PC monitors and TVs are close relatives. TVs usually have more advanced image processing capabilities than monitors and come equipped with tuners, and they're usually bigger. When evaluating how good a TV is for PC monitor use, there are four main criteria to consider:
Chroma 4:4:4 Support
The most important thing to consider when choosing a TV for PC monitor use is the TV's ability to display proper chroma 4:4:4 for clear text. A signal with chroma 4:4:4 has no compression (so it is not subsampled) and transports both luminance and color data entirely. Artifacts from chroma subsampling are most noticeable with text above a flat color. These artifacts are not very visible when looking at photos or videos, but they are very noticeable when reading text on a computer screen, making chroma 4:4:4 support essential when using a TV as a PC monitor.
For more information on gaming features, look up our article on chroma subsampling.
Input Lag and Response Time
Input lag and response time are other essential components of a good monitor TV. Input lag is the time it takes for a frame sent by a source (like a PC or gaming console) to display on screen. A low input lag makes the entire experience more responsive, as your inputs on a controller or mouse are reflected more quickly onscreen. The best TVs can have an input lag as low as five milliseconds. Some TVs can't have low input lag and chroma 4:4:4 simultaneously, so it's important for your TV to be able to do both at the same time. Response time is the time it takes for a pixel to change from one color to the next, typically measured from a fully black pixel to a fully white one or from one shade of gray (either dark or bright gray) to the opposite shade of gray. OLEDs are the uncontested best TVs regarding response time, as their pixel transitions are nearly instantaneous, but unfortunately, they can burn-in when static elements stay on the screen for extended periods of time, which is common when doing office work. Thankfully, the best LED TVs also have very fast transitions. A slow response time is noticeable, as fast-moving objects on screen leave blurry trails behind them.
Typically, viewing angle is important on a TV as you might want to move around it without seeing a degraded image, or you might want your friends to enjoy a good viewing experience even when sitting at an angle from the TV. But a good viewing angle is also important when using a TV as a monitor, as you might be sitting very close to what is otherwise a huge screen. If the TV's viewing angle is inadequate, sitting so close to it will lead to noticeable image degradation at the sides of your peripheral vision; thus, the center of the screen might look brighter than the sides, and similarly, the center might be brighter than the top or bottom. OLEDs have uncontestably the widest viewing angle.
Look up our article on viewing angles for more information on this topic.
Peak Brightness and Reflection Handling
Finally, a TV's peak brightness is very important when using it as a PC monitor. SDR peak brightness is important if you mostly use your PC for office work, as your office lights might be on, and you want your TV to be bright enough to overcome any glare. If you use your monitor TV for dark room PC gaming, contrast is more important overall, but peak brightness is essential for bright highlights to pop next to a TV's deep blacks, especially in HDR. Of course, if you're gaming or working in a bright room, you want your TV's brightness to be high enough to compensate for any glare from direct or ambient lights. Reflection handling is also important here, as TVs with lower peak brightness, like many OLEDs, can compensate for it by having stellar reflection handling.
We've bought and tested more than 425 TVs, and here are our recommendations for the best TVs to use as a PC monitor. See our picks for the best TVs, the best LED TVs, and the best movie TVs. You can also vote on which TVs you want us to buy and test. To learn more about the upcoming 2024 models, check out our 2024 TV lineup page.
The best TV to use as a monitor that we've tested is the Samsung QN90C/QN90CD QLED. It delivers a fantastic desktop experience, with support for HDMI 2.1 bandwidth on all four HDMI ports, so you can enjoy 4k @ 120Hz (4k @ 144Hz on the 43 and 50-inch models) while still getting clear text with full chroma 4:4:4 support. It has a decently wide viewing angle, so the sides of the screen remain relatively uniform if you're sitting up close, and it has decent gray uniformity. It's even available in a wide range of sizes, meaning you can find the best size for your needs. Note that the 43 and 50-inch models have a worse viewing angle than the bigger models.
It has fantastic low input lag, ensuring a smooth desktop experience with no lag in cursor movements, and there's very little blur behind fast-moving objects thanks to its quick response time. It looks amazing in a bright room thanks to its superb reflection handling and high peak brightness, so even if you're in a very bright room, you won't have any problems seeing the screen or cutting out glare. It's also very colorful with its wide color gamut, and its color accuracy is great without any calibration. If you have a powerful gaming computer, consider the more expensive Samsung QN95C QLED instead. Both TVs are very similar, and for most people, the QN95C is not worth the extra cost over the QN90C. Still, the more expensive Samsung does 4k @ 144Hz on all four of its HDMI ports on all its model sizes, which is a great feature for those who can take advantage of it.
The best TV for PC monitor use for gamers that we've tested is the Samsung S90C OLED. Thanks to its nearly instantaneous response time, it delivers a better PC gaming experience than the Samsung QN90C/QN90CD QLED, meaning motion is incredibly smooth and crystal-clear, with no distracting blur behind fast-moving objects. It also has a near-infinite contrast ratio, making it an incredible choice for late-night gaming in a darker room. It also has an even better viewing angle than the QN90C, which is nearly perfect on the S90C; this is great if you like to sit extra close to the TV to immerse in the action fully.
It's amazing for gamers with full HDMI 2.1 bandwidth support on all four of its HDMI ports, enabling up to 4k @ 144Hz gaming to stress even the fastest PCs. It supports all variable refresh rate (VTT) technologies and has low input lag. Unfortunately, like all OLED displays, there's a possibility of permanent burn-in when you expose the TV to static elements, like a PC's user interface. It makes the Samsung LEDs better choices overall for PC users, but if you plan on using it mainly for gaming and take a few precautions, like hiding your taskbar, this TV is also a fantastic choice.
