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Best Monitors for Reading Documents

Best Monitors for Reading Documents

Denis Leskovets
Denis Leskovets

Productivity Optimization Geek

We may be saving a lot of trees by not printing every document that comes our way, but it may be at the expense of our eyesight. Employees spend an average of 1.8 hours per day reading documents online. That is almost one-quarter of an average workday.

Reading on a screen is different than reading from paper. The lighting in the room and on the screen plays a role in fatiguing the eyes. Plus, some researchers believe that people have lower reading comprehension when reading from a screen versus traditional print. This can work against you, because you may have to re-read text several times to understand it.

Editors, academics, and legal staff are a few of the careers that come to mind when we talk about endless hours spent reading from a computer screen. But even anyone who spends a significant amount of time reading and answering emails spends a lot of time reading from a screen and could benefit from technology specifically designed to be easier on the eyes.

Table of Contents

Best 32 Inch Monitors for Reading Documents

The ‘bigger-is-better’ crowd will enjoy an impressive amount of screen real estate with a 32-inch monitor. Here are our top picks for 32-inch monitors that perform well for reading documents. If you frequently need to compare multiple versions of a document, you cannot beat the split-screen room that a 32-inch monitor provides.

Specifications

This beautiful LG 4K UHD monitor delivers a stunning visual picture with a clearer and brighter image. With a 3840×2160 display resolution, you will get a true 4K UHD quality picture on this monitor. This is important because you need a 4K monitor with a 60 Hz refresh rate like this one for the best reading experience.

For general monitor specs, this one checks the box quite nicely. It is a USB-C port, which makes it a good choice for docking devices as you can charge and display at the same time with one cord. For gamers, it pulls double duty as a work monitor during the day and a gaming monitor at night.

What We Love

What To Consider

Eye Care Features

This LG model offers a 4K UHD viewing experience with 3840 x 2160 resolution, 4ms refresh, and 60 Hz speed. It features LG’s latest split screen technology with 14 different preset layouts for maximizing your productivity. There is plenty of room on this screen for comparing or referencing multiple documents.

This monitor is a great choice for anyone who needs to do work involving significant reading on screen, especially lawyers, editors, and even homeschoolers. It has a sleek design with a slim bezel and minimalist stand to fit in anywhere despite its impressive 32-inch screen size.

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What To Consider

Best 27 Inch Monitors for Reading Documents

If you are not sure how big is too big, the 27-inch monitor is a good compromise. It is still large enough that you will feel like you have plenty of screen room, but it isn’t pushy about it. Monitors of this size have split-screen software to help you organize your workspace and be more productive.

If you have the room, always go up to 32 inches. But if space is tight, you might not even notice that you opted for the smaller size.

Eye Care Features

LG offers impressive 4K UHD in its middle-of-the-road 27-inch screen size monitor with a 60 Hz refresh rate. It has a 5ms response time and comes equipped with Freesync technology, which helps bridge the gap between the graphics card and the monitor’s capabilities, so no blurring occurs.

LG is pretty well-known for the ease of use of its on-screen menus. While most people never bother to change the factory settings on their computer monitors, LG has taken care to remove the barriers that leave people to deal with the original settings by making it easy to adjust things like contrast and brightness.

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What To Consider

Eye Care Features

Philips offers an ultra-clear 4K UHD monitor that checks all of the boxes for being a great eye care monitor while also delivering impressive visuals packaged in a pretty design. This monitor features IPS LED panels which are simply the best technology for clear, crisp graphics with no distortion. Plus, more than 1 billion colors offers a highly detailed picture for any application.

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What To Consider

Eye Care Features

If you are looking for something a little easier on the wallet, Asus is always a solid choice in the budget arena. We like this Asus ProArt monitor for its clean and crisp picture with specific eye care features. For anyone who does moderate to extensive onscreen reading, a monitor that is easy on the eyes is important.

The best reading experience will come from a 4K monitor running at a 60 Hz refresh rate. But if a 4K monitor is not in your budget, or is possibly not compatible with your video card, then a 2K monitor is still going to do a pretty nice job.

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Best 24 Inch Monitors for Reading Documents

The smallest monitor that is still going to produce a high enough resolution to be considered a high-quality reading monitor is a 24-inch monitor. This is a good size that most who read a lot of documents tend to choose.

Can you buy a monitor smaller than 24 inches? Possibly, but they are becoming more and more difficult to find. As technology allows us to create better viewing technology, we are more interested than ever to put our desktops on display.

Eye Care Features

The Viewsonic 24 inch monitor offers a professionally calibrated color profile for accurate pictures and flicker-free technology to reduce eye strain. The monitor comes with an ergonomically-friendly and adjustable mount that can tilt up to 40 degrees for better comfort.

A 24-inch monitor is an acceptable choice for anyone who is working with limited desktop space. As you might have guessed, these large monitor displays take up a significant amount of room. And, if you are working with a dual display, they take up twice the space. A 24 inch monitor can still give you a stunning picture while taking up a little less space compared to the larger displays.

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What To Consider

What you Need to Know About Shopping for a Reading Monitor

An important factor to remember when shopping for a reading monitor is that picture quality, and resolution do matter, even though they are just words on a screen. When purchasing a pixel-dense reading monitor, don’t overlook your system graphics card’s capabilities. You will need a graphics card that is capable of 4K resolution at 60 Hz speeds to achieve a smooth reading experience.

