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 tested over 130 monitors, 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 that we've tested is the LG 27UK650-W. It's a versatile 4k model with good picture quality. Although mainly designed for office use, it offers good gaming performance as well.
It has a 27 inch screen and, combined with its high resolution, it delivers crisp images, and there's enough space to open multiple windows at once. It has wide viewing angles, great if you need to share your screen with others. The out-of-the-box color accuracy is great, and it has good coverage of the Adobe RGB color space used in photo editing. If you work in a bright environment, it has decent reflection handling and is bright enough to combat glare. It has a great response time and low input lag for gaming, and despite being limited to a 60Hz panel, it has FreeSync variable refresh rate (VRR) support to help reduce screen tearing.
Sadly, it has a low contrast ratio, so blacks appear closer to gray. Even though it has HDR support, it doesn't display a wide color gamut and doesn't get bright enough in that mode to make highlights pop. Ergonomics are a bit limited as it doesn't offer any swivel range. However, it can be VESA-mounted, and it's good overall, making it the best monitor we've tested.
If ergonomics are important to you and you want something with a better stand, look into the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q. It doesn't have VRR support like the LG 27UK650-W, but its stand offers a wide swivel range. It's very similar to the LG in terms of picture quality. It has a 4k, 27 inch screen with excellent gray uniformity, wide viewing angles, and decent color accuracy. It has great coverage of the Adobe RGB color space, which is ideal for photo editors, and it displays a wide color gamut for HDR content. Unfortunately, it's not a great choice for dark-room viewing because it has a low contrast ratio, but this is expected from an IPS panel. On the other hand, it performs fairly well in bright rooms because it gets bright enough to combat glare, but it may struggle with direct sunlight on it.
All in all, the LG is the best monitor we've tested, especially if you also want to use it for gaming, but if you prefer something with a better stand, consider the Dell.
The best monitor available in a large size that we've tested is the LG 48 CX OLED. Although this is a TV, we tested it as a monitor, and it delivers great all-around performance that most people should be happy with. It offers features most monitors don't have and maintains the standard 16:9 aspect ratio while offering a ton of real estate space to open multiple windows.
Unlike most monitors available in 2020, it has an OLED panel that displays perfect blacks and doesn't have any blooming around bright objects in dark scenes. It has very wide viewing angles so that the image remains accurate even if you sit extremely close to the screen. Gamers should appreciate the near-instant response time, low input lag, and variable refresh rate support. It displays proper chroma 4:4:4, and the 4k resolution delivers clear text, but we've received reports of people noticing red lines appear when it's in 'PC' mode. Lastly, it has features most monitors don't have like a built-in smart system, good speakers, and it comes with a remote.
One major downside to having an OLED panel as a monitor is the risk of permanent burn-in. This may happen after constant exposure to static elements, such as a computer's user interface, so we suggest watching varied content if you want to use it like this. Unlike most monitors, it doesn't have a DisplayPort input, but you can still achieve a 120Hz refresh rate with a 4k resolution thanks to the advertised HDMI 2.1 ports. It delivers exceptional picture quality, making it one of the best monitors we've tested.
The best monitor for gaming we've tested is the Samsung Odyssey G7. It's a 16:9 model that comes in two sizes, a 27 inch and a 32 inch. It's well-suited for both dark and bright rooms, as it has a high contrast ratio to produce deep blacks and gets bright enough to overcome glare easily. Viewing angles are mediocre, which means that you lose image accuracy if you aren't sitting directly in front, so it isn't the best option if you want to play co-op games or share content on the screen with others. Despite having a curved screen, it has reasonably good ergonomics, allowing you to place it in your ideal viewing position.
If you're into fast-paced games, then it's right up your alley. It has exceptional handling due to its fast response time, a 240Hz refresh rate, and supports variable refresh rate (VRR) technology to reduce screen tearing. It has an optional Black Frame Insertion feature that can help improve motion clarity, but it isn't usable while VRR is active. The input lag is incredibly low and remains low when playing in HDR. As for the HDR experience, it's okay. It has a good color gamut to produce a wide range of colors, but it doesn't get bright enough to make highlights stand out.
