Types of Monitors [Everything about Monitors]

Monitors are basically windows which let you see into the computer. And we come to know if the functions put in by us are being carried out. So these monitors also have types. And with time, these types have increased. 

Originally, there were three types of monitor. But with time, newer variations of the existing ones have come into being. So now we always remain somewhat confused about how many are there. And also if we need to buy one, which one should we go for. In this article, we have enlisted the basic monitors as well as some new freshers. So that you get the basic idea about monitors.

Types of Monitors

These are the basic types of monitors we have talked about in the article:

  • Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) monitors
  • Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) monitors
  • Light-Emitting Diodes (LED) monitors

And these two are the newer joiners to the list of monitors:

  • Organic Light-Emitting Diodes (OLED) monitors
  • Plasma monitors

1. Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) monitors

The CRT monitors are the first type of monitors which came into existence a few decades ago. These were most prevalent in the initial days after the invention of computers. And the name Cathode Ray Tube comes from the tube used in the monitors to generate pictures.

So this CRT technology was originally used in television sets. And further introduced into the field of computers. Basically, these monitors have a vacuum tube known as the cathode ray tube. And these tubes have a gun which pours out the electrons on one end and a fluorescent screen on the other. These electrons have high energy and produce images on the screens. And those are the images we get to see.

Nowadays, specifically in the last decade or so, we saw a stop in the manufacture of CRT monitors. As these have been replaced by the newer versions. And these newer versions are much cheaper, lighter and also consume less electricity. But if you really want a CRT monitor, you can go for a second-hand one.

2. Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) monitors

The LCD monitors are probably the most common type of monitors we use today. These were the monitors which were introduced after the CRTs. And quickly rose to fame because of its impressive qualities. The name of this monitor is Liquid Crystal because they are made of a liquid substance. And this liquid substance in them does exhibit properties of a crystal body.

Basically, these displays do not directly emit light. So these monitors have a layer of pixels. And these pixels can either be of color or monochrome.

This pixel layer is systematically arranged between two electrodes which are transparent. And also between two polarizing filters. When the polarized light passes through the liquid crystal layer in various amounts, we see an optical effect. The light comes from the constituent CCFL (Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp) backlight 

These LCDs are thinner and more lightweight when compared to the CRTs. And as they do not consume a lot of electricity, they could also be used in laptops run by battery. Even the image quality on these monitors was far better than the CRT monitors. And they also are portable because of their size. 

3. Light-Emitting Diodes (LED) monitors

The LED monitors use the newest and most advanced technology. And recently has been a crowd favourite.

These LED monitors are basically LCD screens. And work the same way as the LCDs. The only difference between these two is that LCDs use a normal CCFL backlight.

Whereas LED monitors use the Light-Emitting Diodes, as its name suggests as its backlight. These LEDs as backlights also have three different configurations. When a LED monitor is full array, it means that LEDS are equally distributed behind the screen. And this helps in an uniform backlight and use local dimming.

With edge lit LED monitors, we see the LEDs only on the edge of the screen. These backlight configured monitors are very thin but can have an uneven lighting. Then there are direct lit LED monitors which are the same as the full array, but only lack local dimming.

LED monitors use less power because of the LEDs. And they can produce much more vivid images with spectacular color. But they are also on the expensive side of things.

4. Organic Light-Emitting Diodes (OLED) monitors

The OLED monitors are the fresher and an advanced variant of the LED monitors. And has been gaining a lot of popularity among the masses.

OLED monitors are mostly the same as the LED monitors. Their working technology is the same as that of the LCDs. And even they use the Light-Emitting Diodes (LED) as its backlight.

But the only difference here is that the LED used in these monitors is organic. The diodes are of organic materials like wood, polymer, carbon, etc. And these materials help in converting the electric current to light that passes to form the optical effect.

These monitors have great contrast ratios, vivid and clear images, use less power, are thinner and lighter. But these also have a shorter life expectancy than that of the LCDs and LEDs. Also, they are more expensive.

5. Plasma monitors

The Plasma monitors are a very distinct type of flat-panel displays. And these use the plasma technology to work. Although these monitors rose to fame, they suffered great decline too.

So a plasma technology uses properties of a plasma to make it a light source. This plasma is generated through cells which have an ionized gas. And this ionized gas reacts to electric fields to produce plasma. 

The basic thing you need to know with the plasma displays is that they illuminate tiny fluorescent lights. And these fluorescent lights, namely blue, red and green, are the ones which create image pixels. So every pixel basically is made of those fluorescent lights.

Plasma display panels have the advantage of a brilliant contrast because of the fluorescent lights. Also, these are thinner than the other flat panel options. And are best for their use at home theatres. But plasma monitors consume more energy and are heavier too.


Q – What are the different panel types in LCD?

A – The LCD monitors have three different panels. They are Twisted Nematic (TN), Virtual Alignment (VA) and In-Plane Switching (IPS) panels.

Q – Is LCD or LED better for eyes?

A – The LEDs are better in terms of eye safety when compared to LCDs. LCDs use a CCFL (Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp) backlight whereas LEDs use Light-Emitting Diodes. And the diodes backlight are pretty small and use local dimming. Hence, LEDs are a better option than LCDs here.

Q – Does LED last longer than OLED?

A – typically a LED has a top performance lifespan of about 8-12 years if used with care. Whereas OLED has 8 – 9 years in its prime before it drops. As these use organic materials as diodes.

Q – Are CRT monitors still manufactured?

A – Although there is still use of Cathode Ray Tube in other industries, the manufacture of monitors has stopped. If you need a CRT monitor nowadays, you must look for a second option.

Q – Do plasma displays use more energy?

A – Yes, they are probably the monitors which use the most energy. Research says they use 20% more energy than in the LCDs. So plasma displays are not a budget friendly option.


With this we come to the end of the article on the types of monitors. And we hope you gained a basic knowledge about them. We have tried our best to educate you on the topic.

Check our article on the Best Monitors for Color Accuracy to know more about excellent color accurate monitors.

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