Good grief, there are a lot of monitors out there. Choosing which one you want is a matter of juggling many variables: the size, panel type, refresh rate, connection options, and of course, price. It can feel like unlimited choices with very few right choices.
If you are struggling with a choice, we recommend that you check out this guide, which covers the basics of computer monitor specifications and what features you generally need for what kind of work or entertainment you plan to do on your computer.
But if you want to skip all that and check out a shortlist, we̵
The best overall monitor: Dell Ultrasharp u2719DX
Dell makes some of the best monitors out there, and the Ultrasharp line goes even further. The latest 27-inch model combines absolutely beautiful thin bezels, a high-quality IPS panel with a higher resolution than usual (2560 × 1440), excellent viewing angles and many input and output options. The display can use two DisplayPort and one HDMI input simultaneously, with an additional USB 3.1 connection for up to four add-on devices. The focus on image quality makes this monitor less ideal for gaming, but that’s actually the only drawback.
The best budget monitor: Acer KA241Y
If you need an external display with a low budget, this Acer model is for you. While it doesn’t show the most accurate colors or allow for superhuman gaming reflexes, the VA panel is a good middle ground between image quality and game speed. The 16: 9 ratio is ideal for most videos. Between an older VGA input and HDMI, it can connect to older desktops as well as new laptops (although no HDMI cable is included). It also looks surprisingly good with those thin bezels, and comes with a VESA mount – not always a given at this price.
The best massive screen monitor: AOC AGON AG493UCX
If you want the biggest screen possible, you can’t get any bigger than this AOC panel (unless you just put an HDTV on your desk). The huge 49-inch curved widescreen display is essentially two 27-inch, 1440p panels side by side. Surprisingly, it can drive all that space at 120Hz with just a millisecond response time thanks to the VA panel, which means it’s great for games … if you can find a graphics card that can handle over 5,000 horizontal pixels that fast. The color accuracy isn’t the best, but honestly, nothing else at this format can beat it. If the price tag of this one shocks you, consider the 34-inch Gigabyte G34QC as a comparable but much cheaper alternative.
The best massive screen monitor
The best gaming monitor: Alienware AW3420DW
Gamers who refuse to compromise will find this monitor ticks all their boxes. That huge 34-inch panel is curved for immersion, fast at 120Hz and fast at 2ms response time. In addition, it is a high quality IPS panel, which provides more accurate colors than the typical VA gaming monitor. It’s compatible with NVIDIA’s G-SYNC system for smooth frame rates, which is a big deal for a monitor pushing the 3440 × 1440 high resolution, and the stylish case has RGB lights on the back and below the screen. Convenient USB 3.0 ports and a headphone jack make connecting new gaming gadgets a breeze.
The best budget gaming monitor: Asus VG248QG
It’s really hard to find a budget screen that supports G-SYNC to eliminate screen tearing, but this one does it, along with a refresh rate that goes up to 165Hz. While the VA panel isn’t the most color accurate, the options for DisplayPort, HDMI and DVI inputs make even older gaming PCs welcome to join. It also has surprisingly good kickstand and VESA mounting options. If you want a bigger, sharper panel, check out the 27-inch version of the same model, which boosts a resolution of 1440p for a little more.
the best budget gaming monitor
The best monitor for media makers: LG 27UK850-W
This 27-inch monitor from LG has a combination of features that make it great for creative professionals working on photo or video editing, 3D modeling, digital painting and all kinds of fine details. A 4K resolution with a color-accurate IPS panel makes this display incredibly sharp and color-accurate, the true 1000: 1 contrast ratio is a big plus, and a USB-C video connection means working on the screen on the go is super easy. But the biggest selling point for content creators is an sRGB color gamut of over 99%, making it one of the most accurate renderings you can get without going into four-digit sticker pricing. The mounting options make it easy to combine this screen into a multi-monitor setup or an attractive wall mount.
The best video maker monitor