The 10 Best 4k Monitors
This wiki has been updated 24 times since it was first published in April of 2015. UHD displays offer incredible clarity, even in larger sizes, allowing for immersive gaming, accurate photo and video editing, and increased productivity at work. With recent advances in the technology and production methods, there are more high-quality 4K monitors available than ever before. Here are some of the top UHD models for entertainment, professional, and general usage. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
July 22, 2021:
The industry is taking its time with the new crop of HDMI 2.1 monitors, but in the meantime, there are plenty of great models from the last two years that are still at the front of the pack. That said, there was little movement this round and we're confident in most of our previous picks. One important change was the addition of the Asus ROG Strix XG27UQ, one of the finest gaming monitors on the planet. We were also forced to remove an Asus ProArt model partly because its local dimming function turned out to be more of a gimmick than a useful feature. Instead, we recommend photo and video editors consider the tried-and-true Asus PA329C.
July 21, 2020:
Home computers, and especially those meant for gaming, are finally reaching a point where 4K displays are a reasonable choice for many consumers. If you're looking for an all-around good-looking display, the Dell U2720Q is a great choice, and in some intangible ways, it looks better than almost any others. For considerably more space, consider the Dell U4320Q, which measures a whopping 43 inches diagonally. It's certainly no secret that Dell makes good displays with above-average production quality.
One of the benefits of the increased selection is much better deals on higher-quality monitors than were available in previous years. For everyday usage, it's hard to beat the LG UL500 in terms of price-to-performance ratio, while gamers on a moderate budget will appreciate the Acer CB282K. Our top pick, the Philips 328E1CA, is an especially capable choice that won't hurt your wallet too badly, either.
Moving up somewhat in price, there are some good mid-range options that various enthusiasts will be interested in. The Asus ROG Strix XG438Q is practically in a league of its own as far as gaming monitors go, as it measures 43 inches and offers a variable refresh rate up to 120 hertz. It's worth noting that this particular model generally gets better reviews than two similar options that succeeded it, and it also costs considerably less, making it an excellent choice for large-format gaming. Keep in mind, though, you will need a considerably powerful PC to take full advantage of it. The BenQ is another mid-level option that doesn't disappoint, just like most options from this popular enthusiast brand.
If you're willing to make a significant investment on something in the 32-inch size, It's hard to argue with the technologically advanced Asus PA32UC, one of the extremely rare PC displays with local dimming, a practically essentially feature for effective HDR viewing. Professional photo and video editors will also like the BenQ SW321C, which is one of the most accurate and advanced monitors available right now.
April 26, 2019:
We're impressed with the wide range of features and excellent build quality of some of the latest monitors. Models like the Philip E Series, Acer ET322QK, and low-end LG UL27 offer incredible bang for the buck in small sizes, while the ViewSonic and the Philips Momentum mid-range are excellent 43-inch units that don't cost an arm and a leg. Speaking of Philips, their Momentum display offers some of the best HDR performance around, and since it's as large as a TV, is a great complement to a mid-size home theater setup. If you're willing to spend a little more, the high-end LG 27UL and the Dell UltraSharp both offer an incredibly refined image.
For those who are okay with making a somewhat large investment, there are great options with a few different focuses. If you're a photo or video editor, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better option than the BenQ. Its exceptional color accuracy and high-quality panel make it among the best professional options available. The Asus PG27UQ is a simply amazing piece of hardware, compete with some of the most cutting-edge technology around, but it's also one of the most expensive monitors on the market. The Acer Predator is a bit more affordable, and boasts hardware almost exactly as advanced, though some users report inconsistent quality control. But if you're looking for the all-around best, the LG UltraFine is incredibly hard to top. It boasts a useful and attractive 21:9 aspect ratio and one of the best pictures around, and while it's pretty costly, many users find it worth the price.
Eizo CG318 When your budget isn't a primary concern, this high-end option is worth considering. It's one of the rare consumer-facing models with such impressive color accuracy out of the box and it does a better job of representing real-world reproduction than almost anything else out there. eizo.com
Better Resolution For A New Era
They still provide amazing resolution and are great for professional use.
