From what I can tell from the control panel it looks like the max resolution on my laptop is 1366x768. So it doesn't look like I can get the monitors with the really high resolution.
You will not necessarily be limited to the resolution that your laptops "internal" screen will support. Frequently, laptops can support higher resolutions on an external monitors. I would say it is very possible that your laptop can at least support 1920x1080 on an external monitor…most recent laptop models can.
For example, my Macbook Air has a native resolution of 1366x768 on its built-in screen but can support up to 2560x1600 on an external display while also still driving the built-in screen still at 1366x768 (only in "extended" desktop mode…not "mirrored" mode).
I wasn't looking to break the bank with the monitor. The monitor being blurry would be a deal breaker because I do a lot of text based work. Right now I am using something like a 22 inch monitor with my laptop. So I basically have 2 monitors that I can switch between. But when I stretch the VNC session I have at work across both screens it doesn't work well. So I was hoping using something between a 30-40 inch monitor would work better. But is sounds like that won't be the case.
Thanks for you help.
What is the make and model of the 22" monitor that you have/are using now? Is it a "widescreen" LCD? If so, then it more than likely is either 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 (depending on the aspect ratio…there are two basic aspect ratio widescreen monitors…16:9 and 16:10). Generally speaking, most computer monitors that are about 21" up to just below 30" will be 1920x1080/1200. Below 21" they will typically be 1600x900 or so.
Assuming the 22" monitor can support 1920x1080 (or 1920x1200), then we can test to see if your laptop can drive the monitor at that resolution.
BTW, do you have an HDTV? If so, does it support 1080p? If so, what size is it? I ask because if you have a 1080p HDTV, then you can use it as an external monitor for the laptop as well and potentially see how things look on that screen. It will give you some feel for how "blurry" things look on a larger screen while still 1920x1080 (aka 1080p) at various distances from the screen. It would help you get a better feel for what a 30" to 40" computer screen will look like at 1920x1080.