – Best Ultrawide

Best Monitor Under 400 Dollars 2021 (Best Ultrawide)

Acer Nitro XV340CK is a monitor that does not excel at all the criteria like gaming, editing, or watching movies in particular. Rather it is a monitor that combines the characteristics of all other monitors into one at a moderate level. This makes it the best monitors under 400 overall.

Picture Quality:

Acer XV340CK’s 3440×1440 resolution, 34-inch huge screen translates to a pixel density of about 110 PPI (pixels per inch). This makes everything sharper and immersive whether it is high res gaming, or QHD movie watching experience, or editing photos or videos.

It has an IPS panel which means colors are accurate, consistent, and vivid. Color coverage on this monitor is pretty decent, with 99% sRGB coverage it has enough variety of color. It has a true color depth of 8 bit producing 16.7 million colors.  It supports HDR10 which will provide a more dynamic range, bright, and vibrant colors. The viewing angles are great on this monitor. No distortion visible even though it has a flat ultrawide display.

Moreover, the Acer XV340CK has a peak brightness of 250 nits. It is okay for normal conditions, unless in very bright rooms or under direct sunlight as glare would overcome the screen visibility. Also, you might see some backlight bleeding. It is normal with IPS panel and the bleed is not bothering.

Overall it is a good viewing experience on this ultrawide monitor.

Performance:

The Acer XV340CK delivers a very low pixel response time of 1 ms with VRB(Visual Response Boost ) enabled and a lower input lag of about 5 ms. That is extraordinary and improves overall gaming performance.

It packs FreeSync support, which improves gaming performance by eliminating screen tearing and stuttering. FreeSync changes the refresh rate of the monitor on the go to match the fps without compromising much of the input lag.

The AMD FreeSynch works in the range of 48-144Hz. If fps goes below 48, the frames rates are multiplied to give you smoother performance. This is cool. Although Acer XV340CK does not support G-Sync automatically, it can be enabled manually.

Design:

The monitor stands on a circular based stand which provides firm support to this huge ultrawide monitor with minimal wobble. The stands look standard and it is painted black. The stand only offers -5°/35° tilt adjustments. Thankfully, it is VESA compatible mount.

Moving on to the monitor itself, it looks nice overall. It has thinner look with super-thin bezels all around except for than big chin. Both monitor and stand are made of high-quality plastic material and doesn’t feel cheap.

Connectivity options on Acer XV340CK includes 2 x HDMI 2.0 ports, 2 x DisplayPort 1.4, a headphones jack, 3 x USB 3.0 (1 upstream and 2 down), and a dual 3W integrated speakers.


14. LG 27UL500-W – Best 4K 27 Inch

Best Monitor Under 400 Dollars 2021 (Best 4K 27 Inch )

If you’re after a 4K display, the LG 27UL500 is the best IPS monitor under $400. Keep in mind that it only costs less than $350 when on sale. In case it doesn’t, we recommend the Philips 276E8VJSB as an alternative, although it does not support some features such as compatibility with FreeSync , HDR, or VESA mounts .

We highly recommend saving an additional ~ $70 for the ASUS VG289Q with a wide color gamut, HDR, FreeSync, and fully adjustable stand as the best budget 4K IPS monitor.

Image quality

4K Ultra HD resolution delivers incredible picture quality with maximum detail. The LG 27UL500 is equipped with an IPS panel with 10-bit color support (8-bit + FRC ), 1000: 1 contrast ratio, 300-bit maximum brightness and color space coverage Factory calibrated 98% sRGB .

So not only will the image be crisp and vivid, but it will have vibrant and crisp colors suitable for budding designers.

Unfortunately, PC gaming in 4K is quite demanding, so you need to have a powerful computer or lower the picture settings in some games. A good thing is that due to the high resolution, you won’t need to use anti-aliasing , which will help you improve frame rate performance.

