At EasyTechJunkie, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What is a Flat Panel Monitor?

R. Kayne
R. Kayne

A flat panel monitor can refer to either a computer or television monitor that does not use cathode ray tube (CRT) technology, but commonly LCD or plasma technology. This allows the monitor to have a thin profile, which is how the monitor gets its name. Because of its light weight, small footprint, clarity and digital technology, it has become the monitor of choice.

Prior to the flat panel monitor, the CRT monitor was standard. These monitors are easily recognizable by the bulging back or picture tube. Vacuum tube monitors are not only bulky and heavy, but they are environmentally unfriendly and emit more radiation than LCD or plasma monitors.

A flat panel monitor.
A flat panel monitor.

While there are many advantages to a flat panel monitor, there are also one or two potential disadvantages. A limited viewing angle can be one, although this is easily avoided by shopping carefully, as the viewing range is included in the specifications of these products. A second potential disadvantage is being bound to the "native resolution."

A CRT monitor will display sharp text in any supported resolution, but a flat panel only delivers perfectly clear text in the native resolution. On a 19-inch screen this might be 1280 x 1024 pixels. Switching to a lower resolution will make text appear slightly blurred or fuzzy.

A desktop PC with a flat panel monitor.
A desktop PC with a flat panel monitor.

Why would anyone want to switch to a lower resolution? In higher resolutions, images improve but they also become smaller. For instance, the icons on a desktop, toolbars within software, and menus within the operating system are all reduced at higher resolutions. Though many of these items can be adjusted up, some people prefer a lower resolution to get overall larger images on screen. This might be a particular concern for those with visual disabilities. In this case, one should carefully view the flat panel monitor prior to purchase to be sure the native resolution will be comfortable.

Flat panel monitors have decreased steadily in price while improving in quality. Gamers and video-editing professionals tended to avoid these monitors initially because of "ghosting" with fast moving graphics, but this is no longer an issue. A faster response time and increased viewing angle have made them more popular than ever. With its clear digital picture, space-saving footprint, and ultra-light weight, the flat panel is a welcome improvement over its CRT predecessor.

Discussion Comments


@indemnifyme - I think this article and your comment have finally convinced me to get rid of my CRT and purchase an LCD flat panel monitor. I've been hesitating about spending the money but I think it would be a good long term investment. My family uses our television a lot and I would love to lower our electric bill every month.


I think the flat panel display monitor was a great invention! It takes up so much less space in my living room and uses significantly less electricity than my old CRT television did. When I got rid of my old TV and got a flat panel I was able to notice a huge difference in my electric bill the very first month!


what is different in resolution between LCD and flat monitors

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • A flat panel monitor.
      A flat panel monitor.
    • A desktop PC with a flat panel monitor.
      By: enens
      A desktop PC with a flat panel monitor.