It can be difficult to choose a new monitor, as they vary significantly in size, shape, and performance. There are different types of monitors depending on the desired use, and there's no catch-all monitor that is perfect for everyone. However, some monitors are more versatile than others. From ultrawide office monitors to high-performance gaming monitors, there's something for everyone on this list.
We've reviewed over 115 monitors so far, and below you'll find our picks for the best monitors available for purchase. You can also check our recommendations for the best gaming monitors, the best 4k monitors, and the best monitors for photo editors.
The best monitor we've tested so far is the LG 27UK650-W. This 27 inch monitor has a simple yet stylish design that fits into any setting. With a 4k resolution, it delivers detailed images, and the text looks incredibly sharp. The refresh rate is limited to 60Hz, but it supports FreeSync if you want to use it for gaming. Its IPS panel provides great viewing angles, so you can easily share content or your work with others.
It has great out-of-the-box color accuracy. Its SDR color gamut is excellent, covering the sRGB color space almost entirely, and its coverage of Adobe RGB is good, which is good for professional photo editing. Its input lag is very low, and it has a fast response time, resulting in a responsive desktop experience and minimal motion blur in fast-moving scenes. It doesn't have much in terms of extra features, although the flicker-free backlight is a nice addition if you tend to stare at the screen for an extended period.
Unfortunately, while it supports HDR, it can't display a wide color gamut. Like most monitors with an IPS panel, it has a rather low contrast ratio that makes blacks look gray when viewed in the dark. However, if you're in a bright room, it gets bright enough to fight glare, and it has a matte finish that handles reflection decently well. Overall, this is a versatile model that most people should be happy with, making it the best monitor we've seen so far.
If you need some more screen space, then the LG 32UD99-W is a good alternative. Its viewing angles aren't as good as those on the LG 27UK650-W, but the two monitors perform very similarly, and choosing one over the other comes down to personal preference. The contrast ratio and black uniformity, although not good, are still an improvement over the smaller LG, so this monitor is a better choice for dark room viewing. It displays a wide color gamut for HDR content, and photographers will be happy with the impressive coverage of the Adobe RGB color space used in photo editing. Unfortunately, the reflection handling is disappointing, but it can get bright enough to help reduce glare in most rooms.
If you're looking for the best monitor, look into the 27UK650-W, but if you want a bigger screen, consider the 32UD99-W.
The best monitor for gaming that we've tested so far is the ASUS VG279QM. This is a 27 inch IPS monitor, with a 1080p resolution and a whopping 280Hz refresh rate. The build quality is impressive, and it has outstanding ergonomics, including rotation to portrait mode and a wide swivel range. It gets bright enough to overcome glare, but its reflection handling is only decent, so it's best to avoid direct sunlight. It isn't as well-suited for dark rooms, as its low contrast ratio makes blacks look gray, which is expected of most IPS panels.
In addition to its 280Hz refresh rate, this monitor has a superb response time that results in very little motion blur. The response time doesn't change much when playing at 60Hz, making it a good choice for console gamers. Also, there's an optional black frame insertion feature to further improve motion clarity. It supports FreeSync natively and it's compatible with NVIDIA's G-SYNC. HDR is supported, but unfortunately, this monitor can't display a wide color gamut, even though it's HDR peak brightness is decent.
In terms of extra features, this monitor doesn't offer much. You get a USB 3.0 port for charging, and you can add a virtual crosshair, timer, or frame rate counter on the screen. The backlight is flicker-free to help reduce eye strain, which is great for those long gaming sessions. Overall, the 1080p resolution might be a bit low for some, especially if you plan on using the monitor for productivity tasks; however, if gaming is the priority, then you should check this one out.
If the 1080p resolution of the ASUS VG279QM is too low for you, then take a look at the ASUS TUF VG27AQ. This monitor has a 1440p resolution on the same 27 inch screen size, which results in a much higher pixel density, making text and images look significantly sharper. However, there's a bit of a trade-off, as the refresh rate on this monitor maxes out at 165Hz. That said, the difference between 280Hz and 165Hz is difficult to notice, and would most likely be beneficial to competitive gamers only. Other than that, this monitor has an excellent response time, a low input lag, and it supports FreeSync natively, with G-SYNC compatibility. Unfortunately, it doesn't have any USB ports but comes with integrated speakers instead.
Overall, if you want the smoothest gaming experience, go with the VG279QM; however, if you don't mind compromising a bit on the refresh rate, the VG27AQ's higher resolution delivers better picture quality and makes it much more versatile.