As the LG 27UL500 supports FreeSync, the monitor is better suited for RX Vega 56/64 and Radeon VII cards, as the variable refresh rate can also greatly contribute to performance, although the dynamic refresh rate range is only 40Hz. -60Hz. Other functions such as black stabilizer and dynamic action synchronization are also available.

The display also supports HDR (High Dynamic Range). However, if it can accept HDR signal and display it, it lacks display capabilities like wider color gamut, higher contrast and higher brightness to actually improve the quality of the video, picture. So the HDR image will look washed out most of the time.

This software support for HDR doesn’t really impact the price of the monitor, so it’s more of a gimmick bonus feature than a real reason to buy this display.

Scaling

As the LG 27UL500 is 27″ in size, the 4K resolution will result in a very high pixel density of around 163 PPI. So everything will be tiny, and you’ll have to scale everything to make the text readable.

Unfortunately, some applications (including some video games) are not to scale, although this is mostly the case with outdated software.

Design and connectivity

The LG 27UL500 4K monitor has a fairly thick frame and is compatible with VESA mounts, but only tilted. Connectivity includes two HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2 ports. FreeSync is supported on both DisplayPort and HDMI ports with a range of 40-60Hz. With NVIDIA cards, however, G-SYNC seems to only work in the basic FreeSync range which is 48-60Hz.


15. AOC CQ32G1 – Best Curved Gaming

Best Monitor Under 400 Dollars 2021 (Best Curved Gaming)

Want a large 32″ gaming monitor? The AOC CQ32G1 offers exceptional value for money. Note that there is no 32″ 1440p 144Hz model with TN or IPS models, so you’ll have to settle for a VA display if you want a 32″ display.

Image quality

Now, since the 2560 × 1440 resolution is displayed on a larger screen in this case, you won’t have as much space and detail as on a 27″ 1440p monitor.

However, you get a bigger screen which can make the gaming experience more immersive for some users. Keep in mind that a 32″ monitor is large enough and you will need to sit a little further away from the screen.

Other specs related to the display include a 3,000: 1 contrast ratio, 300-bit peak brightness, and a color gamut of around 125% sRGB.

Although the colors of the CQ32G1 are not as precise and consistent as those of the IPS panels, they are rich and vivid, much better than those of any TN model.

The monitor’s 3,000: 1 static contrast ratio results in deep blacks as well as a more vivid relationship between darker and lighter tones.

Alas, when pixels need to switch between colors, they can’t quite keep up with the refresh rate of the monitor. This results in visible drag from fast moving objects, especially noticeable in dark scenes where dark pixels are involved.

Some people can tolerate this phenomenon because in return you get excellent picture quality, but others, who play fast games in competition, will not be able to stand it.

So if you are a casual gamer this shouldn’t be a problem.

Features

The AOC CQ32G1 monitor features motion blur reduction technology which can be activated by setting the Overdrive parameter to “Boost”.

You can also adjust the frequency of the backlight strobes via the “MBR” parameter. This can go a long way in eliminating motion blur, but this feature cannot be enabled at the same time as FreeSync.

FreeSync is supported on both HDMI and DP with 48-144Hz dynamic refresh rate range with stable G-SYNC performance.

Plus, you’ll find pre-calibrated picture presets (FPS, RTS, Racing, and three customizable player profiles) as well as Shadow Control and Game Control for gamma / saturation adjustments.

Design and connectivity

The AOC CQ32G1 has a tilt mount only but it can be mounted to a third party mount via the VESA 100x100mm model. On the back of the monitor you will find HDMI 1.4, HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2 inputs as well as an audio jack. The HDMI 1.4 port is limited to 75Hz at 1440p.

Alternatives

The AOC CQ32G1 is the best 32″ 1440p 144Hz gaming monitor you can get for under $400. If you want a similar monitor but with a flat screen instead, check out the LG 32GK650F.

