Pay close attention to the desktop and laptop computer markets and you’ll notice that screen quality continues to be a key selling point. For example, when Apple announced its new line of MacBook Pros, the Cupertino, CA-based company was keen to highlight its True Tone display, which adjusts the lighting to ensure that the screen stays visible even in low lighting conditions.
Likewise, the selling point of Apple’s more recent line of iMacs is a 5K display, which boasts some of the highest quality visuals available. But what does all of this mean and can these beefed-up specs actually impact your day to day life?
Millions upon millions of us stream video every day and you are likely one of them. YouTube, the video streaming platform owned by Alphabet (Google’s parent company) is the world’s second-most popular search engine and people view more than one billion hours of content on the site each day. Paid-for streaming platforms like Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Netflix, and HBO Now are all vying for attention, too.
One way in which these companies compete in the market is by improving the quality of their streams. YouTube introduced 4K live streaming in 2016, for example, while Netflix is expanding its lineup of 4K content (available with an Ultra HD subscription). But, in order to enjoy and appreciate this content, you’ll need a 4K quality monitor.
Another immediate impact that a higher quality screen will have on your day to day life is if you’re an online gamer. While some game genres, including online poker, are optimized for PC and Macs of all screen qualities and capabilities (including in-browser poker and downloadable poker clients), you will still benefit from improved screen resolutions. The improved graphics should add to the atmosphere whether you’re playing Texas Hold’Em, Omaha, or any other variation of the game.
In some online games, though, such as League of Legends and Street Fighter 5, higher screen quality and visual fidelity is an absolute must. Frame rates allow you to understand what enemy characters are doing or planning exactly as it plays out, benefiting your reaction time and thus, your performance.
Many of us also use computers every day at work; whether that’s typing up reports, filling in spreadsheets, or just responding to customer queries on Twitter and Facebook. Even if your work is more administration based as opposed to professional design work or photography which requires a greater range of colors in the display, your professional life could still benefit from an improved quality screen.
Specifically, Tom’s Hardware recommends going for a flicker-free monitor or a screen with low levels of flicker, at least. Some users may be particularly sensitive to screen flickering, especially if you spend a lot of time looking at a screen all day, so it’s an important factor to consider.
When buying a new computer or laptop, screen quality is clearly a massive factor. If you didn’t think it was important before, perhaps our guide above has made you think twice.