The best ultrawide office monitor we've tested so far is the Dell U3818DW. This 38 inch high-resolution monitor is great for multitasking, as there's enough room to have multiple windows opened side-by-side. It's slightly curved, which helps with visibility on the sides of the screen, and it also has an IPS panel that provides wide viewing angles, so the image remains accurate no matter how close you sit.
This monitor is best used in an averagely-lit room. It handles reflections very well, but it can't get bright enough to overcome glare. Its color accuracy is excellent out of the box, and it has outstanding gradient performance, but sadly, there's no HDR support. Response time is fast, and input lag is low, but if you're looking to game on this monitor, it has a 60Hz panel and doesn't support any variable refresh rate technology. Another great feature for multitaskers is its picture-by-picture mode, which lets you display two sources simultaneously.
Unfortunately, dark room performance isn't the best due to its low contrast ratio, although this is expected of most IPS panels. However, it has four USB 3.0 ports, a USB-C input, built-in speakers, and a flicker-free backlight. Overall, if you're looking for an ultrawide office monitor that can help you be more productive, this one is a very good option.
If you're looking for an ultrawide with better gaming performance than the Dell U3818DW, then check out the LG 34GN850-B. It has a smaller 34 inch screen size, but it still maintains a high 1440p resolution, and it has a 160Hz refresh rate. Its response time is significantly faster, so there's much less motion blur in fast-moving scenes. It supports FreeSync natively to reduce screen tearing, and it has been certified to be compatible with recent NVIDIA graphics cards. Additionally, it supports HDR and it delivers a pretty decent experience at that. Unfortunately, the viewing angles aren't as good as the Dell's, and the stand lacks swivel adjustment. Also, this monitor doesn't have a USB-C port and doesn't have a Picture-in-Picture mode for multitasking.
Overall, if you're mainly using the monitor for work, the Dell is a better choice, as it provides more screen real estate and multitasking features. However, if your priority is gaming, then the LG is the better option.
The best budget monitor we've tested so far is the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV. It's a professional-looking monitor with a large 27 inch screen and a 1440p resolution. Its simple design fits easily into any office setting and its superb ergonomics allow you to adjust the monitor however you like. It has an IPS panel with wide viewing angles and it overcomes glare with ease even in the brightest settings. However, it isn't as ideal for dark room viewing, as it has a low contrast ratio that makes blacks look a bit grayish.
This monitor comes with a dedicated sRGB mode that's factory-calibrated. It has an excellent SDR color gamut with near-full coverage of the sRGB color space, but its Adobe RGB coverage is only decent and may not be good enough for professional photo editors. Unfortunately, it doesn't support HDR and can't display a wide color gamut. Response time is great, it has an optional Black Frame Insertion feature, and its native 75Hz refresh rate makes motion look slightly more fluid, such as when scrolling quickly through a document or when gaming. It supports Adaptive Sync to reduce screen tearing, and it's compatible with FreeSync and G-SYNC sources.
There aren't a whole lot of extra features on this monitor. There's a QuickFit Virtual Scale, which is a feature that puts an overlay on the screen, so you can align or preview documents in their actual sizes before printing. There's a pair of integrated speakers that you can use to play audio from external sources, and there are four USB 3.0 ports, with two of them conveniently placed on the side of the screen for easy access. Overall, it's a well-rounded and versatile monitor that most people should be happy with.
If you're shopping on a smaller budget, take a look at the ViewSonic XG2402. Although it doesn't look as sleek as the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV with its thick bezels, it delivers decent overall performance and it's great for gaming. Its 1080p resolution may be a bit low for some; however, its smaller screen size results in a higher pixel density, so images and text still look sharp. It has a 144Hz refresh rate, its response time is superb, and it supports FreeSync variable refresh rate. Sadly, its TN panel has narrower viewing angles, which causes images to look washed out when viewed from the side. That said, its ergonomics are pretty good and you can adjust the screen very easily.
Overall, if you can afford it, go with the ASUS, as it has a larger screen, higher resolution, and much wider viewing angles. However, if cost is a concern, the ViewSonic is a decent alternative.
08/13/2020: Minor text and structure changes, replaced ASUS VG279Q with ASUS Pro Art Display PA278QV.
07/14/2020: Added ASUS VG279QM, replaced LG 34GK950F-B with LG 34GN850-B.
06/23/2020: Removed the ASUS ROG Swift PG279QZ and replaced it with the ViewSonic Elite XG270QG.
06/05/2020: Removed the Dell P2417H and replaced it with the ASUS VG279Q.
04/10/2020: Added Acer Nitro XV273X and Gigabyte Aorus FI27Q as notable mentions.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best computer 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.