7 Top Picks
30 Hours of Research
30 Options Considered
Without proper display, your desktop’s computing capabilities will seem lackluster due to poor visual representation. A good PC monitor should offer decent resolution and color accuracy, in addition to a superior refresh rate. A good computer monitor for trading or gaming under $500 or $400 or even $300 should also last you a lot longer than a budget unit with specs that are soon to perish. Also, if you stick to reputable brands, click here. So, how exactly should you go about buying the best PC monitor? Well, keep on reading to find out.
3 Top PC Monitor
Recognized by many as the ultimate photographer and video editors monitor, the BenQ SW321C does an outstanding job of bringing images to life while remaining a champion of affordability. It’s a 32-inch unit with 4K UHD resolution and a pixel density of 137, ensuring comfortable viewing and impeccable detailing.
As emphasized by the “VX” prefix in the name, the VX2776 is designed as part of the ViewSonic’s consumer range. This monitor is, quite simply, breath-taking in terms of aesthetics. It’s just as gorgeous as high-end units from prominent brands such as Acer and ASUS
Looking for a 240 Hz gaming PC display that’s designed for fast-paced competitive games? Look no further, as the Alienware AW2518H has everything you’re looking for at a cost-effective price tag. Unlike the above-listed units, the AW2518H is equipped with a TN panel designed by AU Optronics.
What Are the Main Categories of PC Monitors?
There are quite a few categories of PC monitors, but since we’re talking about the top of the heap here, we’re looking at three main categories: business/professional monitors, general-use/multimedia monitors, and touch-screen monitors. The following paragraphs help explain the differences between these three categories and what they have to offer.
This category of best monitors is by far the most diverse of all three, as it includes everything from small, energy-efficient monitors to high-end, professional-grade ones. If you’re a graphics professional or one of the digital artists who requires the best in terms of color and grayscale accuracy, this category should be your go-to, as it’s home to units that feature advanced in-plane switching technology and others that use indium gallium zinc oxide as a semiconductor.
Business/professional computer monitors are also comfortable as far as ergonomics go. They’re usually equipped with easily adjustable ergonomic stands, and they flaunt aggressive recycling and built-in USB ports. To add, they’re backed by warranties that span from 3 to 5 years, as well as an overnight exchange service.
Business/professional monitors tend to be available at steep price tags, but they’re definitely worthwhile.
Best PC Monitor Reviews
[Best Monitor Overall]
1. BenQ SW321C
Recognized by many as the ultimate photographer monitor, the BenQ SW321C does an outstanding job of bringing images to life while remaining a champion of affordability. It’s a 32-inch unit with 4K UHD resolution and a pixel density of 137, ensuring comfortable viewing and impeccable detailing. The unit features a diverse set of connections, such as HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4, USB Type-A, USB Type-B, and USB Type-C.
BenQ SW321C Specifications
3840 x 2160
The SW321C incorporates a few significant upgrades over previous models, including a micro-fine coating technology that goes by Advanced Reflectionless; it basically serves as an anti-reflection layer. Further, Uniformity technology was upgraded to ensure better color and brightness variations. And lastly, for photographers, there’s Paper Color Sync, which enables the user to create dedicated color settings for various parameters.
We have to give it to the SW321C for its uniformity of color and brightness, as it’s by far the best we’ve seen on a BenQ photo-specific monitor.
Construction-wise, this is a very well-built monitor that’ll last you for years to come. Apart from the monitor, the package also includes a modular shading hood, a set of cables, and the HotKey Puck G2. It’s an excellent small PC monitor, to say the least.
BenQ SW321C Pros
BenQ SW321C Cons
[Best For The Money]
As emphasized by the “VX” prefix in the name, the VX2776 is designed as part of the ViewSonic’s consumer range. This monitor is, quite simply, breath-taking in terms of aesthetics. It’s just as gorgeous as high-end units from prominent brands such as Acer and ASUS, so don’t let the whole “consumer range” thing throw you off; unlike models of similar size, the VX2776 manages to maintain a very appealing low-profile design.
ViewSonic VX2776 Specifications
3840 x 2160
Out of the box, the VX2776’s color performance is pretty satisfactory (110% sRGB). It’s not as spectacular as some of the other monitors on the list, but it’s fairly good for general use. The monitor excels when it comes to panel uniformity and viewing angles, not to mention its remarkable color reproduction. All of the main shades of the RGB spectrum were produced ideally, so it’s safe to say the unit is fairly accurate.
We feel the need to point out that the ViewSonic VX2776 is far from a gaming monitor. It lacks the features that gamers need for optimal user experience.
However, if you’re in search of a budget-friendly, LED monitor that will display a lot of vibrancy, the VX2776 will surely appeal to you. Connectors-wise, the unit offers an acceptable selection, including HDMI, VGA, and DisplayPort. This monitor is highly recommended for general/office use.
