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 85 monitors so far, and below are our picks for the best monitors for photo editing, graphic design, or media creation available for purchase in 2019. See also our recommendations for the best 4k monitors, the best ultrawide monitors, and the best monitors overall.
The LG 27UK650-W is the best monitor for video editing that we've tested so far. The 27 inch, 4k screen allows you to see more fine details in your work without having to constantly scroll around or zoom the image. It has great accuracy out of the box, great for color-critical work, and it has an excellent SDR color gamut. Although it has good coverage of the wider Adobe RGB color space, it might be insufficient for some professional photo or video editing.
This monitor also supports HDR, which is great, but it isn't ideal for HDR mastering, as it can't get very bright and it can't display a wide color gamut. It looks great in a bright room, thanks to the great peak brightness and good reflections handling, so it can easily overcome glare, even in a bright office.
Unfortunately, this monitor doesn't look as good in a dark room, due to the low contrast ratio. Overall, though, this is a very versatile monitor, with a great response time, low input lag, and wide viewing angles, making it a great choice for gaming or office use.
If you want something a bit bigger with better features than the LG 27UK650-W, check out the LG 32UD99-W. This 32 inch monitor delivers very similar overall performance to the other LG, but with a screen diameter of 32 inches, it's a bit easier to work with multiple windows open. It also has a few useful features, including a USB-C port which supports USB-C power delivery. This is great for MacBook owners especially, as the display can charge your laptop while you work, leaving your other USB-C ports free.
Due to the significant price difference, the LG 27UK650-W is still the best monitor for photo editing and video editing for most people. If you want more advanced features and a larger screen, though, the LG 32UD99-W is a great choice.
If you need the most accurate colors for professional photo and video editing, check out the Acer Predator X27. This is an impressive 27 inch monitor that delivers good overall picture quality, with wide viewing angles and excellent peak brightness in HDR. It also has two blinders on each side to help reduce glare.
This monitor is the best choice if you work with the Adobe RGB color space, as it has nearly perfect coverage of the entire Adobe RGB gamut. If you also work with HDR content, this monitor won't disappoint, as it has the widest HDR color gamut of any 2018 display we've tested with nearly perfect gradient handling.
Unfortunately, despite the local dimming feature, it doesn't look as good in a dark room, as it has bad black uniformity and a mediocre contrast ratio. Overall, though, this is one of the best monitors graphic design, and one of the best monitors for photo editing.
The LG 34GK950F-B is the best widescreen monitor for photo and video editing that we've tested so far. The wide-format screen is great for multitasking, as you can easily work with multiple windows open at once. It's also great for editing, as you can see more of your timeline at once, and get a better idea of your overall workflow with less scrolling.
This monitor has an excellent SDR color gamut, with perfect coverage of the standard sRGB color space used for most content. It also has excellent coverage of the wider Adobe RGB color space, great for photo editing. The 10-bit panel has outstanding gradient performance, with almost no noticeable banding in any shade, and it has no significant color bleed.
Unfortunately, as expected, this monitor doesn't look as good in a dark room. Overall, though, it's a great monitor for almost any usage, and a great choice for media creation.
If the LG 34GK950F-B is too expensive for you, check out the Dell Alienware AW3418DW instead. The Alienware doesn't support HDR and it's a bit worse for gaming, but it has slightly better ergonomics and excellent sRGB coverage. Like the LG, this monitor has a 34", 3440x1440 screen, so there is a huge amount of screen real estate to work with, and it has similar wide viewing angles.
Overall, although the LG 34GK950F-B is the best widescreen monitor for photo and video editing, if you want something cheaper, the Dell Alienware AW3418DW is almost as good, but a bit cheaper.
If you're looking for a less expensive option, the best monitor for photo editing, graphic design, or media creation in the budget category is the Dell U2518D. It's a good 25-inch IPS monitor that delivers good picture quality, wide viewing angles, excellent sRGB coverage, and can display nearly perfect colors with minimal banding in gradients.
This monitor can display HDR content, but not with satisfactory results as it doesn't have a wide color gamut. Its HDR color volume is disappointing. It also has limited coverage of the Adobe RGB color space and might not be the best option if you're a professional in the print or media industry where the need for such color space coverage is more apparent.
Unfortunately, it doesn't look quite as good in a dark room. Just like most IPS monitors, blacks look gray in a dark room and black uniformity is disappointing with a lot of noticeable backlight bleed. Overall, though, this is a good monitor that delivers great value within its price range.
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.
10/24/2019: Minor text changes.