If you are looking for a 27″ 1440p 144Hz gaming monitor with a VA panel, check out the detailed overview of the AOC CQ27G1 which is essentially a 27″ variant of the CQ32G1. It has an ergonomic design and costs only 250 dollars.

You can also get a 27″ 1440p 144Hz VA gaming monitor with a flat screen, the MSI MAG272QR .

Finally, if you want a good HDR gaming monitor, consider investing a little over $400 for the Samsung CHG70 with DisplayHDR 600, which means localized dimming, a wide color gamut, and a peak brightness of 600 bits for HDR content.


Best Monitor Under 400 Dollars – Honorable Mentions


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Originally, computer monitors were used for data processing while television sets were used for entertainment.

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From the 1980s onwards, computers (and their monitors) have been used for both data processing and entertainment, while televisions have implemented some computer functionality. The common aspect ratio of televisions, and computer monitors, has changed from 4:3 to 16:10, to 16:9.

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Modern computer monitors are easily interchangeable with conventional television sets and viceversa. However, as computer monitors do not necessarily include integrated speakers nor TV tuners (such as Digital television adapters), it may not be possible to use a computer monitor as a TV set without external components.[1]

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Early electronic computers were fitted with a panel of light bulbs where the state of each particular bulb would indicate the on/off state of a particular register bit inside the computer.

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This allowed the engineers operating the computer to monitor the internal state of the machine, so this panel of lights came to be known as the ‘monitor’.

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As early monitors were only capable of displaying a very limited amount of information and were very transient, they were rarely considered for program output. Instead, a line printer was the primary output device, while the monitor was limited to keeping track of the program’s operation.[2]

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As technology developed engineers realized that the output of a CRT display was more flexible than a panel of light bulbs and eventually, by giving control of what was displayed in the program itself, the monitor itself became a powerful output device in its own right.[citation needed]

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Computer monitors were formerly known as visual display units (VDU), but this term had mostly fallen out of use by the 1990s.

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Technologies[edit]

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Further information: Comparison of CRT, LCD, Plasma, and OLED and History of display technology

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Multiple technologies have been used for computer monitors. Until the 21st century most used cathode ray tubes but they have largely been superseded by LCD monitors.

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Cathode ray tube[edit]

Main article: Cathode ray tube

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The first computer monitors used cathode ray tubes (CRTs). Prior to the advent of home computers in the late 1970s, it was common for a video display terminal (VDT) using a CRT to be physically integrated with a keyboard and other components of the system in a single large chassis.

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The display was monochrome and far less sharp and detailed than on a modern flat-panel monitor, necessitating the use of relatively large text and severely limiting the amount of information that could be displayed at one time.

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High-resolution CRT displays were developed for the specialized military, industrial and scientific applications but they were far too costly for general use.

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Some of the earliest home computers (such as the TRS-80 and Commodore PET) were limited to monochrome CRT displays, but color display capability was already a standard feature of the pioneering Apple II, introduced in 1977, and the specialty of the more graphically sophisticated Atari 800, introduced in 1979.

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Either computer could be connected to the antenna terminals of an ordinary color TV set or used with a purpose-made CRT color monitor for optimum resolution and color quality.

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Lagging several years behind, in 1981 IBM introduced the Color Graphics Adapter, which could display four colors with a resolution of 320 x 200 pixels, or it could produce 640 x 200 pixels with two colors.

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In 1984 IBM introduced the Enhanced Graphics Adapter which was capable of producing 16 colors and had a resolution of 640 x 350.[3]

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By the end of the 1980s color CRT monitors that could clearly display 1024 x 768 pixels were widely available and increasingly affordable. During the following decade, maximum display resolutions gradually increased and prices continued to fall.

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CRT technology remained dominant in the PC monitor market into the new millennium partly because it was cheaper to produce and offered to view angles close to 180 degrees.[4] 

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CRTs still offer some image quality advantages[clarification needed] over LCDs but improvements to the latter have made them much less obvious.

