There’s nothing quite like the extra screen that a full-size screen offers. Even if you’re used to working on a laptop, you’ll be amazed at how much you can do on a bigger screen. Here are our top picks for the best monitor you can buy.
What to look for in a computer screen in 2022
There are several things to consider before purchasing a monitor. This includes your budget, intended use, available space, and hardware limitations. Someone who plays competitive games will have very different standards than someone who needs full Adobe RGB coverage for photo editing, for example.
In 2021, you have more choices for what you put on your desk than a decade ago. 4K screens are becoming more popular than ever as people are buying new computers that can handle more than one screen at a time. Choosing a 4K screen is a great option, as you get a higher pixel density for sharper text and images, as well as more screen space.
Some options target laptop users, with many monitors now featuring DisplayPort or Thunderbolt-compatible USB-C connectors. These can be used as a single point of contact to power the monitor and run the laptop simultaneously. This reduces the number of cables you have to carry or hide behind your desk, but be aware that the monitor’s power output must match your laptop’s power requirements for it to work.
If you need color accuracy (eg for photo or video editing), you should definitely buy a calibrated device, because even a properly calibrated monitor can change over time. It’s also important to keep in mind that most monitors come with poor speakers. So you should turn to small desktop speakers, a 2.1 system, or a good pair of headphones.
To make our top picks, we used our discretion to make sure our recommendations are within budget and easy to find. By tailoring our picks to the mainstream market and sticking to only models available from a wide range of sellers like Amazon and Best Buy, the selections below should appeal to office workers, creatives, and casual gamers alike.
The best monitor in the world: Dell P2721Q
The Dell P2721Q Monitor is an impressive 4K monitor with a powerful feature set. The 27-inch IPS display is clear and provides excellent color accuracy. More importantly, the P2721Q monitor almost completely covers the commonly used sRGB color space.
The modern screen design is clean and sophisticated. The edges are thinner on three sides and thicker on the bottom. The build quality is also good, and the included stand is fully adjustable. You can tilt, swivel, swivel or adjust its height to get the perfect location for you.
Dell provided a decent selection of ports, including a DisplayPort 1.2, an HDMI 2.0 port, a USB-C port with DisplayPort (DP) Alt mode, two USB 2.0 Type A ports, and two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports. The USB-C port can provide up to 100% of the computer’s capacity. The USB-C port can provide up to 65W of power to a connected laptop, enabling single cable operation. Additionally, you can use the USB-A ports to connect peripherals and external storage drives, eliminating the need for a dedicated USB hub.
Another benefit of the P2721Q monitor is its three-year warranty, which includes the Dell Premium Panel Warranty. So, if you end up with even one bright dead pixel, the company will replace the board.
Unfortunately, there are no internal speakers and the display does not support Variable Refresh Rate (VRR). If you play a lot and need VRR, you will be better served by our selection of games.
Best Budget Monitor: Dell S2721Q
The Dell S2721Q is a budget 27-inch monitor with a 4K IPS panel, available in curved or flat versions. You can consider the Dell S2721Q as a budget alternative to the U2720Q, which is our top pick overall.
This Dell S-Series display has the same beautiful thin bezels as its more expensive siblings, with sRGB coverage of 99%. It lacks a USB-C connector capable of providing power and basic connectivity to the monitor, in favor of two HDMI 2.0 ports and a DisplayPort 1.2 connector.
Although compatible with AMD FreeSync, this monitor is not suitable for gamers with a refresh rate of 60Hz and a response time of 4ms. The gaming screen below would be a better choice. For professional use, the S2721Q is a desktop monitor that delivers an image well above its price range. But don’t expect build quality to be as high as Dell’s high-end models.
The Dell S2721Q is a great choice for people on a budget who don’t need the superior ergonomics, installation options and pre-calibrated color accuracy of UltraSharp (or similarly priced) monitors, but still appreciate the high pixel density and vibrant colour.
Best Gaming Monitor: LG Ultragear 27GP950-B
If you’re in the market for a gaming monitor, the LG Ultragear 27GP950-B is hard to beat. It offers great gaming performance thanks to its low input lag and fast response time. You also get a high refresh rate of 144GHz, which you can overclock to 160Hz for a smoother experience. Moreover, it supports AMD FreeSync Premium Pro and Nvidia G-Sync technologies to prevent screen tearing.
