Monitors are an essential item of hardware, as you will use it to view everything on your system and spend countless hours' in-front of it. You should choose a display which fits your needs and workspace environment, whilst providing a clear image without flicker which can lead to eye strains and related problems.
There are three main types of Monitor currently available these are TFT (thin-film transistor) which is the most popular, Touch Screen TFT, which is starting to gain popularity, and the older Cathode-ray tube (CRT).
Telling the difference is straight forward; TFT are non touch screen flat/thin monitors often in widescreen formats various sizes from 15-50+ inches, Touch Screen are smaller due to the additional costs of touch screen. CRT are not used much now, but you can not miss the larger size and weight of them.
Screens come in many different sizes in the early days 14/15 inch CRT was standard now 17 and 19 inch TFT are typical. Developments in faster and high quality screens and the affordable prices. 19" screens will cost around £80 at writing time with 22" starting at just £10-£15 more. It is always worth the extra cost for the extra viewing space if you are a heavy user, or if one is not enough many offices and homes now use two 17/19 or larger screens and dual screen to split applications or workspaces.
TFT 15" Used to be the starting point now it is very hard to find smaller screens, 17/19 are more common. Soon after TFT screens came the adoption to widescreen TFT monitors. this allowed you to watch seeDisplays are around the £120 mark at the time of writing including, 17" versions are approx an additional £30-40 the smallest TFT screen widely available is the 15" then 17+, 17" is currently the most common size monitor for most people, this will adapt into widescreen versions and as prices continue to fall lead to 19" becoming the standard size.
The move to TFT has really picked up in recent months as the costs have tumbled, their advantages include using less power and requiring less space, whilst providing a crisp picture quality.
If you're buying and can visit a shop it is always worth seeing different monitors before you buy. Of course it often pays to buy it online and save a small amount even at the cost of a couple of days waiting for delivery.
TFT Touch Screens 15" start around £300 at time of writing, these are the next step from traditional monitors and with the arrival of tablets and laptops now featuring touchscreen more affordable touch screen monitors are now emerging to intergrate touch into the home and office enviroments.