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The dynamic range of early LCD panels was very poor, and although text and other motionless graphics were sharper than on a CRT, an LCD characteristic known as pixel lag caused moving graphics to appear noticeably smeared and blurry.

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Liquid crystal display[edit]

Main articles: Liquid-crystal display and Thin-film-transistor liquid-crystal display

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There are multiple technologies that have been used to implement liquid crystal displays (LCD). Throughout the 1990s, the primary use of LCD technology as computer monitors was in laptops where the lower power consumption, lighter weight, and smaller physical size of LCDs justified the higher price versus a CRT.

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Commonly, the same laptop would be offered with an assortment of display options at increasing price points: (active or passive) monochrome, passive color, or active matrix color (TFT). As volume and manufacturing capability have improved, the monochrome and passive color technologies were dropped from most product lines.

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TFT-LCD is a variant of LCD which is now the dominant technology used for computer monitors.[5]

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The first standalone LCDs appeared in the mid-1990s selling for high prices. As prices declined over a period of years they became more popular, and by 1997 were competing with CRT monitors.

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Among the first desktop LCD computer monitors was the Eizo L66 in the mid-1990s, the Apple Studio Display in 1998, and the Apple Cinema Display in 1999. In 2003, TFT-LCDs outsold CRTs for the first time, becoming the primary technology used for computer monitors.[4] 

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The main advantages of LCDs over CRT displays are that LCDs consume less power, take up much less space, and are considerably lighter. The now common active matrix TFT-LCD technology also has less flickering than CRTs, which reduces eye strain.[6] 

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On the other hand, CRT monitors have superior contrast, have a superior response time, are able to use multiple screen resolutions natively, and there is no discernible flicker if the refresh rate[7] is set to a sufficiently high value. LCD monitors have now very high temporal accuracy and can be used for vision research.[8]

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High dynamic range (HDR)[7] has been implemented into high-end LCD monitors to improve color accuracy. Since around the late 2000s, widescreen LCD monitors have become popular.

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In part due to television seriesmotion pictures and video games transitioning to high-definition (HD), which makes standard-width monitors unable to display them correctly as they either stretch or crop HD content.

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These types of monitors may also display it in the proper width, however they usually fill the extra space at the top and bottom of the image with black bars.

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Other advantages of widescreen monitors over standard-width monitors is that they make work more productive by displaying more of a user’s documents and images, and allow displaying toolbars with documents.

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They also have a larger viewing area, with a typical widescreen monitor having a 16:9 aspect ratio, compared to the 4:3 aspect ratio of a typical standard-width monitor.

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Main article: Organic light-emitting diode

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Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) monitors provide higher contrast and better viewing angles than LCDs but they require more power when displaying documents with white or bright backgrounds and have a severe problem known as burn-in. They are less common than LCD monitors and are often more expensive.

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Measurements of performance[edit]

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The performance of a monitor is measured by the following parameters:

  • Luminance is measured in candelas per square meter (cd/m2 also called a Nit).
  • Color depth is measured in bits per primary color or bits for all colors.
  • Gamut is measured as coordinates in the CIE 1931 color space. The names sRGB or Adobe RGB are shorthand notations.
  • Aspect ratio is the ratio of the horizontal length to the vertical length. Monitors usually have the aspect ratio 4:35:416:10 or 16:9.
  • Viewable image size is usually measured diagonally, but the actual widths and heights are more informative since they are not affected by the aspect ratio in the same way. For CRTs, the viewable size is typically 1 in (25 mm) smaller than the tube itself.
  • Display resolution is the number of distinct pixels in each dimension that can be displayed. For a given display size, maximum resolution is limited by dot pitch.
  • Dot pitch is the distance between sub-pixels of the same color in millimeters. In general, the smaller the dot pitch, the sharper the picture will appear.
  • Refresh rate is the number of times in a second that a display is illuminated. Maximum refresh rate is limited by response time.
  • Response time is the time a pixel in a monitor takes to go from active (white) to inactive (black) and back to active (white) again, measured in milliseconds. Lower numbers mean faster transitions and therefore fewer visible image artifacts.
  • Contrast ratio is the ratio of the luminosity of the brightest color (white) to that of the darkest color (black) that the monitor is capable of producing.
  • Power consumption is measured in watts.
  • Delta-E: Color accuracy is measured in delta-E; the lower the delta-E, the more accurate the color representation. A delta-E of below 1 is imperceptible to the human eye. Delta-Es of 2 to 4 are considered good and require a sensitive eye to spot the difference.
  • Viewing angle is the maximum angle at which images on the monitor can be viewed, without excessive degradation to the image. It is measured in degrees horizontally and vertically.

