Whether you’re a graphic designer who needs to pick the perfect color and tone on your next big project or a gamer looking to get the most out of the latest graphics, having the best monitor can make or break your computer experience.
Figuring out which best monitor will give you the most bang for your buck can be overwhelming with so many options out there, but we’ve made it easier. In this article, we review the best monitor models, providing you with a large variety of different styles and functions.
Top Rated Monitor Features to Consider
Monitor manufacturers like to boast about various figures and features. But what do they all mean? Here are some quick explanations of the most important features to look for in the best monitors.
- Resolution. Resolution represents the number of pixels across a screen (width x height). The most common resolutions are 1920×1080 (HD) and 3840×2160 (UHD or 4K). Some displays will have uncommon resolutions like 1920×1200 or 3440×1440 and are used with similarly uncommon aspect ratios like 16:10 or 21:9. As a general rule, higher resolutions mean more detail on the screen, though not everyone needs a 4K computer monitor. Gamers and cinephiles will enjoy the improved image quality in their media, but for simple applications 4K may be overkill at best, and a nuisance at worst due to improper scaling.
- Color Gamuts. Color gamuts describe the number of colors your monitor can reproduce, which can make all the difference between a good monitor and the best monitor. The most limited color gamut is sRGB, followed by Adobe RGB, then there are wide color gamuts (WCG) like DCI-P3. A monitor with extensive Adobe RGB or sRGB gamuts would be perfect for casual users, while professional color workers will want multiple gamuts and WCGs.
- Panel Type. IPS panels have come a long way, and now feature competitive contrast ratio to TN monitors. Now, the majority of the best monitors feature IPS panels with their superior viewing angles, color reproduction, and competitive contrast and price.
- Curved vs. Flat. The benefits of a curved screen include a better sense of depth, greater immersion, and better contrast and saturation. On the other hand, they can also be more expensive and more difficult to mount. If those are issues for you, quality flat screens are a fine alternative.
For the best monitor, connectivity options are rarely an issue. Standard options include multiple HDMI and USB ports, as well as a display port. Some monitors even come with Thunderbolt ports, making them compatible with Apple devices without adapters.
Best Monitor Top 10 Comparison Guide
Reviews of the Top Rated Monitors
The LG 34UC88-B is a king among monitors. This beast has a commanding 34” screen, curved at a comfortable angle that makes you truly feel inside the action. Its ultra-wide screen boasts a 21:9 cinematic aspect ratio which works seamlessly with multiple split screens when you’re not using it to play games or watch movies. Instead of true 4K, this monitor features 3440×1440 resolution, which turns out to be easier on the eyes and much better for scaling. Even without the extra pixels, picture quality is just as clear and impressive as UHD.
Gamers will especially appreciate this monitor’s FreeSync, which allows your monitor and GPU to sync frame rates for a smoother gaming experience, free of stuttering and tearing. Of course, you also need a powerful GPU to get the most out of this monitor’s high resolution, and you should be warned that NVIDIA graphics cards don’t work with AMD’s FreeSync at this time.
This monitor has a great design, featuring thin bezels and a sturdy stand. The stand is also curved, and doesn’t wobble dangerously like lesser monitor stands. You can also tilt and turn your monitor to your liking with this convenient stand, ensuring you always have the perfect angle to appreciate the curved screen.
Computer gaming monitors focus on the issues most pressing in high-stakes games like real-time strategies and first person shooters. In these games, issues like tearing, ghosting, blurring, and poor contrast can really take away from the experience, regardless of how high the resolution is. Thankfully, the ViewSonic XG2700-4K addresses all these issues AND comes complete with 4K UHD resolution.
Like the LG, this best monitor also features FreeSync technology, minimizing tearing issues when your GPU is out-performing your monitor. Next, it features black stabilization, which takes the liberty of brightening the darkest spots in-game for more detail. Now enemies can’t hide in the shadows out of view, especially thanks to the superior contrast ratio. Ghosting is a thing of the past, too, taking advantage of this monitor’s 5ms GTG response time.
At 27”, this monitor is large without being overwhelming. It has a strong build and a solid stand which of course allows you to tilt, pivot, and turn the monitor face to your liking. We also appreciate the extensive connectivity options included with this monitor, meaning you can truly make it the center of your gaming PC setup.
This is a great monitor for all types of users, featuring a large, flat 32” screen with full 3840×2160 resolution. The BenQ 32-Inch IPS 4K uses 100% of the sRGB gamut, more than the two previous monitors, though still not as good as full Adobe RGB, it’s a step in the right direction of pure color reproduction.
The superior display also features a blazing 4ms GTG response time and incredible 20M:1 dynamic contrast, meaning the colors you do see are more vibrant, bright, and true. When using this monitor in full UHD, this makes for one of the smoothest viewing experiences available in the BenQ’s price point.
This monitor’s design is unique, with ergonomics at the forefront. There is an OSD controller at its base, from which you can choose from several modes of display including CAD/CAM, Animation, and Low Blue Light. From here you can also adjust the height and direction of your BenQ monitor. It’s a great monitor for graphic designers and casual users alike.
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