Accessible Technology for Reading Documents

With the prevalence of reading on a computer screen becoming common, developers have found ways to use technology to enhance the onscreen reading experience. While Microsoft has a long history of developing high-quality font technology, its biggest improvement in this area is ClearType’s development, which allows users to see a clearer, crisper font for easier reading. This technology is available on Windows 10 devices.
If you live in the Apple ecosystem, an external reading monitor can improve reading posture and productivity when paired with a MacBook. Pair the MacBook with an Apple wireless keyboard and mouse or trackpad, and it becomes an ergonomic powerhouse for reading documents.

Tips for Avoiding Eye Strain

Eye strain induced by excessive screen time, also sometimes referred to as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is a real eye-health concern plaguing the modern workforce. Blurred vision, dry eyes, neck and shoulder pain, and headaches are some of the common complaints associated with computer screen-related eye strain.

A trip to the optometrist to correct any vision problems or update an old prescription is the obvious first step in alleviating eye strain issues. But there are more factors at play than just needing a pair of glasses.
Here are some things that you can try to improve your working conditions and limit eye strain:

How to Choose a Good Reading Monitor

When you start shopping for monitors, you will quickly notice that every manufacturer wants to tell you how impressive their high resolution, high definition graphics are. While they can produce some stunning colors and impressive graphic clarity, this means very little for how well they display documents. A full HD monitor on high-resolution settings can still have terrible text clarity.

When it comes to being able to read well off of your screen, the real issue is to identify and correct any issues with text clarity. Like any image, the pixel density and resolution can affect how you can read the text being displayed. Here are five factors that you may not have considered, which affect how clearly you can see the text on your computer screen.

Pixel Density

A low pixel density can cause blurring, sometimes imperceptible to the naked eye, but enough to cause fatigue over prolonged use. A higher pixel density will display text more clearly and is always recommended for reading.
There is a pretty wide range of pixel densities between different monitors, so it is worth comparing this spec before making a purchase. Always shoot for something higher than 200 dpi if you use your computer for a lot of document reading.

Brightness

Have you ever noticed that a bright room can make your screen harder to see? The brightness level of your monitor determines how easily you can see what is displayed in high and low light levels. If you do a lot of work in a brightly lit room, you will want to invest in an equally bright monitor so that you can read without strain.

Display Technology

There are three different types of LCD panels competing for a share of the market, and they are not all created equal. Generally speaking, IPS or in-plane switching technology is the best for reducing eye strain and improving readability. With lower budget LCD screens, the technology used to dim the brightness actually causes flickering or flashing that makes it more difficult to read.

Glare Resistance

Many monitors are either matte in finish or are coated with anti-glare technology. As you can imagine, glossy surfaces that reflect a lot of light from sunlight or interior lights make it harder to see what is on the screen. If you are competing with glare, you are working harder than what is needed to read documents on your screen. An anti-glare filter is a basic requirement for anyone who reads a lot of documents on their computer.

Monitor Size

Everyone is pushing the big 27 inch monitors, and those might be a great choice for you. However, big screens like this can also be more cumbersome when you are reading a lot of documents. At the very least, take into consideration that you may want a smaller screen size so that you do not have to constantly move your head to keep up with the real estate of your reading area.
With a buffet of choices on the market, it is easily overwhelming to choose a new computer monitor. The needs of a graphic designer are not necessarily the same as the needs of an editor. How you will use your screen is the single most important factor in determining what specs are truly important. If reading documents is your primary activity, then a super-fast refresh rate probably isn’t that important to you.

Is a Bigger Monitor Better for Reading Documents?

There is a lot of debate over whether bigger is really better. From the viewpoint of having the absolute best resolution to read for long hours with a smooth experience and minimal eye fatigue, then yes, bigger is better. A 24-inch monitor is not going to be a true 4K picture. You will need at least a 27-inch monitor to get 4K resolution.
The reason that more people prefer a larger monitor size, in addition to a 4K display, is because they can use split-screen features to view documents side-by-side. This is a handy feature to have if you spend a lot of time comparing documents or referencing multiple documents.

The Takeaway on Reading Monitors

The best choice for a reading monitor is one that offers a full 4K UHD display with a 60 Hz refresh rate. It should also offer a variety of brightness and contrast controls to adjust levels to match what is most comfortable for yourself and your environment.
Our favorite is the LG 27UK850-W 27″ 4K UHD IPS Monitor, but there are great options available in larger and smaller sizes. This is a true 4K display, and a compatible video card will provide a smooth and easy reading experience. It has true colors and can pull double duty for a variety of work tasks in addition to document reading. And it has USB-C connectivity, which pairs perfectly with mobile devices and charges while it displays with a single cable.
If all of this isn’t enough, it is outfitted with AMD Freesync to prevent blurring during fast-paced gaming, and IPS panels allow for minimal distortion at any viewing angle. The screen is coated with Anti Glare 3H surface treatment to prevent glare in bright light situations. And, the monitor is equipped with presets to optimize brightness and contrast easily or to filter blue light emissions to maintain good eye health.
You can find similar features on many other monitors, but none with the brand reputation of LG. Some competitors are trying to pass off inferior LCD panel technology, which might look ok to an untrained eye, but have more of a tendency to flicker and fatigue the eyes, which is not good for someone who spends a lot of time reading from a screen.