Despite the popularity of 4k with TVs, not everyone wants a 4k monitor. That doesn't necessarily mean you should be stuck with a low-resolution 1080p screen. A resolution of 1440p (also known as Quad-HD) strikes a great balance between 1080p and 4k. For medium-sized screens, 1440p delivers enough pixel density to see more details, but it doesn't require a significantly more powerful computer for decent gaming performance.
We've reviewed over 35 monitors with a 2560x1440 or 3440x1440 resolution, and below are our recommendations for the best 2k monitors available to purchase in 2020. See also our recommendations for the best 1440p 144Hz monitors and the best 1440p gaming monitors.
The best 1440p monitor we've tested so far is the ASUS TUF VG27AQ. It's a 27 inch IPS monitor that maintains an accurate image on the sides even when you sit up close. It delivers an excellent gaming experience thanks to its low input lag and fast response time, and has a very fast refresh rate to further improve the appearance of motion. It's a monitor that you can place in almost any room without issue as it'll fight glare and handle reflections decently. It has a very wide range of FreeSync support, and demanding gamers will appreciate the nearly tear-free gaming experience it delivers when their graphics card can't maintain a steady frame rate. This monitor performs very well in most uses and supports HDR, although it doesn't add much.
Just like most IPS monitors, dark room performance is lacking due to the monitor's mediocre contrast ratio that displays blacks like gray.
Overall, however, this is an excellent gaming monitor that'll please most people no matter the intended use.
If you like the ASUS TUF VG27AQ but want a monitor that supports G-SYNC natively and still delivers excellent gaming performance, the get ASUS ROG Swift PG279QZ. It doesn't offer any support for HDR and has a slightly lower refresh rate, but on the upside, it's a very good monitor that offers an excellent gaming performance, good enough even for demanding gamers. It supports G-SYNC and ensures a nearly tear-free gaming experience in conjunction with your NVIDIA graphics card.
If you want the best 1440p monitor, get the VG27AQ, but if G-SYNC support is important, then the PG279QZ is a better choice.
The LG 34GK950F-B is the best ultrawide 1440p monitor we've tested so far. It's a monitor that targets gamers first and foremost, with its 144Hz refresh rate, FreeSync support and G-SYNC compatibility, excellent response time, and low input lag. That isn't to say that it can't be used as an office monitor and a multitasking powerhouse. The flicker-free backlight helps to reduce eye strain, and although it's missing some more advanced features like picture-in-picture or picture-by-picture, it still offers plenty of screen real estate to get things done.
The IPS panel used by LG gives great viewing angles, outstanding gradient performance, and good color accuracy, but suffers in dark room performance due to poor contrast ratio and black uniformity. Overall, though, it's a great 1440p monitor for almost any use.
If the LG 34GK950F-B seems a bit pricey to you, there's a cheaper alternative: the Dell U3417W. It lacks some of the features found on the LG, such as HDR support, and it has a higher than average input lag, but it'll fit right in as a great office monitor. Ergonomics are decent, allowing for height, tilt, and swivel adjustments, however, it can't be rotated into portrait mode.
Like the LG, the IPS screen provides wide viewing angles and great color accuracy out-of-the-box, and like most IPS screens, contrast ratio and black uniformity suffers in consequence. There's one other feature that the Dell has to make it a great office monitor: it supports picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture.
Overall, the LG is the best ultrawide 1440p monitor we've tested so far, but if it's too expensive or you simply don't need the gaming features, the Dell is a decent alternative.
The Dell U2518D is the best budget 1440p monitor that we've tested so far. This 25 inch monitor has a simple, understated design with slim bezels, a surprisingly sturdy stand, and excellent ergonomics. Wide viewing angles, decent peak brightness, and good reflection handling all make this a great office monitor.
This monitor can do a lot, but it lacks some of the more advanced features typically found on higher-end monitors. The 60Hz refresh rate, the lack of FreeSync and G-SYNC support, and the mediocre HDR performance may deter some more discerning gamers. On the upside, Dell has once again provided us with an incredible selection of ports.
Overall, though, this is a very good monitor for a variety of uses, and a great choice for the budget-conscious.
If you want better gaming performance than the Dell U2518D on a budget, check out the AOC AGON AG271QC instead. Although TN panels are often prized by serious gamers for their incredible response time, it does tend to suffer when it comes to viewing angles and contrast ratio. However, with the inclusion of FreeSync support, G-SYNC compatibility, the 144Hz refresh rate, and excellent input lag, gamers won't be disappointed.
Overall, the Dell is the best budget 1440p we've tested so far, but if you want something with better gaming performance, the AOC is a better choice.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best 2k monitors currently available. They are adapted to be valid for most people, in each price range. Rating is based on our review, factoring in price and feedback from our visitors.
If you would prefer to make your own decision, here is the list of all of our monitor reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. Most monitors are good enough to please most people, and the things we fault monitors on are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.
01/15/2020: Added the ASUS TUF VG29AQ and made small changes to text for clarity.
11/13/2019: Minor text and structure changes; no change in recommendations.