The 10 Best 32 Inch Monitors
This wiki has been updated 7 times since it was first published in November of 2018. As computers increase in power and video becomes ever-more-detailed and lifelike, many consumers are upgrading to extra-large, 32-inch monitors. Offering more real estate and higher resolutions on average than their diminutive counterparts, these modern displays will help any system look its best. Here you'll find the finest options for professionals, gamers, and casual users alike. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best 32 inch monitor on Amazon.
November 12, 2018:
The 32-inch class is at the very top end of the comfortable size range for most consumers. In fact, mathematically speaking, a 32-inch, 1440p monitor, sitting desk-distance from your face, is just about the ideal resolution and distance for maximum visual benefit (but, of course, everybody's eyes are different). LG, Dell, and HP all make displays that simply look better than most others, sometimes in an intangible way. Gamers, take note of your GPU family and the variable refresh tech available; in keeping with long-standing tradition, AMD video cards as well as AMD Freesync are both considerably less expensive than the opposition. On the other hand, ViewSonic is a long-time favorite among budget-oriented users of all types.
Through Thick And Thin
Throughout the 1990s, researchers labored over the exact designs that would not only increase visual fidelity, but also remain easy to produce.
For as bulky and inefficient as its design was, the cathode-ray tube display was able to dominate nearly a century of television and two decades of PC displays. In some ways, it was simpler than modern display panels; the cathode produced a beam of excited electrons when powered, and that beam was focused and deflected by various coils en route to the fluorescent screen, where simple physics translated the electrons into visible light.
Laptops were the first computers to largely do away with CRT technology; early notebooks came in black and white as well as color configurations and the display was a costly part of the portable computing experience. Throughout the 1990s, researchers labored over the exact designs that would not only increase visual fidelity, but also remain easy to produce. By 2007, thanks to the R&D departments at massive companies like Hitachi and Samsung, flat-panel LCDs surpassed CRTs in performance and started to become mainstream around the world.
What's In A Monitor
The two most basic specifications of computer displays are the resolution and refresh rate. The resolution refers to exactly how many pixels the screen has and the refresh rate is the number of times per second that those pixels are updated. Most displays use a 16:9 aspect ratio, and resolutions range all the way from 1280 x 720 resolutions all the way to 4K and in a few cases, even higher. Sixty hertz is the most common refresh rate.
Resolution is a different story. As screen size increases, given the same resolution, an image will look less and less sharp. Plus, when it comes to actual desktop space, more pixels means more screen real estate; If the display isn't big enough, though, words on a 4K screen might just be too small to read. But if you're talking about a 32-inch monitor, a Quad HD or 4K model might be the perfect size and sharpness.
Advanced LED technology has allowed recent computer displays to make huge strides in terms of contrast ratios, black levels, and brightness.
But while important, there's more to pay attention to than resolution and refresh rate. Advanced LED technology has allowed recent computer displays to make huge strides in terms of contrast ratios, black levels, and brightness. Some high-end manufacturers have adopted quantum dot filtration, which streamlines the coloring process and allows for more accurate colors, wider gamuts, and considerably less light bleed and inconsistency. Then there's HDR, a dynamic lighting protocol that transmits localized brightness and contrast metadata. This ever-advancing technology can bring an even bolder and more lifelike appearance to images, especially real-world pictures and videos.
There are additional aspects that are mostly worthwhile to gamers. Powerful gaming machines can often exceed 60 FPS at high resolutions, so gamers tend toward high refresh rates when looking for a high-performance monitor. But, there's more. When a graphics card sends a video signal at 60 hertz, each frame is displayed once per refresh, but if that frame rate changes (which it's very likely to do), the monitor may end up drawing two frames at once, or not replacing a current frame on time, which leads to screen tearing or a minor shake called judder. The solution to this is called variable refresh rate, which lets the monitor synchronize with the frame rate it's being fed, eliminating distracting tearing and artifacts. There is an open standard for VVR, but major GPU producers like AMD and Nvidia also have specialized protocols for it that work especially well with their branded cards.
Then, there's pixel response time. Not to be confused with input lag, which is the time it takes for a command from the mouse or keyboard to activate on screen, response measures the time it takes for each pixel to go from white to gray and back again. A low response time reduces motion blur, which makes fast-paced scenes appear more smooth. It can also prevent ghosting, a phenomenon where images that have already left the screen are visible for just enough milliseconds to be noticed.
What Are Your Options?
With a 32-inch monitor at 4K resolution, you can sit about two feet away with 20/20 vision and you won't be able to make out any individual pixels. In fact, with a screen so large, 1080p is likely to be unsatisfying, which is why the majority of options at this size are offered with at least 2560 by 1440 panels, a resolution also known as Quad HD.
For the forseeable future, though, it may be hard to maintain a frame rate over 60 in Ultra HD in most games, anyhow.
While most 32-inch monitors are traditional flat 16:9 rectangles, you'll run into some that are curved, and some that are in a 21:9 aspect ratio. Once again, gamers take note, as a curved display can make games that much more immersive, as can an ultrawide display, although some titles take a little extra tweaking to actually display in 21:9.
If 32 inches isn't big enough, your next-best option might be to consider an actual television. Most are limited to 60 hertz, so if you want to take advantage of frame rates above that, you may be out of luck. Until HDMI 2.1 becomes the industry standard, PC graphics cards are unable to output anything above 4K at 60 hertz, because there simply isn't enough bandwidth to transmit all the signal. For the forseeable future, though, it may be hard to maintain a frame rate over 60 in Ultra HD in most games, anyhow. If you do go this route, make sure to choose a TV that has a relatively low input lag, especially if you're gaming, as heavily lagging mouse and keyboard inputs can be particularly infuriating.
All in all, there are more high-quality displays on the market than ever before, and the selection won't be shrinking anytime soon. It's surprisingly easy to find an option in your price range; although you might have to make a couple sacrifices as far as the newest technologies go, even budget-oriented companies are now making highly reliable displays with great pictures. And if you are a performance enthusiast, you will of course want to make certain you're using the latest and most powerful hardware to get the most out of your new monitor.
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