500 cd/m2 is better I dont know what it stands for but I do know that bigger is brighter in this aspect. Also brighter LCD's have longer lives, after about 50,000 hours your LCD hits half life meaning it's only half as bright. If your not playing for games I'd focus on resolution, bigger is better. Other aspects are going to be relativly standard. Gamers tend to look at the responce time. For every day use it's not going to make a difference 25ms is good all round. I've never heard of anybody going on contrast ratio for an lcd.