Whether you're a professional in the print and marketing industry or an amateur photographer, your project has to look its best. The first step is to have a good monitor with accurate colors. There's nothing worse than printing your project or sending it to your clients only to find the colors are off because your monitor couldn't display them properly.
We've tested more than 185 monitors, and below are our picks for the best monitors for photo editing, video editing, or graphic design available for purchase. See also our recommendations for the best 4k monitors, the best ultrawide monitors, and the best monitors overall.
The best monitor for photo editing or video editing that we've tested is the Dell S2721QS. It's a 27 inch IPS model with a 4k resolution, which means you get plenty of space to work comfortably, and the image is incredibly sharp. It has a simple but sleek design, good build quality, and it comes with a stand that allows for a good amount of ergonomic adjustments. It handles reflections well and gets bright enough to combat glare in most settings.
It's best suited for those working in the sRGB color space as it has full coverage. Its Adobe RGB coverage is good, but it might not be good enough for photography professionals. Color accuracy is just okay out of the box, so you may need to calibrate it before doing any color-critical work. It has a pretty good response time for a 60Hz panel if you want to game on it, and it also supports VRR to reduce screen tearing.
Unfortunately, there are no USB ports, but you do get built-in speakers. In addition, it has a Picture-in-Picture/Picture-by-Picture mode that lets you display two input signals at once, which is great for those working on two computers. Overall, while its lack of USB-C input might be disappointing for some, it's a great monitor that most people should be happy with.
If you want a monitor with USB-C input, then check out the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q. Like the Dell S2721QS, it's also a 27 inch IPS monitor with a 4k resolution. It's quite a bit more expensive, and for that price increase, you get a USB hub with three USB 3.0 ports, a USB-C with DisplayPort Alt Mode and 90W of power delivery, and a second USB-C on the side of the monitor that can be used for charging even when the monitor is off. It also has better ergonomics and a wider color gamut. Unfortunately, there are some compromises too, as it has worse reflection handling and doesn't get as bright to combat glare.
Overall, if you don't need USB-C input, go with the S2721QS because it's much cheaper, and while its color gamut isn't as wide, the difference is extremely small. Also, its higher screen brightness means you don't have to worry about glare. However, if you need USB-C input and don't mind a higher price tag, go with the U2720Q.
The best monitor for photo editing in the Adobe RGB color space is the Gigabyte M27Q. It has full coverage of the common sRGB color space and is among the few monitors that we've tested with near-full coverage of the Adobe color space. Even though it's a gaming monitor, it offers versatility in a wide range of uses and comes with useful extra features like Picture-in-Picture and Picture-by-Picture modes.
It has a large 27 inch screen and a 1440p resolution that result in sharp text and images. It also has a high 170Hz refresh rate and a quick response time, so fast-moving content looks exceptionally clear. Color accuracy is fantastic right out of the box, so you may not need to get it calibrated to enjoy an accurate image. Gradient handling is also superb, and there's no color bleed either. It also supports HDR10, which is great if you work with HDR content. That said, while it does have a wide color gamut for HDR, it doesn't get especially bright to really bring out highlights in HDR content.
Unfortunately, the contrast ratio is mediocre, resulting in grayish-looking blacks. It also has a BGR subpixel layout, which can affect text clarity in certain programs, but we don't expect this to be an issue for most people. Luckily, you should have no issues working in a bright environment, as it has decent reflection handling and gets bright enough to overcome glare. All things considered, this is the best monitor we've tested for editing content in the Adobe RGB color space.
The best monitor for video editing and photo editing that we've tested in a 32 inch size is the LG 32UD99-W. It's a versatile 16:9 model with a 4k resolution. There's tons of space for multitasking, and the picture is incredibly sharp due to its high pixel density. The stand allows for height and tilt adjustments, and it can also rotate to portrait mode, but it doesn't swivel at all. However, it has good viewing angles, which means the image remains accurate when viewing from the side.