ViewSonic VX2776 Pros
ViewSonic VX2776 Cons
[Best For The Speed]
Looking for a 240 Hz gaming PC display that’s designed for fast-paced competitive games? Look no further, as the Alienware AW2518H has everything you’re looking for at a cost-effective price tag. Unlike the above-listed units, the AW2518H is equipped with a TN panel designed by AU Optronics. The panel utilized for this monitor is the very same panel used in the majority of 240 Hz monitors of the same size.
Alienware AW2518H Specifications
1920 x 1080
The unit’s viewing angles are 170 degrees vertically and 160 degrees horizontally, meaning the tone of the colors will shift when you view the monitor from a different angle, be it too far from both sides, above, or below. However, this shouldn’t be that big of a deal for anyone buying these g-sync monitors because they are gaming monitors, and competitive gamers tend to sit directly in front of the screen so that no tone variance will occur.
We feel the need to point out that the measured contrast ratio is shy of the 1000:1 ratio that’s claimed by the manufacturer. When it comes to the brightness, however, the unit does a great job of peaking around 400 nits with very consistent luminance.
The colors aren’t as vibrant as on an IPS or VA panel, but for a TN panel, the colors are decent. For connectivity, the monitor comes with DisplayPort, headphone jack, USB connectivity, and HDMI ports.
Alienware AW2518H Pros
Alienware AW2518H Cons
ASUS’ ROG (Republic of Gamers) monitors are some of the most visually appealing and best-performing monitors on the market today, and the ROG Swift PG27UQ is a prime example of the series. Granted, the monitor is a little more expensive than monitors of similar capabilities, but its unique design surely grants it the edge over its straight-laced competitors. The monitor is very immersive without dominating too much desk space.
ASUS PG27UQ Specifications
3840 x 2160
The performance of the ASUS PG27UQ is nothing short of impressive, thanks to the use of G-Sync technology and the monitor’s vivid 4K resolution. This is a 144 Hz refresh rate monitor, which allows for a snappy and responsive performance without any sort of screen tearing.
Keep in mind that this desktop monitor must be backed by a powerful rig in order to perform ideally. Otherwise, you’ll notice some strain on high frame rates.
Even though the HDR monitor is intended for gaming purposes, we can’t see why it wouldn’t make for an excellent productivity monitor. If you scale the desktop to 120%, you’ll see that it offers an extremely comfortable platform to work on and plenty of desktop space without minimizing icons and text too much. The IPS panel offers superb viewing angles and a ton of color vitality.
ASUS PG27UQ Pros
ASUS PG27UQ Cons
Adopting matte silver and black Designo aesthetics, the ASUS MX38VC is one large 37.5-inch beast of visual representation. This unit is great for business and general use settings. Besides, we’re in love with this bezel-free display, as it’s fairly thin despite how big the monitor is.
- Curved display for an immersive viewing experience
- Frameless design that’s perfect for multi-monitor setups
- Ultrawide monitor display for more screen space
- SonicMaster technology for high-quality audio output
- Flicker-free technology to prevent eye strain
ASUS MX38VC Specifications
3840 x 1600
It’s very important to keep in mind that the sheer size of this monitor will degrade from the sharpness and crispness of its 4K resolution.
Just think of it this way: if you spread 3,840 pixels over 38 inches, each pixel will be larger and less crip than when it’s spread over 27 inches, for example.
Nevertheless, the MX37VC is still an excellent monitor that will appeal to a lot of people. Just make sure you have ample desk space to handle it.
ASUS MX38VC Pros
ASUS MX38VC Cons
Looking for a widescreen monitor that offers large-screen entertainment and steadfast gaming performance at a budget-friendly price tag? The BenQ EX3203R is exactly what you’re looking for. This remarkable 31.5-inch monitor flaunts the capacity and vivid resolution for video watching and gaming alike. It produces crisp images with bright and accurate colors. It might not be the most capable, but it certainly offers a ton of value.
BenQ EX3203R Specifications
2560 x 1440
The unit flaunts a high contrast ratio of 3000:1 as opposed to the conventional 1000:1 ratio, so you should expect it to deliver deeper blacks and an optimal contrast between bright and dark colors.
Additionally, this 32-inch PC monitor covers an impressive color gamut. To be more specific, it covers 90% of the DCI-P3 color space. It flaunts excellent peak brightness and a host of connections.
Whether you’re looking for an HDMI PC monitor or a USB C connectivity one, the EX3203R has got your back with both ports available!
BenQ EX3203R Pros
BenQ EX3203R Cons
The Acer Predator XB272 is another monitor that offers a lot of value for the money. It’s one of those monitors that champion design simplicity, making it an awesome pick for minimalists. It’s not covered in flashy colors like most PC gaming monitors, and it doesn’t incorporate any out-of-this-world design elements. It’s all about the quality of the displays with this unit, and the displays are surprisingly impressive for a 27-inch FHD monitor.
