IF YOU spend a lot of time using your PC at home, you know the difference a good monitor can make.
Get yourself the right monitor, and instead of squinting at blurry images, you can focus on a clear screen and watch video in incredible clarity.
If you’re in the market for a new screen, avoid TN (Twisted Nematic) LCD screens and go for In Plane Switching for better, brighter colours.
All monitors in our roundup display at Full HD (1920×1080) pixels. Spend more and you’ll get full 4K Ultra HD, with a massive 3840×2160 pixels.
Alongside picture quality, gamers will want a good refresh rate (at least 60hz), to ensure no on-screen lag for films or games.
Whether you’re a die-hard gamer or film fanatic, you’ll find something to love in our selection of the five best PC monitors you can buy right now.
Our list has been created using a mix of expert opinion and customer reviews from around the web.
1. The best budget monitor: SAMSUNG C24F390
- SAMSUNG C24F390, £130.00 from Samsung – buy here
The Samsung C24F396 is sleek, slim and is the cheapest curved monitor of the bunch. Customers love the quality – and the low cost.
The monitor has an Eye Saver Mode that reduces blue light emissions and eye fatigue. Perfect if you spend a lot of time in front of your computer screen.
The Samsung C24F396 also features the company's Flicker Free technology, which minimise screen flicker for a more pleasant experience, particularly in gaming scenarios.
A full-HD curved computer monitor, built by one of the world’s leading tech firms for under £130 is an absolute steal.
And if you buy it from Amazon, you get both EU and UK plugs, as well as an HDMI cable.
2. The best monitor for designers: BenQ BL2420PT 24" IPS QHD Monitor
- BenQ BL2420PT 24" IPS QHD Monitor, £187.38 from Amazon – buy here
BenQ have been producing great computer equipment for years. Films and games look great on this budget-priced full-QHD monitor.
With an amazing 2560 x 1440 resolution, IPS technology and 178/ 178 ultra wide-viewing angles, the BenQ BL2420PT is ideal for professionals looking at a mid-range monitor.
Featuring a tailor-made CAD/CAM, Flicker Free technology and animation mode, the monitor is ideal for 3D drawing, animation works and graphic art design.
To help creatives further, the BenQ BL2420PT is also height-adjustable. The monitor can be turned in vertical position up to 180 degrees, and when in horizontal position, up to 20 degrees up.
Looking for a monitor for graphic work and design? The BenQ BL2420PT is the one for you.
3. The best gaming monitor: AOC AGON AG271QG
- AOC AGON AG271QG, £569.49 from Amazon – buy here
Packing the impressive Nvidia G-sync tech, this mid-price monitor has a 165Hz refresh rate – meaning super smooth gameplay.
Graphics are sharp and clear, with a 2560 x 1440 resolution in Quad HD (QHD).
The AOC AGON AG271QG sports a pixel response time of 1ms, meaning fast-moving actions will be displayed without smearing or ghosting effects.
The Nvidia G-sync tech also means the monitor’s refresh rate will be synchronised with the graphic card inside NVIDIA-powered PCs, thus minimising display stutter and input lag.
All in all, this display is just great for gaming.
4. The best ultra-wide monitor: Samsung C49J890DKU
- Samsung C49J890DKU, £899.99 from Very – buy here
An ultra-wide monitor isn’t for everyone, but if you need one then the preposterously proportioned 49” Samsung C49J890DKU is a contender.
Like two 27” screens side-by-side, the 32:9 aspect ratio is perfect for multi-tasking or immersing yourself in a film or game.
The Samsung C49J890DKU monitor features a rapid 144Hz screen refresh rate for flawlessly smooth scenes, and an option to adjust it further to 60Hz/120Hz for optimised performance.
Unlike most monitors, this ultra-wide monster by Samsung also has built-in 7W stereo speakers.
To top it all, the Samsung C49J890DKU presents a quite unique built-in KVM Switch, allowing you to control two devices connected to the monitor with just one keyboard and mouse.
