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 2019. See also our recommendations for the best 1440p 144Hz monitors and the best 1440p gaming monitors.
The Gigabyte Aorus AD27QD is the best 1440p monitor we've tested so far. This versatile 27 inch 1440p monitor offers quite a lot for its asking price. Picture quality is decent, and although the contrast ratio and black uniformity are quite poor due to the IPS panel, it does redeem itself in other outstanding features, including one that has never been implemented within a monitor: active noise cancelling.
This monitor supports AMD's FreeSync variable refresh rate technology for a nearly tear-free gaming experience. Although this monitor only supported FreeSync when it was first available, NVIDIA has since certified it as G-SYNC compatible after a driver update. The VRR technology, coupled with excellent response time, results in extremely clear motion with very little blur behind fast-moving objects. A black frame insertion (BFI) feature is also available to further improve motion blur; however, it can't be used when FreeSync is enabled. The Active Noise Cancelling feature found on this monitor isn't to cut out environmental noise for yourself, but to make it easier for your teammates to hear you by reducing background noise that can be picked up through the microphone.
This is a great monitor overall, and it deserves to be our top recommendation for 1440p monitors.
If you like the Gigabyte Aorus AD27QD but want a monitor that supports G-SYNC natively, the ASUS ROG Swift PG279QZ is the best G-SYNC 1440p monitor we've tested so far. It's almost as good as the Aorus, but the lack of HDR and lower peak brightness may disappoint some. It can also be overclocked beyond the native 144Hz refresh rate, up to 165Hz, delivering slightly better motion handling.
Overall, the Aorus is slightly more versatile, so it's a better choice for most people, but if you want to get the most out of your NVIDIA graphics card, the ASUS is the best G-SYNC alternative.
The LG 34GK950F-B is the best ultrawide 1440p monitor that 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.
11/13/2019: Minor text and structure changes; no change in recommendations.