With 4K resolution, the 27-inch screen has a high pixel density for crisp images and text. The Nano IPS panel also ensures excellent color gamut, wide viewing angles and high color accuracy. The 27GP950-B supports HDR content and is DisplayHDR 600 certified.
There are two HDMI 2.1 ports and a DisplayPort 1.4 port for receiving video signals, but no USB-C port. However, the display supports USB hub functionality and has two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports for connecting peripherals and storage drives.
Finally, the screen has a decent design with slim bezels and an RGB bias lighting ring on the back. The stand supports tilt and height adjustments, but there is no swivel stand, and you can only rotate in one direction.
Best Ultra HD Monitor: LG 38WN95C-W
The LG 38WN95C-W is an Ultra Wide Curved display with a resolution of 3840 x 1600, which corresponds to a 21:9 aspect ratio. Most monitors use an aspect ratio of 16:9 or 16:10 for the wide screen, but the ultra-wide screen is an option Great if you want more on screen at once. An ultra-high-resolution screen of this size can replace two monitors (making the price swallow a little easier) and eliminate the bezels that plague multi-screen devices.
LG’s ultra-wide screen is loaded with features including Thunderbolt 3 connectivity via USB-C, which can power a 94W laptop. It also hits an amazing 144Hz refresh rate, which makes it super smooth to use on the desktop and great for gaming on the side, assuming your graphics card can handle it.
The 38WN95C-W is compatible with Nvidia G-Sync and features FreeSync Premium Pro, which means it supports variable refresh rates that eliminate screen tearing in fast-paced games. DisplayHDR 600 certification means HDR games and movies will be of good quality, covering 98% DCI-P3, 100% sRGB coverage, and a 1ms response time.
In short, this ultra-fast screen is an all-around solid screen. If you want a large landscape display at the cost of refresh rate (and your wallet), the Dell U4919DW is the perfect replacement for the ultra-fast monitor and ideal for office use.
Best 4K Monitor: ViewSonic VP2785-4K
4K is here to stay, and most computers are now capable of handling one or two 4K screens at once. The ViewSonic VP2785-4K is another 27″ monitor worth your desk space, especially if creative work is your main activity. It’s also a great desktop monitor with ambient lighting and presence sensors that adjust screen brightness based on your surroundings and save energy when you leave your desk.
ViewSonic sells this monitor factory-calibrated right out of its packaging, with 100% coverage of Adobe RGB, sRGB, and Rec. 709, SMPTE-C, EBU, and 95% coverage of the DCI-P3 standard, which also makes it a great monitor for creators. Brightness reaches an acceptable 350 nits, and while the screen can decode HDR10, it won’t be as bright as on a true HDR TV.
The VP2785-4K uses ViewSonic’s Colorbration+ system to make periodic calibration with a supported calibration tool easier than ever. You can connect your laptop via USB-C (DisplayPort), and the monitor will output up to 60W of power for charging. There is also a built-in KVM switch that allows you to use this monitor with multiple computers and a single set of peripherals.
In short, this is a great 4K monitor that won’t disappoint.
Best Monitor for Mac: Dell U2723QE
The Dell U2723QE Monitor is an excellent 4K monitor that works well with Macs. It features a 27-inch IPS Black panel, which provides better contrast than traditional IPS panels, high color accuracy and a wide color gamut. You also get support for HDR content, but the monitor only has Basic DisplayHDR 400 certification.
The monitor looks good and features a desktop design with an incredibly comfortable stand. You can tilt it, rotate it, rotate it and adjust its height.
When it comes to connectivity, the Dell monitor has an impressive array of ports. It has a DisplayPort 1.4 port, an HDMI 2.0 port, and a USB-C port with DP Alt mode for video input. The Type-C port can also supply up to 90W of power to a connected laptop, allowing you to power almost any MacBook. Additionally, the monitor can act as a USB hub and KVM switch and features five USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, and an RJ45 Ethernet port.
Unfortunately, although the U2723QE has a DisplayPort output for sequential monitors when connected to a Mac, the monitor simply mirrors the second monitor.
Overall, the Dell U2723QE is a solid choice for most Mac users, content creators included. But if you are looking for the best possible option and don’t have any budget constraints, then you should consider Apple Pro Display XDR.