Choosing the right monitor for classroom or office

Posted by Jerry Doll on Mon, Feb, 27, 2012 @ 12:02 PM

LecternComputer monitors come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and styles these days. From the super thin to extra wide.  Before you purchase your next monitor (or monitors) for your office of classroom, here are a few factors to consider.

How much should you spend?  There are flat panel displays available for less than $100 all the way up to thousands of dollars.  The price really depends on two things; screen size and features.  Obviously, the bigger the screen the bigger the price.  Some 15" to 16" models start around $100 while 30" widescreen models can cost up to $3,000 or more.  One of the best values (as reported by USA Today) in the 24" range is the Dell UltraSharp U2412M.  It costs around $300.  Throw in some extra features like self-calibration (important for doing exact color graphics and serious photography work) and your price will run around $2,799 for the Eizo CG245W.  Of course there's also energy costs to consider.  Many monitors offer LED backlights that can save electricity.

What size monitor do I really need?  That question might be partly determined by your budget, as we discussed previously.  But in general, bigger monitors run at higher resolutions, allowing you a lot more screen real estate to work with.  For intense graphics work, video/photo editing, spreadsheets, word documents, etc. a larger monitor can certainly make you more productive (no switching back and forth between documents) and reduce some eye strain as well.  However, for simple web browsing, a 19" or 24" monitor will probably do the trick.  There is also the option of having multiple monitors connected to your computer, if needed.

Which connections do I use?  The multitude of acronyms including DVI, VGA, and HDMI, along with the newer DisplayPort are available on most computers.  Monitor inputs usually include DVI, VGA, and maybe one other input type.  The ideal situation is match the input and output from your computer to your monitor.  This will give you the best results.  There are also a number of adapters available that can help you get connected.

Will it fit my furniture?  This is another important and sometimes overlooked aspect of purchasing a new monitor.  If you use technology enhanced furniture that includes one of NOVA's Visual Display Options, you'll want to check the specs on each type of VDO to make sure that your monitor will fit.  NOVA's wide variety of solutions accommodates most current monitor sizes.  Visual Display Options are really more about function than monitor size.  But the two work hand in hand.  Outfitting a classroom that is to be used as a computer lab might be a good fit for The Trolley™ monitor lift.  Or you may find you want to use The Downview™ recessed monitor system in the reception desk at your office.  NOVA furniture can also accomodate larger monitors (up to 24") with our Surface Mount Arm option.  Of course, our standard (non-technology enhanced) furniture is solidly built and available in a variety of widths to support the largest monitors on the market.  Regardless, figure out the function, the Visual Display Option or standard desk that works for you, then choose the monitor size.  You can find out more about Visual Display Options on our website.

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Topics: Classroom, technology, display, option, computer, visual, monitor, office, screen