- Size (Size in inches)
The diagonal of the display in inches.
- Contrast (Contrast ratio)
Contrast is the difference between the brightest and darkest areas of the image. Contrast is given as a ratio between the brightest and the darkest areas, e.g. 800:1, and the higher the number the better the contrast.
- Aspect (Aspect ratio)
Aspect ratio is the width to height ratio of the projected image. Most often the aspect ratio is either 16:9 (widescreen) or 4:3. See more here
- Resolution (Native resolution)
Resolution is the number of horizontal pixels times the number of vertical pixels of the display area. Unlike older CRT monitors, flat screen monitors display information well only at the resolution they are designed for (a.k.a. the native resolution). This is due to the structure of the display, which has a fixed set of both vertical and horizontal dots (corresponding the resolution). If the resolution is changed, the display needs to scale the image to fit the screen.
- Brightness (Brightness)
Brightness (luminance) measures the amount of light the display produces. It is given as candelas per square meter (cd/m2). Usually the monitor with a higher luminance is concidered to be better one. A high luminance (such as 500 cd/m2) is desirable, if the monitor is used for viewing movies or other such entertainment.
- Response time (GtG) (Response time)
The response rate indicates how fast the monitor's pixels can change colors and it is measured as the time it takes for a pixel to change from one color to another and back. The rate is given as the transformation speed from Gray-to-Gray (GtG) in milliseconds (ms). Faster is better as it reduces the so called ghosting effect of a moving image (i.e. the trail or "ghost" of the previous image that stays is still faintly visible on the background).
- VGA inputs (Number of VGA inputs (D-sub))
A VGA connector (aka D-sub 15) is an analog three-row 15 pin DE-15 connector commonly used in video cards of computers, and thus it is a connection option that is almost always available.
- DVI-D inputs (Number of DVI-D inputs)
DVI-D input is the digital subversion of the DVI connector/cable and comes in two versions: a so called single link cable that supports a 1920x1080 image, and a dual link cable/connection that supports up to a 2048x1536 image. If the monitor has a digital-only DVI, make sure your video adapter supports DVI-D or DVI-I.
- USB hub (Does the monitor include an integrated USB hub)
Some modern displays have an integrated USB Hub, which makes it possible to connect different USB-devices (e.g. memory stick, mouse, keyboard) to the (side or the stand of the) display.
- Pivot (Does the device have pivot functionality (screen can be rotated 90 degrees))
Pivot functionality allows user to turn the screen 90 degrees without adjusting the monitor's stand. Pivot feature is extremely useful for people who use their monitors to read long documents, scanned documents, etc that are typically in U.S. Letter or A4 form.
- DVI-I inputs (Number of DVI-I inputs)
The DVI-I input is a digital DVI input that supports both the analog (DVI-A) and digital (DVI-D) subversion of the standard.
- HDCP (HDCP support)
HDCP (High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection) is a DRM system designed to stop the unencrypted transmission of high definition video content from a source like a Blu-ray player and a display monitor. HDCP is used with DVI, DisplayPort and HDMI interfaces. All HDMI devices are bound to implement the DRM system. The lack of HDCP support may result in downgrade of video quality or even no playback at all.
- Panel type (Panel type)
There are many different panel technologies used in the production of LCD monitors. When buying a monitor, one should find out the panel type used, as it has a large effect on the specifications, performance, and on the price of the monitor as well. Different panel types are suitable for different kind of uses. The three most common main types of panels are (roughly in order from best to worst) S-IPS, S-PVA/MVA, and TN.