This is an expensive monitor, but it is more than that, and really it is closer to a TV than a PC screen in more than one sense.
5. The best high-end monitor: Acer XR382CQK
- Acer XR382CQK, £1,249 from Acer – buy here
This 37.5”, ultra-wide QHD monitor excels in every situation. It’s a solid choice for gaming, but is is also great for creatives.
Like some of the options above, the Acer XR382CQK has Flicker Free technology, but the treats don't stop there.
With a 21:9 aspect ratio and a fantastic resolution of 3840 x 1600, this monitor is also environmentally certified (MPR II).
Add in amazing viewing angles of 178×178 degrees and a pixel response time of 1ms and you have the perfect monitor for virtually any task.
Loved by critics and adored by gamers, the Acer XR382CQK delivers ultra-smooth performance through its AMD Freesync technology.
6. The best 4K monitor: Dell Ultrasharp U2720Q
- Dell Ultrasharp U2720Q, £628.80 from Dell – buy here
This compact monitor from Dell is arguably the best 4K display you can get right now.
With a 3840 X 2160 resolution and a high pixel density of 163ppi, the Dell Ultrasharp U2720Q has four times the resolution of Full HD screens.
Add an amazing HDR support and remarkable 1,300:1 contrast ratio, and you have one of the best possible monitors on the market.
The Dell Ultrasharp U2720Q also comes with an updated Dell Display Manager that lets you intuitively adjust settings and manage applications across one or more connected screens for multitasking efficiency.
And in case you need a little more screen space, Dell also offers a 32-inch model. It a few hundred quids more expensive, but you pay for quality here.
7. The best space saving monitor: Samsung Space Monitor (S27R750)
- Samsung Space Monitor, £330.98 from Amazon – buy here
Whether you have a small desk or you just prefer a more compact monitor, the Samsung Space Monitor might be the one for you.
When not in use, the Samsung Space Monitor can be pulled back to sit flat against a back wall, leaving your entire work surface clear.
Do you have work to do? Simply pull the monitor towards you and adjust to your preferred viewing position.
The minimal frame and integrated clamp support also contribute to make this monitor a must-have for whoever has particular space-saving needs.
With a 2560 x 1440 WQHD resolution and 144Hz refresh rate, the Samsung Space Monitor is also a technically performant device.
And the price is quite cheap too.
8. The best portable monitor: HP EliteDisplay S14 (3HX46AA)
- HP EliteDisplay S14, £304.34 from Amazon – buy here
But what if you're always on the move? Portable monitors are a strange breed, but are extremely useful if you're the wondering creative type.
The HP EliteDisplay S14 is designed to be used on the go, so much in fact that its cover doubles as a stand.
It is also powered by an USB-C cable that provide the display with signal too, making it perfect for use in locations where a power socket is hard to find.
In terms of specs, the monitor has an anti-glare display with a 1920×1080 resolution. Not amazing but more than enough for a 14-inch screen.
Need a monitor for when you're on the go? The HP EliteDisplay S14 is the one for you.
9. The best monitor for specs: Apple Pro Display XDR
- Apple Pro Display XDR, £4,599.00 from Apple – buy here
An overkill monitor both in specs and price, the Apple Pro Display XDR stands in a category of its own.
Priced at over 4,500 quids plus a grand more for the Pro Stand, the Pro Display XDR is all but cheap.
However, the display is also the world-first 32-inch Retina display featuring a monstrous 6K resolution of 6,016×3,384.
Apple's Pro Display XDR also has exceptional colour accuracy, super-wide viewing angle and extreme dynamic range.
Throw in a highly customisable design and a top-notch build quality and the price suddenly stops looking so prohibitive.
How to choose a good monitor?
There are several things to keep in mind when buying a new monitor. We have selected the most important ones for you.
This is the first question anyone looking at buying a new monitor asks themselves: how big is big enough?