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Main article: Display size

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The area, height and width of displays with identical diagonal measurements vary dependent on aspect ratio.

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On two-dimensional display devices such as computer monitors the display size or view able image size is the actual amount of screen space that is available to display a picturevideo or working space, without obstruction from the case or other aspects of the unit’s design.

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The main measurements for display devices are: width, height, total area and the diagonal.

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The size of a display is usually by monitor manufacturers given by the diagonal, i.e. the distance between two opposite screen corners. This method of measurement is inherited from the method used for the first generation of CRT television, when picture tubes with circular faces were in common use.

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Being circular, it was the external diameter of the glass envelope that described their size. Since these circular tubes were used to display rectangular images, the diagonal measurement of the rectangular image was smaller than the diameter of the tube’s face (due to the thickness of the glass).

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This method continued even when cathode ray tubes were manufactured as rounded rectangles; it had the advantage of being a single number specifying the size, and was not confusing when the aspect ratio was universally 4:3.

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With the introduction of flat panel technology, the diagonal measurement became the actual diagonal of the visible display. This meant that an eighteen-inch LCD had a larger visible area than an eighteen-inch cathode ray tube.

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The estimation of the monitor size by the distance between opposite corners does not take into account the display aspect ratio, so that for example a 16:9 21-inch (53 cm) widescreen display has less area, than a 21-inch (53 cm) 4:3 screen.

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The 4:3 screen has dimensions of 16.8 in × 12.6 in (43 cm × 32 cm) and area 211 sq in (1,360 cm2), while the widescreen is 18.3 in × 10.3 in (46 cm × 26 cm), 188 sq in (1,210 cm2).

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Main article: Display aspect ratio

Until about 2003, most computer monitors had a 4:3 aspect ratio and some had 5:4. Between 2003 and 2006, monitors with 16:9 and mostly 16:10 (8:5) aspect ratios became commonly available, first in laptops and later also in standalone monitors.

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Reasons for this transition was productive uses for such monitors, i.e. besides widescreen computer game play and movie viewing, are the word processor display of two standard letter pages side by side, as well as CAD displays of large-size drawings and CAD application menus at the same time.[9][10] 

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In 2008 16:10 became the most common sold aspect ratio for LCD monitors and the same year 16:10 was the mainstream standard for laptops and notebook computers.[11]

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In 2010 the computer industry started to move over from 16:10 to 16:9 because 16:9 was chosen to be the standard high-definition television display size, and because they were cheaper to manufacture.

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In 2011 non-widescreen displays with 4:3 aspect ratios were only being manufactured in small quantities.

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According to Samsung this was because the “Demand for the old ‘Square monitors’ has decreased rapidly over the last couple of years,” and “I predict that by the end of 2011, production on all 4:3 or similar panels will be halted due to a lack of demand.”[12]

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Main article: Display resolution

The resolution for computer monitors has increased over time. From 320×200 during the early 1980s, to 1024×768 during the late 1990s. Since 2009, the most commonly sold resolution for computer monitors is 1920×1080.[13]

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 Before 2013 top-end consumer LCD monitors were limited to 2560×1600 at 30 in (76 cm), excluding Apple products and CRT monitors. Apple introduced 2880×1800 with Retina MacBook Pro at 15.4 in (39 cm) on June 12, 2012, and introduced a 5120×2880 Retina iMac at 27 in (69 cm) on October 16, 2014. By 2015 most major display manufacturers had released 3840×2160 resolution displays.

