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The 5 Best Multimedia Monitors - Fall 2018
Reviews

Best Multimedia Monitors
53 Monitors Tested
  • Store-bought monitors; no cherry-picked units
  • Retest after major updates
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

You don't need to spend a fortune on the latest 4k TV to get an enjoyable movie experience; most monitors deliver a decent multimedia experience. New 4k monitors have some of the same features as high-end TVs, including support for HDR and even local dimming for better dark room performance. Monitors typically have extremely low input lag, and most have fast response times for clear motion.

We've reviewed 42 monitors, and below you'll find our top picks for the 5 best ones for multimedia that are available for purchase in 2018.

  1. Best Multimedia Monitor: LG 27UK650-W

    Size : 27 "
    Resolution : 3840x2160
    Refresh Rate : 60 Hz
    LCD Type
    What it is: Type of LCD technology used by the monitor.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different viewing angle properties.
    :
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    What it is: Feature that allows the monitor to synchronize its refresh rate with the input device's output and reduces stuttering and screen tearing.
    When it matters: Almost every usage, but is most noticeable in gaming where constant fluctuation in framerate cause distracting artifacts.
    :
    FreeSync

    The LG 27UK650 is the best monitor for watching movies that we have reviewed so far. It is a great 27" IPS monitor with an excellent 4k resolution that looks great. It has great peak brightness in SDR, but HDR content doesn't pop as much as it should. The IPS panel delivers great wide viewing angles, so the sides of the screen remain accurate even when sitting up close.

    It is an extremely versatile monitor and is great at pretty much everything. It has great motion handling, so fast moving objects in movies or games looks clear, with little blur. It is also free from PWM flicker, which may bother some people.

    Unfortunately, the LG 27UK650 doesn't perform as well in a dark room. It has mediocre native contrast, and mediocre black uniformity. It also doesn't have a local dimming feature. Overall, it is a great monitor that should please most people, regardless of usage.

    See our review

  2. Larger Alternative: LG 32UD99-W

    Size : 32 "
    Resolution : 3840x2160
    Refresh Rate : 60 Hz
    LCD Type
    What it is: Type of LCD technology used by the monitor.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different viewing angle properties.
    :
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    What it is: Feature that allows the monitor to synchronize its refresh rate with the input device's output and reduces stuttering and screen tearing.
    When it matters: Almost every usage, but is most noticeable in gaming where constant fluctuation in framerate cause distracting artifacts.
    :
    FreeSync

    If you like the LG 27UK650 but would prefer a larger screen, then take a look at the LG 32UD99. There are very few differences between the two. Both have a great 4k screen, FreeSync support, and 60 Hz refresh rate. They also have nearly identical low input lag and the same great response time. The 32UD99 has a slightly wider color gamut, in SDR and HDR, and has extra USB ports that allow it to be used as a USB hub.

    See our review

  3. Best Dark Room Multimedia Monitor: Samsung C27HG70

    Size : 27 "
    Resolution : 2560x1440
    Refresh Rate : 144 Hz
    LCD Type
    What it is: Type of LCD technology used by the monitor.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different viewing angle properties.
    :
    VA
    Variable Refresh Rate
    What it is: Feature that allows the monitor to synchronize its refresh rate with the input device's output and reduces stuttering and screen tearing.
    When it matters: Almost every usage, but is most noticeable in gaming where constant fluctuation in framerate cause distracting artifacts.
    :
    FreeSync

    If you like to watch videos or game at night on your computer in a dark room, check out the Samsung CHG70. It has a very good native contrast ratio, so blacks appear black in a dark room. It also has a local dimming feature, although it isn't very effective. It has great peak brightness in SDR, but HDR is only decent.

    The 27", curved 4k screen is great for watching movies. Fast action scenes look great and are nearly free of motion blur thanks to the extremely fast response time. It is also flicker-free by default, great if flicker bothers you, but it does have the option to introduce flicker to improve motion clarity.

    It has an excellent 144 Hz refresh rate, and extremely low input lag, great for gaming. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the wide viewing angles found on IPS monitors, but the curved screen helps a bit to ensure an accurate image when sitting up close. Overall, it is a very good monitor that should please most people.

    See our review

  4. Wider Alternative: Samsung C49HG90

    Size : 49 "
    Resolution : 3840x1080
    Refresh Rate : 144 Hz
    LCD Type
    What it is: Type of LCD technology used by the monitor.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different viewing angle properties.
    :
    VA
    Variable Refresh Rate
    What it is: Feature that allows the monitor to synchronize its refresh rate with the input device's output and reduces stuttering and screen tearing.
    When it matters: Almost every usage, but is most noticeable in gaming where constant fluctuation in framerate cause distracting artifacts.
    :
    FreeSync

    If you like the Samsung CHG70, but would like a more immersive multimedia experience, check out the Samsung CHG90. This ultrawide, 49" monitor offers an extremely immersive multimedia and gaming experience. Although there is very little video content available in the ultrawide 32:9 aspect ratio, 21:9 movies look great, and most recent games should support a 3840x1080 resolution. Unfortunately, it does use PWM flicker to dim the backlight, but it flickers at a relatively high 433 Hz that shouldn't be noticeable to most people.

    Overall, although it is a bit of a niche design, the CHG90 is a good multimedia monitor that should please most people.

    See our review

  5. Best Budget Multimedia Monitor: Dell U2518D

    Size : 25 "
    Resolution : 2560x1440
    Refresh Rate : 60 Hz
    LCD Type
    What it is: Type of LCD technology used by the monitor.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different viewing angle properties.
    :
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    What it is: Feature that allows the monitor to synchronize its refresh rate with the input device's output and reduces stuttering and screen tearing.
    When it matters: Almost every usage, but is most noticeable in gaming where constant fluctuation in framerate cause distracting artifacts.
    :
    No

    If you want a budget monitor for watching videos but don't want to break the bank, the Dell U2518D is the best budget media monitor that we've reviewed so far. It is a 25", 1440p IPS monitor with wide viewing angles and a great design.

    It delivers good overall picture quality, but is best suited for a bright room. It has excellent gradient handling, which ensures that areas of similar color are displayed perfectly when watching movies. It has an excellent fast response time with little motion blur and is free of PWM-dimming. It has very good input lag, but some people might find it a bit too high for gaming.

    Unfortunately, while it does support HDR, there is little benefit to this as it only has decent HDR peak brightness and lacks the wide color gamut necessary for HDR content to stand out. Overall though, it is a very versatile monitor that should please most people, regardless of your usage.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Dell U2718Q. Very good monitor for multimedia, but the LG 27UK650 is a bit better for almost the same price. See our review
  • ASUS ROG PG279Q. Good monitor, but the LG 27UK650 is better and cheaper. See our review
  • Acer Predator X27. Great monitor but extremely expensive. See our review
  • LG 27UD68P-B. Decent media monitor, but it is worth it to upgrade to the CHG70. See our review
  • Dell Alienware AW3418DW. Decent ultrawide media monitor, but very expensive. See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best monitors currently available for multimedia. 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.

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