Best Computer Monitors

Updated October 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Pros
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

38 Models Considered
12 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
125 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for computer monitors

Whether you need a new computer monitor for PC gaming, working from home, or web browsing, it is important to find the right one for your needs.

Informed buyers will compare monitor sizes, features, price, and other factors when shopping. But with so many quality computer monitor manufacturers, such as ViewSonic, Alienware, and Dell, how can you choose? Finding the best monitor can be intimidating if you don’t know what to look for.

There are even more aspects you may not have considered when browsing for a computer monitor. For example, there are innovative screen shapes designed for entertainment or productivity. There are integrated gaming-related technologies that provide a superior experience.

It may seem like a lot to take in, but once you know what you want from a computer monitor, you can zero in on models that fit your needs.

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If you plan to spend hours watching your computer monitor, look for something that reduces blue light. Too much blue light can cause eye strain or headaches.

Monitor resolutions

A computer monitor’s resolution is measured by the number of light-emitting pixels in its display.

Models with more pixels are more colorful. There is a distinct contrast between deep black and bright white tones. Detail is greater, too.

Common resolution options include Full HD/1080p, Quad HD/1440p, 4K Ultra HD/4K, and the rare but impressive 5K display.

High-resolution computer monitors are worth the investment if you play lots of PC games or watch lots of video streaming apps. These are often larger displays with many features. But, they can be pricey.

Low-resolution monitors are good for more basic tasks. This includes checking email and taking online courses.

Most monitors can be easily mounted on the wall with a standard VESA television mount. Check your monitor’s instructions to determine what size VESA mount it requires.

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Screen sizes

Like TVs, computer monitors are manufactured in a wide variety of sizes, from small 20-inch models to giant 55-inch monitors.

Selecting a size for your new computer monitor is fairly simple. It often comes down to how you plan to use it.

Bigger monitors are best for PC gaming or enjoying a cinematic viewing experience for movies and TV. These extra-wide computer monitors may take up more space and can get fairly expensive. But, they often have superior resolution and many high-end features.

Smaller monitors tend to cost less. They are great for small workspaces and basic functions like web browsing and online learning.

Mid-sized computer monitors between 21 and 27 inches are a happy medium. They tend to balance value, a good resolution, and useful features.

If you plan on watching movies and TV shows on your computer monitor with friends or family, look for models with wide viewing angles so everyone in the room will have a comfortable view of the screen.

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Ports

The most common and important ports of a computer monitor include USB-C, HDMI, VGA, and Display Ports. These offer the best range of connectivity.

Screen types

Computer monitors come in a variety of shapes, styles, and panel types.

Check out these specialty options.

Curved monitors: These monitors are designed with a curve that bends around the viewer’s peripheral vision.

The curve results in an immersive viewing experience that minimizes eye strain.

Curved monitors are a top option for gaming and watching streaming apps.

Ultrawide monitors: Also known as “widescreen monitors,” ultrawide monitors have a squat and wide rectangular design.

The unique shape and 21:9 aspect ratio makes an ultrawide monitor a solid pick for gaming. Players get a wide field of view to see much of the game world at once.

Professionals like the extra screen space because they can keep multiple windows in view.

Ultrawide monitors are optimized for viewing two computer screens side by side, too.

Panel types: Understanding the type of display panel inside a monitor may help you know if it’s right for you.

For example, an “in-plane switching” (IPS) panel supports a wide field of view and vivid color range. An IPS monitor is a great pick for movie buffs.

PC gamers may want a ”twisted nematic” (TN) display. These monitors tend to support higher frame rates, faster response time, and minimal input lag.

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Did you know?
Apple owners should not be too concerned about compatibility when buying a new computer monitor. Most are designed for both PC and Mac platforms.
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Pricing

Inexpensive: Expect computer monitors that cost $300 or less to be compact with few features.

Most of these bargain monitors have a low resolution. But, they are a top pick for people in small work spaces.

If you just use your PC for basic tasks, this may be all you need.

Mid-range: This range is for buyers with a budget of between $301 and $600.

Here, you will find a wide variety of computer monitor styles, sizes, resolutions, and feature sets to satisfy the average PC owner.

There are plenty of solid monitors for gamers, typists, movie enthusiasts, and digital artists to pick from.

Expensive: This range is for buyers with a budget between $601 to $2,000+.

Power PC users who want a premium viewing experience should be prepared to spend in this range.

Although pricey, these choices are large with a high resolution. They are optimized for smooth gaming.

In short, a monitor like this is worth it for gaming enthusiasts, 4K video streaming, creatives, and others.

Gamers who regularly enjoy competitive and fast-paced online games will appreciate premium visual technologies like NVIDIA G-SYNC and AMD FreeSync.

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Tips

  • If you need great picture quality, get a monitor that supports HDR. HDR, also known as High-Dynamic Range or HDR10, allows monitors and TVs to display a more vivid and lifelike color range. Contrast between light and dark is clear.
  • If you love gaming, look for premium visual technologies. This includes NVIDIA G-SYNC and AMD FreeSync. The experience is smoother. Input lag and screen tearing are reduced.
  • When setting up a computer monitor, calibrate its color settings. Although your new monitor’s image quality may look nice out of the box, calibrating its colors may improve its overall color accuracy.
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If you buy a 4K monitor, make sure that you use high-speed HDMI cables when connecting it. High-speed HDMI cables are specifically designed to handle the intense throughput of a 4K signal.

FAQ

Q. I want an ergonomic computer monitor. What should I look for?

A. Look for one with a a highly adjustable stand that can swivel, tilt, or rotate to the best position. The goal is for you to comfortably view its display.

Q. Should I get an ultrawide computer monitor or a pair of dual-screen monitors?

A. If you need to view two screens at once, an ultrawide monitor is the better choice.

The colors will be uniform between both screens since both are displayed on the same monitor. And, you will not have to look between bezels while you work.

Q. What accessories should I buy for my new computer monitor?

A. While some computer monitors feature an integrated webcam and set of speakers, many do not.

These are convenient but not the most important aspects to consider. The best computer webcams and speakers are sold separately anyway.

 

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