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Computer Monitor Buying Guide

Your practice will probably have a mixture of both desktop and laptop computers, which means you will also need to invest in external monitors. As with all things tech, there are many considerations you will need to think about before investing your hard earned cash, which we have highlighted below.



  • This is probably the most important consideration, as you can way up options on the below based on the realistic budget that you have.
  • Ultimately, we wouldn’t recommend spending any less than £100 or any more than £140 per monitor.

Size of the Monitor

  • These days, the standard size for a Monitor is 24”. The only reasons to go bigger than 24” are either that it is the only monitor being used or the user works with graphics design packages which work better with a bigger screen.
  • In general, we would say that although they look cool, Ultra Widescreens are only really useful for gaming, if more room is required then we would recommend having 2 monitors which is cheaper and just as good quality.
  • We have however, found that smaller screens have been useful for Consultation rooms and places that have limited space as they take up less space and are less likely to be broken.


  • More and more we are seeing setups with 2 monitors, this is usually in reception areas or offices, where the team on the desk can have the emails and PMS open on different screens.
  • However, in areas such as consultation rooms, where space is at a premium it is most common to see 1 screen.

Refresh rate

  • Refresh rates are how fast the screen can refresh the pixels in the screen, a 70hz display can refresh all pixels on the screen 70 times a second.
  • For example, a 70 Hz refresh rate means that your display updates 70 times per second. As a general rule, a higher refresh rate results in a smoother picture.
  • As a veterinary practice we wouldn’t recommend being too concerned with this as a factor, there is no reason to have a monitor faster than 70Hz in this environment.


  • It is important to get the monitor the correct height. Your eyes should be the same height as the top of your screen, otherwise you can get neck strain.
  • Most monitors come with their own stands but they are usually not height adjustable.
  • You can in most cases take the standard stand off if the monitor supports the VESA mount standard, you can then get a generic height adjustable stand or even mount it on the wall in a consult room or prep area, keeping things nice and tidy.


  • It is very important that you consider the connection between your monitors and laptop/computer. If you have 2 monitors, and your computer has 1 HDMI and 1 DVI or 1 Display port, to successfully connect the two you will need a monitor that has a display port and a HDMI port.
  • It is very common for people to overlook this, and end up with a monitor on their desk, and no way to connect it, so have to wait for new cables!

Contrast ratio or Brightness

  • Contrast ratio is the difference between black and white in terms of brightness, meaning if you have a monitor with a contrast ratio of 1000:1 whites will be 1000 times brighter than the blacks. The higher the contrast ratio the darker the blacks.
  • Brightness is also important when you take into account your environment, if you are sat in a dark room, a monitor with a darker picture will be ok, if you are sat in front of a window, you will need a brighter monitor with higher contrast or you will lose definition on the image.

Privacy screens

  • These are useful on monitors for users that deal with sensitive data on their screens for example HR and Payroll. It limits the viewing angle of the screen, normally to a face on view, as soon as you go off angle the screen will look Gray or black.


  • This might not be at the forefront of your mind, but you may want to choose a monitor based on the environment it will be in. For example, a bright white monitor may not fit with the work colour scheme, also if you are after a sleek, modern look (and have the budget) you might consider Bezel-less edges.

Other Features

  • Monitors can include a number of extras, Speakers, USB Hub, adjustable stand (If not using VESA), SD Card Slot, Touch screens, and so on. From our experience working with vets we can say that generally speaking these are just not needed for a standard veterinary practice. However, if you feel you may benefit from the additional extras we would be happy to talk you through them.


When it comes to purchasing equipment for your Veterinary Practice, you will want to make sure that you are getting the most from your money, and that you are buying something that will last a long time. As with all things tech, the more thought and consideration you put into the process the better return you will get on your investment. We hope that you have found this article helpful in your quest for a computer monitors, if you have any questions or would like some guidance then please do get in touch or book a consultation with one of our Veterinary IT Experts.