The 10 Best 4k Monitors
This wiki has been updated 18 times since it was first published in April of 2015. Ultra HD displays offer incredible clarity, even in larger sizes, allowing for immersive gaming, effective photo and video editing, and increased productivity at work. With recent advances in the technology, 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 recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best 4k monitor on Amazon.
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.
Better Resolution For A New Era
A monitor with 4K resolution displays the picture at 4,000 pixels horizontally and 2,000 pixels vertically.
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.
Your intended use will help you determine what features are necessary.
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.
Amazon jumped on the bandwagon in the same year and now offers certain original series in 4K resolution.
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.
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