What Does Monitor Mean?

A monitor is an electronic visual computer display that includes a screen, circuitry and the case in which that circuitry is enclosed. Older computer monitors made use of cathode ray tubes (CRT), which made them large, heavy and inefficient. Nowadays, flat-screen LCD monitors are used in devices like laptops, PDAs and desktop computers because they are lighter and more energy efficient.


A monitor is also known as a screen or a visual display unit (VDU).

Techopedia Explains Monitor

The advent of display technology has paved the way for the continuous evolution of the monitor, whether it’s for computers, television, mobile devices or any device that has a display. The current contenders for top-tier technology being used for display devices includes Super LCD 3 (SLCD3) and Super AMOLED. It should be noted that LED displays are actually just a kind of LCD display that use LED lights as backlight illumination.

The quality of a monitor’s performance is assessed using a few key factors:

  • Aspect Ratio: This is the relation of the vertical length to the horizontal length of the monitor (e.g. 16:9 or 4:5).
  • Dot Pitch: This is the distance between each pixel in every square inch that’s displayed. The shorter the distance, the sharper and clearer the images are.
  • Display Resolution: Also known as dots per inch (DPI), this determines the number of pixels per linear inch. The maximum number of pixels is determined by the dot pitch. This determines the number of pixels the display screen can accommodate.
  • Size: This aspect is determined by the display screen’s diagonal measurement.

Related Terms

Latest Hardware Terms

Related Reading

Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…