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A drawing of a display with a rising or setting sun in the background.

I’ve been thinking about displays, or computer screens, or monitors, and would love to hear about what people use since we spend so much time looking at the things. Want to share your experience? Click on these words and complete the poll:

✨ 🖥️ ✏️ HyperTextHero Displays Poll ✏️ 🖥️ ✨

A monitor, or screen, lets us see the output of our computer systems using our eyes, often in the form of countless little colorful magic crystals that twist and give the illusion of images in front of us.

I use an ASUS ProArt PA278QV as my primary screen, a 27 inch monitor, meaning the diagonal distance across the screen is approximately 27 inches, around 68.5 centimeters.

A photo of the Asus ProArt monitor with a measuring tape placed diagonally across the screen.
Measuring my display with the antiquated Imperial System.

Its top resolution, the amount of little squares that form pictures that you can fit on the screen, is 2560×1440 pixels. 2560 is the number of pixels that fit horizontally on the screen. 1440 is the number of pixels that fit vertically on the screen. In conversation, people usually describe this as “1440p”.

I always forget what the resolution numbers are for display marketing-speak, so I’m noting them here:

1080p = 1920×1080
1440p = 2560×1440
4k = 3840×2160

I don’t use 4k resolution on a 27 inch screen because that amount of pixels makes everything look tiny, which strains eyes, and in the case of video games, can make things move more slowly as the video card needs to do more work to handle more mini squares.

You can use scaling, but depending on your particular screen’s resolution and pixel density, there may be problems with moiré patterns, blurry, shimmering images, and even more labor for your video card, so I stick with 109 pixels per inch (PPI) on a 27 inch, non-retina screen (retina = 218 PPI).

The refresh rate of this monitor at any resolution is 75Hz, which means it draws and updates the little squares on the screen 75 times every second. This is important for your eyes and comfort while using a computer, especially when playing video games with movement and animation.

Anything less, like 30Hz, can make you feel like you are watching a someone verbally describing what is happening on the screen while shaking a book at you.

Anything more, and, well, it may be hard to go back, though I find that watching moving images in high resolution and high frame rates, higher than around 90fps, makes the thing I’m watching look weird and artificial, like the lighting and motion in TV soap operas compared to cinema.

More is not always better, and to protect your mind’s health it’s good to remember to be satisficed, or that good enough is good enough.

Image quality and color reproduction is very good, which is important to me as I also use the monitor for photo editing and graphic design by connecting it to a Macbook Pro.

It has a decent stand that is vertically adjustable, which is important for ergonomics, and the screen can also be rotated, and even removed to be mounted on a wall or smashed on the head of a zombie or thug.

I’m currently using an old Viewsonic 1080p monitor for my second screen with OBS and chat, and am considering replacing it with another 1440p screen to see how a dual-27in display setup plays out.

At the beginning, middle, or end of the day, it’s good remember to go look outside, too.

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