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Main article: Gamut

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Every RGB monitor has its own color gamut, bounded in chromaticity by a color triangle. Some of these triangles are smaller than the sRGB triangle, some are larger. Colors are typically encoded by 8 bits per primary color.

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The RGB value [255, 0, 0] represents red, but slightly different colors in different color spaces such as AdobeRGB and sRGB. Displaying sRGB-encoded data on wide-gamut devices can give an unrealistic result.[14] 

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The gamut is a property of the monitor; the image color space can be forwarded as Exif metadata in the picture. As long as the monitor gamut is wider than the color space gamut, correct display is possible, if the monitor is calibrated.

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A picture that uses colors that are outside the sRGB color space will display on an sRGB color space monitor with limitations.[15] Still today, many monitors that can display the sRGB color space are not factory adjusted to display it correctly.

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 Color management is needed both in electronic publishing (via the Internet for display in browsers) and in desktop publishing targeted to print.

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Additional features[edit]

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Most modern monitors will switch to a power-saving mode if no video-input signal is received. This allows modern operating systems to turn off a monitor after a specified period of inactivity.

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This also extends the monitor’s service life. Some monitors will also switch themselves off after a time period on standby.

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Most modern laptops provide a method of screen dimming after periods of inactivity or when the battery is in use. This extends battery life and reduces wear.

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Many monitors have other accessories (or connections for them) integrated. This places standard ports within easy reach and eliminates the need for another separate hubcameramicrophone, or set of speakers.

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These monitors have advanced microprocessors which contain codec information, Windows Interface drivers and other small software which help in proper functioning of these functions.

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Main article: Glossy display

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Some displays, especially newer LCD monitors, replace the traditional anti-glare matte finish with a glossy one. This increases color saturation and sharpness but reflections from lights and windows are very visible. Anti-reflective coatings are sometimes applied to help reduce reflections, although this only mitigates the effect.

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In about 2009, NEC/Alienware together with Ostendo Technologies (based in Carlsbad, CA) were offering a curved (concave) 43-inch (110 cm) monitor that allows better viewing angles near the edges, covering 75% of peripheral vision in the horizontal direction.

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This monitor had 2880×900 resolution, LED backlight and was marketed as suitable both for gaming and office work, while for $6499 it was rather expensive.[16] While this particular monitor is no longer in production, most PC manufacturers now offer some sort of curved desktop display.

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Narrow viewing angle screens are used in some security conscious applications.

3D[edit]

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See also: Active shutter 3D systemPolarized 3D system, and Autostereoscopy

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Newer monitors are able to display a different image for each eye, often with the help of special glasses, giving the perception of depth. An autostereoscopic screen can generate 3D images without headgear.

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Main article: Touchscreen

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These monitors use touching of the screen as an input method. Items can be selected or moved with a finger, and finger gestures may be used to convey commands. The screen will need frequent cleaning due to image degradation from fingerprints.

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Main article: Graphics tablet/screen hybrid

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A combination of a monitor with a graphics tablet. Such devices are typically unresponsive to touch without the use of one or more special tools’ pressure.

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Newer models however are now able to detect touch from any pressure and often have the ability to detect tilt and rotation as well.

Touch and tablet screens are used on LCDs as a substitute for the light pen, which can only work on CRTs.

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Main article: 21:9 aspect ratio

Monitors that feature an aspect ratio of 21:9 or 32:9 as opposed to the more common 16:9. 32:9 monitors are marketed as super ultrawide monitors.

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Computer monitors are provided with a variety of methods for mounting them depending on the application and environment.