It has full sRGB and great Adobe RGB coverage, and it can display a wide color gamut for HDR content. Its contrast ratio is also quite good for an IPS panel, resulting in deeper blacks. It doesn't handle reflections all that well, but it gets pretty bright, so you shouldn't have any problems with visibility unless you're in a bright, sunny room. If you want to play some games, it has a good response time and supports VRR to reduce screen tearing.
There's a USB-C input that supports DisplayPort Alt Mode so that you can dock a compatible mobile device and charge it simultaneously with a single cable. The power delivery is limited to 60W, though, which is enough for ultraportables, but not for professional-grade or gaming laptops with a power-hungry dedicated GPU. Lastly, it has built-in speakers and a Picture-by-Picture mode. All in all, it's a great option if you want a large 16:9 display with a high resolution.
The best monitor for photo editing with an ultrawide screen that we've tested is the LG 38WN95C-W. It's a premium office-oriented monitor with a high 3840x1600 resolution that helps it deliver sharp images and clear text. It has a healthy selection of inputs available, including a USB-C input that supports Thunderbolt 3. You can display an image from a compatible device and charge it at the same time with the input.
In terms of picture quality, it has an IPS panel with wide viewing angles, so the image remains accurate at the edges if you sit close or if you want to share your screen with others. If you have a well-lit office space, you should be happy to know it gets bright enough to combat glare, and even though the reflection handling is just okay, it should be fine for most rooms. It has excellent coverage of the Adobe RGB color space, and the out-of-the-box accuracy is good. HDR content also looks decent on this monitor because it displays a wide color gamut and gets bright enough to make highlights stand out.
Sadly, it has a low contrast ratio that results in blacks looking gray. Even though it has an edge-lit local dimming feature, it performs terribly and doesn't improve the contrast all that well. Its stand offers limited tilt, height, and swivel adjustments, but as expected for a 38 inch monitor, it can't rotate into portrait mode. All in all, this is one of the best monitors we've tested for content creators.
If you find the LG 38WN95C-W too expensive, then consider the LG 34GP83A-B. It also has a 21:9 aspect ratio, but it's a bit smaller at 34 inches. It has the same pixel density, so the image is still very sharp. Unfortunately, some downsides come with its lower price tag. It doesn't get as bright, especially in HDR, which means highlights don't stand out as intended. Also, its viewing angles are only decent and not ideal for sharing your work with others because the black level rises very quickly as you move off-center. Lastly, it doesn't have any USB-C input.
Overall, the 38WN95C-W is a better choice for most people because it has wider viewing angles, higher screen brightness, and more connectivity options. However, if you're looking for something cheaper, the 34GP83A-B is a very good alternative.
Jun 28, 2021: Replaced Dell UltraSharp U2720Q with Dell S2721QS. Removed ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV and added Dell UltraSharp U2720Q as 'Alternative with USB-C'. Replaced Dell S3221QS with LG 32UD99-W. Replaced LG 34GN850-B with LG 34GP83A-B because it's hard to find.
Apr 29, 2021: Replaced the ASUS ProArt PA278QV with the ASUS ProArt PA278CV and renamed it to '1440p Alternative'; added the LG 38WN95C-W as 'Best Ultrawide' and moved the LG 35GN850-B to 'Cheaper Alternative'; moved the Acer Nitro XV340CK to Notable Mentions.
Mar 02, 2021: Replaced the Dell S2721QS with the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q due to lack of availability with the S2721QS. Replaced the Acer Predator X27 with the Gigabyte M27Q because the Acer is older and harder to find. Replaced the Dell U3219Q with the Dell S3221QS because it's a newer model and less expensive.
Jan 14, 2021: Minor text and structure changes. Added Dell U3219Q.
Dec 18, 2020: Replaced LG 27UK650-W with Dell S2721QS, removed LG 32UD99-W and AOC CQ27G1, added Acer Nitro XV340CK.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best monitors for graphic design, photo editing, and media creation 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.