There are a couple of extra features, such as the ability to add a virtual crosshair and frame rate counter, as well as a Picture-in-Picture mode that lets you display images from two input sources at once. There are two USB 3.0 ports that you can use for charging, and the backlight is flicker-free at all brightness levels, which is great for reducing eye strain on long gaming sessions. All in all, this is an excellent gaming monitor that should satisfy casual and serious gamers alike.
If you want a monitor with an even higher refresh rate than the Samsung Odyssey G7, then check out the ASUS VG279QM. It's an IPS model, so it provides much wider viewing angles but isn't as well-suited for dark rooms due to its low contrast ratio. It has a maximum refresh rate of 280Hz, superb response time, and its Black Frame Insertion feature can be used at the same time as VRR. That said, there's a compromise, as this monitor has a lower 1080p resolution, making it less ideal for work. It has a pair of speakers built-in and one USB 3.0 port for charging.
Overall, the Samsung is a better choice, as its 240Hz refresh is more than enough for most people, and it has a higher resolution and better contrast. However, if you want a higher refresh rate and don't mind compromising on resolution, go with the ASUS.
The best monitor for office use with an ultrawide screen that we've tested is the Dell U3818DW. It's a well-built ultrawide model that offers passable ergonomics for its size. It performs fairly well overall and is a good choice to use in the office.
It has an IPS panel that offers wide viewing angles, and when combined with the slight curve of the screen, you shouldn't have an issue reading text at the edges. The unique 3840x1600 resolution provides a pixel density similar to a 27 inch, 1440p model, and text looks clear. The 38 inch screen also makes it easy to have multiple windows opened side-by-side. It has a USB hub with four USB 3.0 inputs and a USB-C input that supports DisplayPort Alt Mode, allowing you to display an image from a compatible device and charge it at the same time. It also has Picture-by-Picture and Picture-in-Picture modes, so you can view an image from two sources at once.
Unfortunately, it has a slow response time, so you may notice motion artifacts even when scrolling fast through documents. It's not the best for gaming as it doesn't have VRR support. The contrast ratio is low, and it has disappointing black uniformity, so it's not an ideal choice for viewing in dark rooms. On the upside, it has excellent out-of-the-box color accuracy and has good coverage of the Adobe RGB color space if you want to use it for photo editing. All things considered, this is one of the best monitors we've tested.
If you want a better choice for gaming to help deliver an immersive experience, then look into the Acer Nitro XV340CK. It doesn't have a USB-C input like the Dell U3818DW, and it's slightly smaller, but it still offers plenty of space to open multiple windows. It's a great choice for gaming because it has an amazing response time at its max refresh rate of 144Hz, it has FreeSync and G-SYNC compatibility, and the input lag is incredibly low. It performs fairly well in bright environments because it has good reflection handling and okay peak brightness, but it's best to avoid placing it opposite a window. It has good ergonomics and wide viewing angles, making it easy to share your screen with others. Unfortunately, its HDR support doesn't add much as it can't display the wide color gamut needed for HDR content.
If you want the best ultrawide office monitor, you should be happy with the Dell, but if you want a more versatile option, check out the Acer.
The best monitor in the budget category we've tested is the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV. It's a professional-looking model 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 it however you like. It has an IPS panel with wide viewing angles and overcomes glare with ease, even in the brightest settings.
It has good out-of-the-box color accuracy and an excellent SDR color gamut with near-full coverage of the sRGB color space. However, its Adobe RGB coverage is only decent and may not be good enough for professional photo editors. Its 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.
Unfortunately, it isn't as ideal for dark room viewing, as it has a low contrast ratio that makes blacks look a bit grayish. There aren't a whole lot of extra features either. 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. Sadly, there's no HDR support. Luckily, there's a pair of integrated speakers, and there are four USB 3.0 ports, with two of them conveniently placed on the side for easy access. Overall, it's well-rounded and versatile, making it the best monitor available for a budget-friendly price that we've seen.
11/20/2020: Minor text and structure changes. Added Samsung Odyssey G7, removed ASUS TUF VG27AQ.
10/23/2020: Replaced the LG 34GN850-B with the Acer Nitro XV340CK; added the LG CX.
09/23/2020: Removed the ViewSonic XG2402; replaced the LG 32UD99-W with the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q.
08/13/2020: Replaced ASUS VG279Q with ASUS Pro Art Display PA278QV.
07/14/2020:Added ASUS VG279QM, replaced LG 34GK950F-B with LG 34GN850-B.
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.