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A desktop monitor is typically provided with a stand from the manufacturer which lifts the monitor up to a more ergonomic viewing height. The stand may be attached to the monitor using a proprietary method or may use, or be adaptable to, a Video Electronics Standards Association, VESA, standard mount.

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Using a VESA standard mount allows the monitor to be used with an after-market stand once the original stand is removed. Stands may be fixed or offer a variety of features such as height adjustment, horizontal swivel, and landscape or portrait screen orientation.

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The Flat Display Mounting Interface (FDMI), also known as VESA Mounting Interface Standard (MIS) or colloquially as a VESA mount, is a family of standards defined by the Video Electronics Standards Association for mounting flat panel monitorsTVs, and other displays to stands or wall mounts.[17] It is implemented on most modern flat-panel monitors and TVs.

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For Computer Monitors, the VESA Mount typically consists of four threaded holes on the rear of the display that will mate with an adapter bracket.

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Rack mount computer monitors are available in two styles and are intended to be mounted into a 19-inch rack:

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A fixed 19-inch (48 cm), 4:3 rack mount LCD monitor

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A fixed rack mount monitor is mounted directly to the rack with the LCD visible at all times. The height of the unit is measured in rack units (RU) and 8U or 9U are most common to fit 17-inch or 19-inch LCDs.

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The front sides of the unit are provided with flanges to mount to the rack, providing appropriately spaced holes or slots for the rack mounting screws.

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A 19-inch diagonal LCD is the largest size that will fit within the rails of a 19-inch rack.

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Larger LCDs may be accommodated but are ‘mount-on-rack’ and extend forward of the rack.

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There are smaller display units, typically used in broadcast environments, which fit multiple smaller LCDs side by side into one rack mount.

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A 1U stowable clamshell 19-inch (48 cm), 4:3 rack mount LCD monitor with keyboard

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A stowable rack mount monitor is 1U, 2U or 3U high and is mounted on rack slides allowing the display to be folded down and the unit slid into the rack for storage.

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The display is visible only when the display is pulled out of the rack and deployed.

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These units may include only a display or may be equipped with a keyboard creating a KVM (Keyboard Video Monitor).

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Most common are systems with a single LCD but there are systems providing two or three displays in a single rack mount system.

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A panel mount 19-inch (48 cm), 4:3 rack mount LCD monitor

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A panel mount computer monitor is intended for mounting into a flat surface with the front of the display unit protruding just slightly. They may also be mounted to the rear of the panel.

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A flange is provided around the LCD, sides, top and bottom, to allow mounting. This contrasts with a rack mount display where the flanges are only on the sides.

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The flanges will be provided with holes for thru-bolts or may have studs welded to the rear surface to secure the unit in the hole in the panel.

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Often a gasket is provided to provide a water-tight seal to the panel and the front of the LCD will be sealed to the back of the front panel to prevent water and dirt contamination.

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An open frame monitor provides the LCD monitor and enough supporting structure to hold associated electronics and to minimally support the LCD.

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Provision will be made for attaching the unit to some external structure for support and protection. Open frame LCDs are intended to be built into some other piece of equipment.

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An arcade video game would be a good example with the display mounted inside the cabinet.

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There is usually an open frame display inside all end-use displays with the end-use display simply providing an attractive protective enclosure.

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Some rack mount LCD manufacturers will purchase desktop displays, take them apart, and discard the outer plastic parts, keeping the inner open-frame LCD for inclusion into their product.

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According to an NSA document leaked to Der Spiegel, the NSA sometimes swaps the monitor cables on targeted computers with a bugged monitor cable in order to allow the NSA to remotely see what is being displayed on the targeted computer monitor.[18]

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Van Eck phreaking is the process of remotely displaying the contents of a CRT or LCD by detecting its electromagnetic emissions.

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It is named after Dutch computer researcher Wim van Eck, who in 1985 published the first paper on it, including proof of concept. Phreaking more generally is the process of exploiting telephone networks.[19]

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