(Pocket-lint) – Whether you have a monster PC, a MacBook, or just an everyday use-it-for-everything computer, there are many reasons why you’d need a monitor. That also means there are many things to consider when looking to buy one.
For some, only the biggest and sharpest panel will do. For others, it’s fast refresh rates for smooth visuals.
Whatever your reason for wanting a monitor, we’ve tested and rounded up some of the best monitors for all purposes available right now.
Dell Ultrathin S2719DM
The Ultrathin series is a fine example of a stylish, minimalist design for a great price.
Because it has a slim, sleek metal stand, you don’t get much movement or adjustment out of it as you might from a big, plastic thing with lots of moving parts. That means if you’re tall – you can’t have the monitor at eye level, although we found with the ability to tilt the screen backward, we could get it angled enough to be pretty comfortable to use.
As an HDR-ready monitor, it’s great, especially for those looking for something simple, capable, and stylish to complement their minimal desk setup. While it’s not as pin-sharp as 4K, there’s plenty of detail in the Quad HD resolution panel. IPS LCD based tech also means you get good viewing angles too.
The 60hz refresh rate, 5ms response time, and AMD Freesync means it’s a capable gaming monitor too. In terms of ports, you get two HDMI ports, a single 3.5mm output, and the power input.
Sure, we’d prefer it if it had a Thunderbolt port or a Displayport input, but as an all-rounder, it’s hard to criticize too much.
LG’s 27-inch 4K monitor is great if you’re after a standard 16:9 ratio screen in an attractive package that’s as accurate as it is sharp.
The stand doesn’t move up and down; it’s fixed, so you can’t adjust the height to be at a more ergonomic level without putting it on top of a raised surface of some kind.
However, while the stand height isn’t adjustable, the screen can be tilted to ensure there’s some adjustment there.
At 27-inches, it’s a good size, and the quality of the IPS panel is pretty surprising at this price point. Viewing angles are tremendous, and we found colors, contrast, and details to be really well balanced across the board. It made a great panel for editing photos and videos on.
It’s not the most highly tuned for gaming, but with the addition of AMD’s Freesync, it’s good enough for most.
There are two HDMI 2.0 inputs, both support HDR sources and both can delivery 4K at 60Hz. Similarly, there’s a DisplayPort input of the same specification.
If you’re after an all-round great ultrawide panel for content creation, media consumption, MacBook use, gaming and everything in between it’s hard to look past the BenQ EX3501R. It’s big, looks professional, feels solid, and offers a great experience regardless of what you want to use it for.
There’s a USB 3.1 Type-C port, so you’ll only need that one compatible cable as well as gain access to the USB hub. There are also both DisplayPort 1.4 and two HDMI 2.0 ports.
Although the AMD FreeSync is designed to ensure there’s no frame dropping or screen tearing/aliasing with AMD GPUs, we found the response time was fast enough that we were able to play games at 60fps with an Nvidia based GPU without issue.
Likewise, it made a great tool for editing video on long timelines thanks to the color reproduction and extra space granted by the ultra-wide ratio.
The solid build, classy chromed feet, and 60mm up-and-down travel ensured it looks good and is relatively adjustable. There’s no right/left movement, but with a curved monitor, you don’t tend to get that.
A big, all-encompassing screen that does everything you need it to, the 32-inch 4K and HDR-capable BenQ EW3280U is a truly brilliant option.
On the back there are two HDMI 2.0 ports for fast action 4K input, as well as a DisplayPort connection and a USB-C port with 60W Power Deliver output and DisplayPort capabilities so you can charge and output display using a single USB-C cable from a compatible PC or Mac.
In theory, you could have a streaming box/stick, PC, console and your laptop all connected to the monitor and once and then switch between them using the included nifty little remote control.
The visual experience is generally great too. Being a big panel, it’s not as pin-sharp as some smaller 4K ones, but you get a lot more real estate to work with. It’s great for having multiple windows open, or working on video editing, and works just as well for watching movies or gaming.
AOC has long offered monitors that are great value for money, and the U2790PQU is no exception. It’s a great 4K monitor for working on thanks to a host of useful features and a sharp 4K panel.
The stand is adjustable, so you can slide it up and down to raise or lower the height. Regardless of your eye height, you should easily be able to find an ergonomic level for you. Plus, the screen can be tilted between -5 and 45 degrees.
Being IPS LCD means the accuracy of the screen is good, and 4K means it’s plenty sharp enough for anyone. Plus, that 27-inch size is just about the sweet spot for people working from home, or at the office. It has slim bezels, giving it an almost edge-to-edge appearance too.
At 32-inches diagonally, the BenQ PD3200U is a large display that’s not too enormous on your desk. It doesn’t take up much more space than a 27-inch iMac, thanks to having slimmer bezels.
The stand can swivel on its base 45 degrees to the left and to the right, and the screen can tilt from -5 to 20 degrees while also offering 150mm of height travel up and down.
The 4K UHD resolution IPS panel provides sharp details and crisp text and looks good from almost any angle. What’s more, with Dual View mode, you can have one side of the screen set up one way, and the other half calibrated for another source.
The only thing this display can’t do is keep up with ultra-fast gaming monitors. At 60Hz, it’s not the fastest screen going, but we were still able to play games at 60fps reliably, using the Nvidia GTX 1080Ti card.
Port wise, there’s plenty on offer with two HDMI 2.0 inputs as well as a DisplayPort 1.2 and mini DisplayPort 1.2 plus got four USB outputs, two USB inputs, a 3.5mm line-in, 3.5mm line out and an SD card reader.
Writing by Cam Bunton. Editing by Max Freeman-Mills.