A monitor with 4K resolution displays the picture at 4,000 pixels horizontally and 2,000 pixels vertically. This resolution boasts a sharp, clear display that is perfect for video and photo editors.
Some 4K monitors are designed for multitasking and allow users to open and view up to four windows at once. If the monitor is large enough, each picture will be clear and crisp and allow for maximum efficiency. The 4K resolution works best when sitting near it, therefore it makes more sense to purchase a 4K computer monitor than a 4K-compatible television.
These monitors are popular in the gaming world. Because 4K resolution monitors support high-quality graphics and speeds, serious PC gamers can create an unforgettable gaming experience.
When purchasing a 4K monitor, you can generally choose from three different panel types. TN (Twisted Nematic) panels are preferred by gamers because they have the fastest response times. They are still not the best choice for professional users since there are sometimes issues with viewing angles and color accuracy. They are also likely to be the least expensive.
IPS (In-Plane Switching) panels have amazing color reproduction and viewing angles, but the longer response times can be frustrating. If you are not an experienced user, however, you may not even notice the lag. They still provide amazing resolution and are great for professional use.
IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) panels support more power and are generally smaller and lighter weight. They are also the most expensive. Many people prefer to go with the better color and viewing angles over the faster response times.
The Down Low On High Resolution
Many 4K monitors are still in the tweaking stages and still have room for improvement. Many are content to wait. However, if you are one who is in the market, take the following things into consideration before purchasing your first 4K monitor.
First, decide how you plan to use your monitor. Are you a gamer? Are you a video editor or graphic designer? Are you a photo editor? Do you plan to watch movies and other media compatible with 4K resolution? Your intended use will help you determine what features are necessary.
However, if you are one who is in the market, take the following things into consideration before purchasing your first 4K monitor.
Second, make sure it is compatible with your computer and its operating system. A Mac needs to run at 60Hz. A PC that uses a Windows operating system will need a Broadwell or AMD A10-7850K processor at the very least in order to properly display the required graphics. The specs should be compatible with your current PC. Additionally, you should check that the apps you intend to use are compatible with 4K resolution.
Third, if you plan to use the monitor for gaming, you will need to have a high-quality graphics card so you can reap the maximum benefits. These cards will cost just as much if not more than the monitor.
Next, look at the inputs and outputs and consider the types of ports and cables that will be necessary to use them. Some 4K monitors have USB ports, HDMI ports, and more. It is possible you will need to purchase certain cables in addition to the monitor in order to utilize all of the features.
Finally, and as always, consider your budget. Odds are, if you are purchasing a 4K monitor, you have a hefty budget to begin with. But if you are going to need a lot of additional items such as cables and graphics cards, you might want to invest in one that won’t have you taking out a second mortgage on your home.
A Brief History of the 4K Monitor
The technology for 4K computer monitors has been in development for nearly two decades. This resolution was originally created for cinematographic cameras and was released in the form of the Dalsa Origin in 2003. Other camera manufacturers soon followed suit and began developing and releasing cameras with 4K capabilities.
In 2014, Netflix made it possible to stream certain television programs in 4K resolution to compatible televisions.
Sony has been a leader in 4K technology and made 4K projectors available to cinemas as soon as 2004. However, movie theaters didn’t begin to take advantage of this technology until 2011. By 2010, YouTube provided the option to upload and view videos that had been recorded with 4K resolution cameras.
In 2014, Netflix made it possible to stream certain television programs in 4K resolution to compatible televisions. Amazon jumped on the bandwagon in the same year and now offers certain original series in 4K resolution.
Although 4K was originally made available for video recording, cinema, and television, it was soon discovered that it is most practical when utilized on a computer for video and photo editing and gaming. Because it is necessary to sit close to the screen to gain the full benefits of 4K resolution, it is not often practical for TV viewing, even on televisions that are 4K compatible. But because we sit close to computer monitors anyway, it is a much more useful format.
Television, streaming, and computer resolution continues to evolve with more online services than YouTube making 4K streaming available. It may be safe to say that within the next several years, 4K resolution will become a more common viewing standard.