Acer XB272 Specifications
1920 x 1080
Granted, the 1080p resolution may be a little bit outdated nowadays, especially if you’re looking for the most detailed desktop experience, but keep in mind that this compromise is made so that the monitor is capable of delivering faster displays at a 240 Hz refresh rate.
It’s also worth noting that this is a TN panel, meaning the colors aren’t as bright or as vivid as VA and IPS panels. Nonetheless, it’s a budget unit that’s worth considering.
Also, if you’re on the lookout for a 1080p, 144 Hz monitor, you can go for this one’s cousin, the XN253Q.
Acer XB272 Pros
Acer XB272 Cons
The Windows touch experience is quite remarkable, to say the least, which is why touch-screen monitors are dominating the vertical monitors markets. These monitors don’t come cheap, and so you have to contemplate whether a touch-screen monitor for PC is worth the extra spend or not. Some touch-screen monitors come with a stand that enables the user to position them parallel to their desks, whereas others are featured stand-less.
Ones that aren’t equipped with stands are intended to be incorporated into certain environments with the aid of custom monitor arms/stands. If you champion portability, you’d be pleased to know that there’s the best portable monitor with touch-screen options on the market. Such models are excellent for graphic artists that have a limited desk space by setup confines.
General Use/Multimedia Monitors
General use/multimedia PC monitors are the best when it comes to connectivity options, including HDMI and DisplayPort connections. There are also entertainment-class units that come equipped with various audio connections. When in the market for a general use computer screen, make sure the monitor features at least two USB ports. It’s also a plus to have a Type-C port that allows for charging and two-way data transfer.
General use/multimedia monitors should also boast high-quality onboard speakers, not those low-powered ones. 2 watts or higher should be your standard when it comes to choosing speaker-equipped monitors. You might also need a monitor that features a card reader, which will enable you to view multimedia files with ease. Also, consider getting a PC screen with an onboard webcam for video chats.
The Basics: Pricing, Panel Types, and More
Now that you have a solid understanding of the different monitor categories and what to expect from them, it’s time to learn about the various factors that you need to take into consideration to ensure the most monitors bang for your buck, including monitor size, resolution, and all the other bells and whistles that affect the quality of the visual representation.
What Size Monitor Do I Need?
PC screens come in a wide range of sizes, spanning from 19 inches to 38 inches. Also, note that ultra-wide displays can size up to 49 inches (don’t opt for one of those unless you have a desk that accommodates their massive size). Keep in mind that while it might be compelling to get the widest viewing area, it’s not always the most practical approach. Apart from space limits, you should expect less portability and extra cost with larger units.
If you’re looking for a big-screen experience at a reasonable price, we suggest buying a 27-inch monitor, or larger, depending on your needs and budget. If you want something that’s cost-effective yet enables you to view content properly, a 24-inch monitor is ideal. If budget and space aren’t issues for you, then, by all means, go for the largest unit you can get, and make sure it’s a curved-screen model for better viewing experience.
Some people reading this post might be interested in swapping their dual-monitor setup for a single large PC monitor, in which case, consider monitors measuring between 29 inches to 49 inches. Whether the monitor is curved or non-curved is completely up to you. Such ultra-wide models tend to have an aspect ratio of 21:9 or 32:9. What’s more, they come in a broad resolution range, which we’ll be covering in the following section.
Which Monitor Resolution Is Best for What I Do?
Native resolution is arguably the most vital factor to take into consideration when you’re the market for a new monitor, be it for a PC or any other device, for that matter. To put it simply, the native res is the highest number of pixels that a monitor can generate vertically and horizontally. For example, if you have a monitor with a 2,048 x 1,536 native res, it’s capable of displaying 2,048 pixels horizontally and 1,536 vertically.
Of course, the higher the native resolution is, the more pixels it can displays, which, in turn, equates to higher quality. To make the selection process easier, you must know that most good PC monitors between the 22-inch and 27-inch size range have a res of 1920 x 1080. These units are labeled as 1080p or Full HD monitors. Some models between the 24-inch and 32-inch size range have a res of 2560 x 1440 (WQHD).
Moving up the ladder we have 4K or UHD monitors, which feature a native res of 3840 x 2160. These models tend to be 27 inches or larger like the 4K 40 inch models we reviewed. Keep in mind that there are quite a few exceptions to what we’ve just covered. For example, you can find a 24-inch UHD model. We’re quite fond of UHD monitors because they provide the most details in terms of visual representation, but that doesn’t mean FHD or WQHD units are bad.
Which Major Features Should I Look for in a Monitor?
