Update: We’ve replaced the still-great but now old Dell UltraSharp UP2414Q with the new Asus ROG Swift PG248Q, a 1080p gaming screen focused on refresh rate and response time, not pixels. Find out more below.
Not long ago, a monitor was as essential a purchase as a refrigerator. Without one, you wouldn’t be able to complete tasks as basic as accessing your email and typing up documents. Now, however, we can accomplish that and more from an amazing device that lives in our pockets, making monitors more of a luxury than a necessity.
That’s why these days we’re seeing a rise in more extravagant displays designed for power users. Crafters of the best monitors you can buy now compete for pushing the most pixels or packing the highest curvature into their displays. Unfortunately, buying the latest and greatest could make even the best monitors more susceptible to hacking .
Taking into consideration factors like color gamut, response time and panel weight, however, is by no means an easy task. For this reason, we’ve gone ahead and rounded up the best monitors money can buy in order to join you in determining which suits your needs best.
1. Philips Brilliance BDM3490UC
Screen size: 34-inch | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 3440 x 1440 Brightness: 340 cd/m2 | Response time: 14ms | Viewing angle: 172/178 | Contrast ratio: 1000:1 |Colour support: SRGB 100% | Weight: 7.9kg
Philips’ Brilliance BDM3490UC should be your top pick if you’re looking to watch movies or work from home. Its IPS display is bright and inviting, effectively emulating the movie theater experiencing (just make sure you bring the popcorn and close the curtains). The 21:9 curved display can be a bit disorienting, however, if you’re accustomed to standard flat screen displays. Still, this one takes the cake for gaming. In the absence of both G-Sync and FreeSync, though, don’t forget to tick the vertical sync box in all your games. Plus, as long as you’re set on a 21:9 cinematic panel, the Brilliance is competitively priced as well.
2. Asus ROG Swift PG248Q
Faster than you can say G-Sync
Screen size: 24-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Brightness: 350 cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 180Hz | Response time: 1ms | Viewing angle: 170/160 |Contrast ratio: 1000:1 | Colour support: Adobe RGB 74% | Weight: 9.5kg
If you care more about frame rate than graphics or resolution, this monitor is for you. Because of its mind-blowing 180Hz refresh rate capabilities, the Asus ROG Swift PG248Q takes the 60 fps gold standard for gaming and triples it – provided you’re equipped with a rig that can handle the extra stress.
While you’re more than likely not going to be playing Forza Horizon 3 at 180 fps on Ultra settings, a higher refresh rate is more than welcome in fast-paced, competitive games like Rocket League that don’t necessarily demand a lot of resources. Plus, as one of the most affordable G-Sync displays on the market, it helps that you can rely on the monitor to prevent screen tearing rather than taking adding more work to the GPU.
3. Acer Predator X34
A gaming monitor with attitude
Screen size: 34-inch | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 3440 x 1440 Brightness: 300 cd/m2 | Response time: 4ms G2G (grey-to-grey) | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio: 100 million:1 | Colour support: SRGB 100% | Weight: 9.9kg
Cinematic monitors are a great alternative to 4K ones when it comes to gaming. In fact, you might say they’re even better due to their ultrawide 21:9 aspect ratio. The Acer Predator X34 certainly looks the part, featuring an eye-catching aluminium bezel and angular, crow’s foot-shape stand. It comes with a number of gaming mod cons in tow, including Nvidia’s G-Sync frame-smoothing tech, an immersion-boosting curved shape and fantastic color reproduction that brings games to life. Short of strapping on a virtual reality headset, the Predator X34 is about as immersive as gaming gets.
4. Asus MG248Q
A reasonable price for 144Hz and Adaptive Sync
Screen size: 23.6-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Brightness:350 cd/m2 | Response time: 1ms | Viewing angle: 170/160 | Contrast ratio:100000000:1 | Color support: SRGB 100%, Adobe RBG 72% | Weight: 16.98 pounds
If your PC can’t afford 1440p or 4K gaming, the Asus MG248Q is the next best thing. Despite exhibiting a mere 1080p twisted-nematic TN panel rather than IPS, the Asus MG248Q makes up for it with lightning fast response times and Adaptive Sync. The latter reducing screen tearing if you have an AMD graphics card, which clearly demonstrates that the MG248Q tailors to the budget gamer.
On the other hand, even Nvidia fans can rejoice at the 144Hz refresh rate, allowing for more than double that of the 60 fps gold standard in gaming. But, without the right GPU equipped, you might be better off saving for the G-Sync equivalent Asus ROG Swift PG248Q.
5. Samsung UD970
Get ready for ultra high-def on your desktop
Screen size: 31.5-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Brightness:280 cd/m2 | Response time: 8ms | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio: 1000:1 |Colour support: SRGB 100% | Weight: 30.14 pounds
A 4K display that’s factory-calibrated for great colour accuracy and image quality, which makes it ideal for digital designers, CAD/CAM engineers or videographers who aren’t put off by the high-price tag.
6. LG UltraWide 34UC97
Great for work, games, and movies – but it’s costly
Screen size: 34-inch | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 3440×1440 | Brightness: 300 cd/m2 | Response time: 5ms | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio: 1M:1 (DFC) |Colour support: SRGB 99% | Weight: 19.8 pounds
The LG’s curved design, high resolution and huge diagonal make it a high quality replacement for single 4K panels or a pair of 1080p screens, and the form factor means it’s tempting for work, games and movies.
7. Acer S277HK
A bezel-less beauty
Screen size: 27-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Brightness: 300 cd/m2 | Response time: 4ms | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio:100,000,000:1 | Colour support: SRGB 100% | Weight: 11.9 pounds
A gorgeous IPS screen and bezel-free design make the S227HK a stunning display by itself or an even more impressive and immersive member of a multi-monitor setup.
8. Viewsonic VP2772
What this professional monitor lacks in style it makes up with exceptional picture quality
Screen size: 27-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 | Brightness: 350 cd/m2 | Response time: 12ms | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio: 1000:1 |Colour support: SRGB 100% | Weight: 18.8 pounds
A rich set of features, great picture quality out of the box and hassle-free setup make the VP2772 an attractive monitor.
9. Viewsonic VX2776
An almost bezel-less beauty
Screen size: 27-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Brightness: 300 cd/m2 | Response time: 4ms | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio: 1M:1 (DFC) |Colour support: SRGB 100% | Weight: 7.2 pounds
Whether it’s laptops, monitors or smartphones, bezels just aren’t fashionable anymore. Viewsonic’s VX2776 is an eye-catching 27-inch monitor with a bezel that measures just millimeters along the top and sides. This helps anything you’re doing with it – from watching movies to playing games or viewing photos – really ‘pop’ out of the frame. It’s all helped by impressive color accuracy.
On the downside, the VX2776 isn’t as feature-packed as other 1080p panels in its price bracket, so don’t expect adaptive frame syncing tech, or even a VESA wall mount. But if you’re simply after a monitor that’s rocking a thin design with minimal bezels and offers solid picture quality, the VX2776 is worthy of your consideration.
10. BenQ BL2710PT
Aimed at CAD/CAM professionals, this feature-packed 27-inch monitor delivers
Screen size: 27-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3440×1440 | Brightness: 350 cd/m2 | Response time: 12ms | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio: 1000:1 |Colour support: SRGB 99% | Weight: 23.8 pounds
A feature-packed and well-connected monitor that offers plenty for the asking price. It may not be exciting to look at and the menu controls suffer from a lack of labeling, but these are minor caveats that don’t detract from an overall worthy investment.