Updated: 08/16/2021 by Computer Hope
Computer monitor

Alternatively referred to as a desktop display, a display or display device is a term used to describe the device used to view video, images, or text. Any information shown on a display is sometimes referred to as a soft copy. The picture is an example of a flat-panel display and the most common display used with computers today.


When used as a noun, the term "display" is synonymous with a computer "monitor" and "screen."


When a display connects to a laptop, smartphone, tablet, or another device with its own display, it functions as a secondary display. A secondary display is also referred to as an external display or external monitor.


A remote desktop display or remote display is a display of the desktop shown over a remote connection. For example, remotely connecting to your mom's computer to see what she is viewing while helping her with a computer problem.

Examples of computer display devices

Anything capable of connecting to a computer and displaying its output is considered an output device. Below is a listing of the most commonly used display devices.

4K resolution, 8K resolution, Monitor, Screen, Video terms