It can be difficult to choose a new monitor, as they vary greatly in size, shape, and performance. There are different types of monitors depending on how you plan on using it, and there is no catch-all monitor that is perfect for everyone, but some monitors are more versatile than others. From ultrawide office monitors to high-performance gaming monitors, there is something for everyone on this list.
We've reviewed over 95 monitors so far, and below you'll find our picks for the best monitors available for purchase in 2020. 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. It's a very good 4k monitor that delivers great resolution and impressive performance in most uses for the price. It has a very fast response time so fast motion looks crisp with almost no blur, the input lag is remarkably low, and the 4k resolution will display every little detail of your game (or work) on its 27 inch screen. It can get quite bright and you shouldn't have issues placing it any room as it can also handle reflections well. You can easily share your work with a colleague or host a co-op gaming session with a friend as you'll both enjoy the same accurate image thanks to the monitor's wide viewing angles.
Unfortunately, just like most IPS monitors, blacks look gray in a dark room, so this monitor isn't a great option for those who play games in a dark room.
Overall, although there are monitors that deliver better performance in certain aspects, this one is an excellent choice given its price and characteristics.
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 great 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 ASUS TUF VG27AQ is the best gaming monitor that we've tested so far. Although this monitor doesn't have tons of extra features, it gets all the basics right to give you an incredible gaming experience. It uses an IPS panel that has exceptionally low response time, and combined with its optional black frame insertion (BFI) feature, it results in a crisp picture with very little blur during fast-moving scenes. It has a 144Hz refresh rate that can be factory overclocked to 165Hz, and it supports FreeSync variable refresh rate (VRR) to reduce screen tearing. If you have a recent 10- or 20- series NVIDIA graphics card, it's compatible with G-SYNC as well. Input lag is remarkably low, and its 1440p resolution delivers a detailed picture without overtaxing your computer. This monitor supports HDR, but its performance is limited by its mediocre peak brightness and lack of wide color gamut.
Unfortunately, this monitor isn't suited for dark room gaming, as it has a rather low contrast ratio and its black uniformity is unremarkable, which results in blacks that look more like gray. However, that's to be expected of most IPS monitors. Color accuracy is decent out of the box, and it has a flicker-free backlight to help reduce eye strain for those long gaming sessions. This monitor also has decent viewing angles for those who like to play co-op games, and it has an excellent stand that lets you easily adjust the monitor to your optimal viewing position.
On the whole, this is a superb gaming monitor that should please even the most hardcore gamers.
If you prefer having native G-SYNC support for your NVIDIA graphics card, take a look at the ASUS ROG Swift PG279QZ. It looks nearly identical to the ASUS TUF VG27AQ and they share very similar features, but there are a few noteworthy differences. This monitor doesn't support HDR, and its black uniformity is noticeably worse, as there's significant clouding and backlight bleed throughout the screen. However, it does have much better reflection handling for those who play in a bright room, and its build quality feels sturdier and should last for years. It has a USB 3.0 hub built-in to charge your devices, and also some nifty gamer-centric features that are practical and convenient, such as a frame rate counter overlay, a crosshair for shooter games, and a blue light filter to help reduce eye strain.
Overall, the VG27AQ performs better, but if you have an NVIDIA graphics card and you want the best experience possible, then you should go with the PG279QZ.
The best ultrawide office monitor we've tested so far is the Dell U3818DW. The 38 inch screen offers plenty of real estate space for multitasking and the 4k resolution delivers clear and crisp images. It uses an IPS panel to generate good viewing angles, so the image quality won't go down if you sit up close or share your screen with co-workers. Unfortunately, like most IPS panels, the contrast ratio is mediocre and the black uniformity is poor, but this shouldn't be a problem unless you're watching dark scenes in dark rooms.
This monitor has amazing out-of-box color accuracy, so you shouldn't need to get it calibrated. It also has an excellent SDR color gamut, covering nearly all of the sRGB color space used in most content, but the limited Adobe RGB color space coverage might not be good enough for some photo editors. Unfortunately, it doesn't support HDR content, but if you're going to use it for office work, you'll be happy with the great gray uniformity, so the solid colors on a web page will be uniform across the screen.
Overall, this monitor offers plenty of screen space for when you work and it's the best ultrawide office monitor we've tested so far.
For something cheaper than the Dell U3818DW, check out the LG 34GK950F-B. Although the resolution isn't as high as the Dell and it's slightly smaller, it should still offer plenty of screen real estate for better productivity. With its 144Hz refresh rate, low response time, low input lag, FreeSync support, and G-SYNC compatibility, this monitor can also serve as a great gaming monitor. Although the contrast ratio and black uniformity are a bit sub-par due to the IPS panel, we still think that this monitor is a fantastic value given its price.
The Dell remains the best ultrawide office monitor because of its size, but if you're willing to make some compromises on contrast ratio, the LG is a great pick for any office at a significantly lower price.
The Dell P2417H is the best budget monitor that we've tested. It's a decent monitor for most uses, with great ergonomics, wide viewing angles, and decent overall picture quality. The fast response time and low input lag make this a decent gaming monitor; however, the 60Hz refresh rate may disappoint more serious gamers.
This monitor has mediocre peak brightness, so although it has good reflection handling, glare might be an issue in a bright room. It has a good selection of inputs, so you shouldn't have any issues connecting your devices, even older analog devices, and it has a built-in USB hub, which is usually only found on more expensive models.
Overall, the Dell is a decent monitor for most uses. It has a few flaws, though, so it isn't ideal for everyone.
If you're looking for a gaming monitor in the budget category, the ViewSonic XG2402 is a good choice. The gray uniformity is better on the Dell P2417H, but the ViewSonic XG2402 is still a decent overall monitor that performs best as a gaming monitor. It has a native refresh rate of 144Hz and supports FreeSync VRR technology to ensure a nearly tear-free gaming experience. It has an outstanding response time that results in very little motion blur and the input lag is exceptionally low as well. It's a flicker-free monitor, but some gamers might be disappointed with the lack of a BFI feature. Unfortunately, it uses a TN panel, so the contrast ratio and viewing angles are both quite disappointing, but it has great out-of-box color accuracy.
If you're looking for the best budget monitor, the Dell is a great choice, but if you want a gaming budget monitor, the ViewSonic is a good alternative.
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.
03/11/2020: Minor changes to text for clarity.
12/06/2019: Minor text and structure changes; replaced ASUS VG279Q with ASUS TUF VG27AQ as Best Gaming Monitor.
11/07/2019: Minor text and structure changes; replaced Dell U2718Q as cheaper ultrawide with LG 34GK950F-B.