The best mid-range TV monitor we've tested is the Samsung QN85C/QN85CD QLED. It's amazing to use as a PC monitor because it has a wide viewing angle, which ensures that the sides of the screen remain consistent if you sit close. Its viewing angle is wider than on the more expensive Samsung QN90C/QN90CD QLED, which is great, although the higher-end model is available in more sizes and does offer superior image quality overall. Still, there are no issues with using the QN85C in a bright room since it easily gets bright enough to fight glare and has decent reflection handling. The TV doesn't have deep, inky blacks compared to the Samsung S90C OLED, but its contrast is still great for a cheaper TV.
It's a fantastic TV for gaming as it supports HDMI 2.1 bandwidth on all four HDMI inputs, allowing 4k @ 120Hz signals from a PC or console. It is compatible with every VRR technology to minimize screen tearing and has extremely low input lag with a good response time for a responsive gaming experience. It has no issues with outputting full chroma 4:4:4 with the lowest input lag possible, which is essential for clear text from a PC. It even has an RGB layout, which is optimal for text clarity when used as a PC monitor.
The best 4k TV monitor we've tested in the lower mid-range price point is the Hisense U7K. Overall, it's an excellent TV for desktop PC use. It has a superbly low input lag and a very fast response time, so there's little delay between your actions with your mouse or keyboard and the action on-screen. It supports HDMI 2.1 bandwidth for up to 4k @ 144Hz gaming on two of its HDMI inputs, allowing it to display proper text with full chroma 4:4:4 support, even with 4k @ 144Hz signals, meaning you can enjoy a fast refresh rate and a high-resolution screen. It's a great-looking TV, as it has amazing contrast due to its local dimming feature and gets very bright in both HDR and SDR.
Unfortunately, the Hisense has a narrow viewing angle. It's important that you don't sit too close to the screen; otherwise, the sides of the screen fade and lose uniformity. As long as you're sitting at a comfortable viewing distance, though, it looks great in most rooms, with high peak brightness to overcome glare and a high native contrast ratio for deep blacks in a dark room. If you'd like a brighter TV, check out the higher-end Hisense U8K. Aside from the extra brightness, the two TVs are basically identical. However, the U7K does have a faster response time than its more expensive sibling, making it slightly better as a monitor TV.
The best TV for computer monitor use we've tested in the budget category is the Best Buy exclusive TCL Q5/Q550G QLED. It's a good TV for use as a PC monitor with its incredibly low input lag, making your mouse movements smooth and responsive. It doesn't support HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, but it displays chroma 4:4:4 properly with 4k @ 60Hz signals, which is essential for clear text from a PC. It can also do 1080p @ 120Hz and 1440p @ 120Hz with resolution halving with a wide VRR range on its 55-inch and 65-inch models, making it an amazing choice if you prioritize frame rate over image quality. It also gets bright enough in SDR for a pleasant viewing experience in a bright office, and its contrast is adequate for a TV at this price point.
It's a great gaming TV with a good response time and support for every VRR technology. It's also a colorful TV, although its color accuracy isn't great, so it's not the best option for color-critical work. Much like the Hisense U7K, it has a narrow viewing angle, so the sides of the screen fade and lose uniformity if you sit too close to it. If you like this TV but would like it to be a tad brighter, consider the more expensive TCL Q6/Q650G QLED. Both TVs are basically identical; however, for most people, the Q6 is not worth the extra cost.
If you want something affordable, the Roku Select Series is the best 4k monitor TV that's viable for small budgets. It's a decent TV that's a small step down from the Best Buy exclusive TCL Q5/Q550G QLED, as it can't do 120Hz like that TV can. Its contrast is okay, especially for a TV at this price point, so it looks adequate in a dark room, even without local dimming. That's a good thing since the TV doesn't get bright enough in HDR for rooms with lots of lights, even with its decent reflection handling. It's amazing for use in an office, though, as its SDR brightness is very good. A great feature of this TV is the sheer amount of models available, from a small 24-inch to a big 75-inch, and the smaller sizes are ideal for use as a monitor. Remember that the 24 and 32-inch models are limited to a 720p resolution, and the 40-inch model is limited to 1080p. The bigger sizes are 4k TVs.
The Roku is light on features; it doesn't have VRR, is limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, and doesn't support 1440p resolution. Still, its spectacular input lag and great response time make it a good monitor TV and a good option for PC gaming. However, like many other LED TVs, there's a noticeable black smear in shadow details due to the TV's slower dark state transitions, so it's better to keep your operating system running in its brighter 'light mode.' If you're a Costco member, you'll instead want to get the slightly better and more colorful Hisense A6/A65K.
Dec 18, 2023: The Samsung QN85C/QN85CD QLED replaced the Hisense U8K as the 'Best Mid-Range Monitor TV' as it's the better of the two for that usage. The Hisense U7K is now the 'Best Lower Mid-Range Monitor TV', the TCL Q5/Q550G QLED replaced the Hisense U6K as 'Best Budget Monitor TV', and the Roku Select Series replaced the Samsung CU7000 as 'Best Cheap Monitor TV' due to the Roku being much better overall.
Oct 17, 2023: Due to availability issues with older models, we replaced the Samsung QN90B QLED, Samsung QN85B QLED, Hisense U8/U8H, and Hisense A6H with the Samsung QN90C/QN90CD QLED, Samsung QN85C/QN85CD QLED, Hisense U8/U8K, and Hisense U6/U6K, respectively. Also added a cheap category for the Samsung CU7000/CU7000D.
Our recommendations above are what we think is currently the best TV to use as a monitor for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper TV wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no TVs that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our TV reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no TV is perfect, most TVs are great enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.