Monitors' screen sizes are calculated based on the length of a diagonal line cutting the screen in half.
If you're not sure what size is good for you, just try to calculate the diagonal of a potential monitor yourself, using the dimensions you see online (width, height and ratio).
Laptop screens are usually 24 inches, so a 27-inch second screen should satisfy most people's needs.
But again, this is not an exact science, and often designers and gamers enjoy monitors with gigantic, 37+ inches screens.
Another thing to keep in mind when looking for a new screen is the aspect ratio, which is the correlation between the width and height of a screen.
Historically, the two main ratios used in monitors until a few years ago were 4:3 AKA full-screen and 16:9 AKA widescreen, with the latter recently becoming the most-used standard for new devices.
Developments in technology and an increase in screen sizes and density of pixels have seen a proliferation of new aspect ratios, some of which have been mentioned in the products above.
Unless you need particular ratios for work, however, sticking near to the widescreen one is probably a good idea, as many films and games may not be optimised for other aspect ratios.
Connected to screen size and ratios is display resolution, meaning the number of horizontal and vertical pixels on a display screen.
Essentially, most displays today fall into one of the following categories: 720p, 1080p, 1440p, 2K and 4K.
The 720p category include screens with a 1280×720 resolution, and is usually known as "HD."
The other ones go gradually up to reach a 3840 x 2160 resolution for 4K screens, which is called UHD or Ultra HD resolution.
Generally speaking, 1366×768 or 1920×1080 resolution screens are good enough for the eyes.
However, if you spend many hours in front of a computer screen and suffer from eye fatigue, you may want to consider a higher resolution display.
When it comes to colour there are two aspects to keep in mind: how many colours the screen can display and how accurately it can display them.
Without digging too deep into technical details, most monitors today are capable of reading a wide enough range of colours for most tasks.
Displaying those colours accurately, however, can be trickier, and many designers have experienced first-hand the frustration of having a second monitor displaying different colours than their main one.
Luckily, most design-focused laptops and monitors today come with screens able to display colours accurately.
A great example of a graphics-focused monitor is the BenQ PD3220U. Featuring 100% sRGB and 96% P3 colour space with IPS Technology, the PD3220U supports HDR10 content to meet the needs of the most demanding creatives.
- BenQ PD3220U, 1,921.70 from Ebay – buy here
Most monitors today have an HDMI output that will allow you to connect them with virtually any console or laptop.
When you start connecting together more than two displays however, selecting the correct outputs is something you'll have to keep in mind.
Some of the device you're connecting the monitors to may have a Thunderbolt port, for example, and that may affect the capabilities of an individual monitor or all of them.
Curved vs flat
This is a hard question, as well as a brand-new one. The first modern curved-screen monitor was unveiled by Samsung during CES 2014.
Since then, curved monitors have received a lot of praise but also some criticism.
The obvious advantage of having a curved screen in front of you instead of a flat one is a more immersive experience.
Curved monitors also limit image distortion and are more comfortable for your eyes, offering a larger perceived field of view.
The main downside of curved screens is glare, but that mainly applies to TV screens, as in the case of monitors you will always probably be sitting quite close to them.
Once you have established a budget and have a general idea of what you want, you should keep in mind what are the main areas that may cause a monitor price to inflate.
Higher resolution and screen sizes are two of them, closely followed by a higher contrast and colour spectrum.
Gaming or graphics' extra features can also contribute to an increase in price.
Apart from the software compartment, monitors can feature additional hardware perks.
They may include speakers and memory card slots, or be portable, with adjustable screens and integrated clamps.
And some of them even may even have a built-in wireless charging pad in their base.
If you're making a change to your home office set-up, don't neglect your printer. We've rounded up the best home printers available right now.
Our Sun Selects Tech section is the place to go for more gadget round ups, and our latest recommendations.
Enjoyed our selection of the best PC monitors? Then be sure to check out the main Sun Selects page for our top picks across home, garden, parenting and more.
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