Having figured out the ideal monitor size and res for your needs, it’s time to move on to a few other more intricate factors that should influence your buying decision. In the following paragraphs, we discuss the significant sway that pixel response time, better contrast, brightness, and connectivity have over the quality of a monitor’s visual representation.
Response time is the time taken by a pixel to change color. This brief frame of time is measured in milliseconds (ms). As you could probably tell, the less time a pixel needs to change color, the better. Longer response time will translate to blur during gameplay, the prime nemesis for a lot of game genres, most notably first-person shooter ones. For such games, a shorter response ensures crisp images for beautiful picture quality or image quality output.
The vast majority of LCD monitors, modern ones at least, have a pixel response time of 2 to 4 milliseconds, which isn’t bad for most titles. However, if you’re a hard-core gamer looking for the best of the best, you want to opt for a monitor that offers a response time of 1 millisecond. Of course, the lower the pixel response time, the more expensive the monitor will be. For general use and office work, low response time isn’t all that crucial.
Contrast ratio is one of those factors that many buyers fail to understand or evaluate its importance when it comes to selecting a new monitor. To put it simply, it’s the difference between the whitest shade of the color white and the darkest shade of the color black that a monitor can generate. Contrast ratios are expressed as 3000:1, for example. The higher the contrast ratio, the better. However, there are a few caveats to keep in mind.
The best contrast ratios you can find in most modern monitors range between 1000:1 to 3000:1. Whenever you see a monitor for PC that’s advertised to flaunt a contrast ratio greater than 3000:1, you should know that it’s merely a marketing scheme. If you don’t think so (maybe it’s a brand that you trust), then you should head to the nearest store and check the monitor for yourself to see whether or not the brand’s claims are true.
Brightness is another parameter that’s shrouded in myth, with one of the most popular myths being that higher brightness results in vision problems. Yes, this has some truth behind it, but it’s not like monitors come with a single brightness setting. You can always adjust the brightness to your liking. And don’t forget that higher brightness is favorable in bright ambient lighting. So, to put a period on it, the higher the brightness, the better.
What if you want to connect your new monitor to other devices than your computer? Maybe you’d like to connect it to a Macbook or a gaming console like a PlayStation or an Xbox. With that in mind, you have to take into consideration the number and type of connections that a monitor can offer you before actually buying one. Some of the most notable connectors include VGA, DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI, and, of course, USB hub.
We’re quite confident that one of our in depth reviews above will meet your needs and budget, and with the aid of our detailed buying guide, finding your ideal monitor won’t be very hard. The best gaming monitor on this list has to be the Alienware AW2518H. For businesses and professionals, the BenQ SW321C is an excellent choice. And as far as which monitor offers the most value, the BenQ EX3203R is at the top of the list.
1. Which brand of computer monitor is best?
These are the brands of the best computer monitors that we can recommend.
1. BenQ SW321C - This brand is considered one of the best computer monitors. In addition, it is recognized by many as the ultimate photographer monitor; the BenQ SW321C does an outstanding job of bringing images to life while remaining a champion of affordability.
It’s a 32-inch unit with 4K UHD res and a pixel density of 137, ensuring comfortable viewing and impeccable detailing.
2. ViewSonic VX2776 - As emphasized by the “VX” prefix in the name, the VX2776 is designed as part of ViewSonic’s consumer range. This monitor is, quite simply, breath-taking in terms of aesthetics. It’s just as gorgeous as high-end units from prominent brands such as Acer and ASUS
3. Alienware AW2518H - Looking for 240 Hz gaming PC displays that are designed for fast-paced competitive games? Look no further, as the Alienware AW2518H has everything you’re looking for at a cost-effective price tag. Unlike the above-listed units, the AW2518H is equipped with a TN panel designed by AU Optronics.
2. How do I choose a computer monitor?
General guidelines for purchasing the best computer monitor.
- Ascertain that the monitor accepts the same type of input as your computer, or invest in an adapter to make them compatible.
- Purchase the largest screen that fits the physical space in which it will be installed while remaining within your budget. Monitors with large screens let you do multitasking with multiple windows with ease
3. Do I need a PC for my monitor?
No, you simply require any device capable of outputting the displays to that monitor. These may include laptops, desktop computers, and gaming consoles. Gaming monitors typically have higher refresh rates and faster response times, which means you'll most likely need a robust system to utilize the gaming monitor.
4. Why are more expensive monitors better?
They have more vibrant and accurate colors and higher contrast ratios compared to a cheap monitor. All of these factors contribute to the price and manufacturing process. In short, although PC monitors are smaller than most televisions, they provide a higher-quality image, enhanced graphics, and a wider viewing angle.
5. Are expensive monitors worth it?
To answer your question, yes, more expensive monitors offer improved color accuracy and reduced motion blur as compared to some cheap monitors.
Some people swear by the more expensive IPS monitors, particularly for video/photo editing, while others prefer the less expensive TN panels for gaming.