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Recommendations

Here you will find a frequently updated shortlist featuring some of the best monitors on the market. These models are recommended because of our own positive experiences with them, feedback from other professional reviewers or good user experiences. Factors considered include image quality, performance, value for money and other attractive features.

 

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Samsung C34F791

Samsung C34F791

 

Good for:

Gaming, movies and all-round desktop use.

Panel used:

Samsung LTM340YP04 (34″ curved VA, 48-100Hz variable with Adaptive-Sync).

Screen surface:

Very light matte anti-glare, preserving vibrancy and clarity well with low graininess and decent glare-handling characteristics.

Additional specifications:

  • 3440 x 1440 resolution
  • PWM-free (flicker-free) Quantum Dot + blue LED backlight (sRGB+ colour gamut)
  • 4ms grey to grey response time
  • 2 HDMI 2.0 ports (supports FreeSync), DP 1.2a (supports FreeSync), 3.5mm headphone jack, 2 USB 3.0 ports and 7W stereo speakers
  • The stand offers tilt and height adjustment. VESA mounting supported.


Why choose this monitor:

The Samsung C34F791 offers a minimalistic but attractive style, with a height adjustable stand and provision for VESA mounting. The real beauty of this model is on the inside, though, where a curved 34″ ‘UltraWide’ (21:9 aspect ratio) VA panel is housed. At 1500R, the curve is relatively steep on this model, but it’s something we adapted to quite readily and found perfectly natural. The 3440 x 1440 resolution provides a pleasing pixel density and plenty of screen space, with an enhanced Field of View (FOV) in many games to add to immersion and playability. The monitor delivers good levels of detail in games combined with strong contrast and rich colour reproduction. The combination of flicker-free Quantum Dot backlight and modern SVA panel provide a vivid but varied look to gaming worlds. ‘Low Blue Light’ settings are also provided to further enhance viewing comfort.

A key distinguishing feature of this model is its native 100Hz refresh rate, coupled with well-implemented pixel overdrive. This delivers an excellent ‘connected feel’ and reduced perceived blur compared to models with lower refresh rates. An additional bonus for AMD users is support for AMD FreeSync (via ‘Adaptive-Sync’), with a variable refresh rate range of 48 – 100Hz to remove tearing or stuttering caused by refresh rate and frame rate mismatches. When coupled with the engrossing and colour-rich experience of the screen itself, the high refresh rate provides a superb PC gaming experience.

Further reading:

Our review of this model

An article exploring the 3440 x 1440 resolution

Manufacturer product page


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Dell U2414H

Dell U2414H

 

Good for:

All-round use including photography/design work, general desktop use and entertainment.

Panel used:

LG Display LM238WF2-SSA1 (23.8” AH-IPS, 60Hz).

Screen surface:

Medium matte anti-glare. Significantly less grainy than some matte surfaces, good glare-handling.

Additional specifications:

  • 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • PWM-free (flicker-free) WLED backlight (sRGB colour gamut)
  • 8ms grey to grey response time
  • 2 HDMI ports (with MHL), DP 1.2a, MiniDP 1.2a, DP 1.2a output, 3.5mm audio out, 4 USB 3.0 ports
  • Screen can be tilted, adjusted in height, swivelled and pivoted. There is also VESA support for alternative mounting


Why choose this monitor:

The Dell U2414H is an excellent all-round performer with strengths in key areas including colour reproduction and responsiveness. The AH-IPS panel provides rich and consistent colour reproduction for shades within the sRGB colour space. This makes the monitor attractive for colour-critical work such as photo editing, particularly after calibration. The 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) resolution remains popular for ‘entertainment’ purposes due to compatability with games consoles, movies and the relatively low GPU horepower requirements for PC gaming. For games and movies the IPS panel gives rich and life-like colours with a great subtle shade variety – you’ll be able to pick out the slightest shade differences, something that isn’t possible on monitors with TN panels due to colour inconsistencies at different points of the screen. Some users are sensitive to the rapid ‘on’ and ‘off’ pulsing typically used to lower monitor backlight brightness (something called PWM or Pulse Width Modulation). This model avoids such modulation of the backlight; it has a flicker-free backlight to increase viewing comfort.

This model also puts in quite a competitive performance in terms of responsiveness, with low input lag and effective grey to grey acceleration (pixel overdrive). As far as 60Hz monitors go it’s really not bad at all and can certainly be used for gaming purposes with that refresh rate in mind. Don’t fall into the trap of paying too much attention to specified response times. Other attractive features include the slender bezels (good for multi-display setups), a good range of ports and strong ergonomic flexibility. It may not be the newest monitor on the market, but you should not judge it by its age – it has remained on the market as a customer favourite for several years and remains so today.

Further reading:

Our review of this model

Manufacturer product page


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ASUS XG32VQ

ASUS XG32VQ

 

Good for:

Gaming and general desktop use including movies.

Panel used:

Samsung LSM315DP01 (31.5” SVA, 48 – 144Hz variable with Adaptive-Sync).

Screen surface:

Light matte anti-glare, providing good glare reduction characteristics whilst preserving good clarity and vibrancy.

Additional specifications:

  • 2560 x 1440 (WQHD) resolution
  • PWM-free (flicker-free) WLED backlight (sRGB+ colour gamut)
  • 4ms grey to grey response time
  • HDMI 2.0 (supports FreeSync), DP 1.2a (supports FreeSync), mDP 1.2a (supports FreeSync), 2 USB 3.0 ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Stand fully adjustable (height, tilt, swivel and pivot) plus 100 x 100mm VESA mounting. Integrated 2W speakers


Why choose this monitor:

The ASUS XG32VQ of the company’s ROG (Republic of Gamers) Strix lineup combines excellent contrast and vivid colour output with a high refresh rate and some attractive gaming-oriented features and capabilities. An SVA (‘Super’ Vertical Alignment) panel is used, which provides strong static contrast output. This allows the monitor to produce some deep-looking dark shades and impressive bright shades which stand out very well against darker surroundings. With a generous colour gamut (easily extending beyond sRGB but not as far as Adobe RGB) and good colour consistency for its panel type and size, colour output is varied and vivid. This is complemented by a light matte screen surface that keeps the image free from obvious graininess and helps bring out its vibrancy potential. The monitor also provides a reasonable interpolation process, allowing the monitor to run at non-native resolutions such as 1920 x 1080 without excessive softening. This makes it suitable for console gaming as a secondary use, for example.

The monitor supports a 144Hz refresh rate and has very little input lag, offering a fluid experience at high frame rates with strong ‘connected feel’ and relatively low perceived blur. There are some weaknesses in pixel resposiveness, as highlighted in the review, but the overall responsiveness remains decent for a panel of this type. Moreover, some users find the overall experience (including responsivensss) to be very pleasing. The monitor also supports AMD FreeSync (via Adaptive-Sync) with a variable refresh rate range of 48 – 144Hz and support for LFC (Low Frame Rate Compensation). This eliminates the stuttering and tearing associated with frame rate and refresh rate mismatches, for users of compatible AMD GPUs. Nvidia GPU users can make use of all of the other features and capabilities of the monitor. The monitor has a 1800R (reasonably steep) curve to the screen, but as covered in the review this is more subtle than you think in practice, giving a slight feeling of extra depth and potentially enhancing viewing comfort. We see it as a subtle addition that makes the experience a little more engrossing rather than something to be afraid of.

Further reading:

Our review of this model

Manufacturer product page


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Dell S2417DG

Dell S2417DG

 

Good for:

Fluid fast-paced PC gaming, general desktop use.

Panel used:

AU Optronics TN (23.8″, 30-165Hz variable with G-SYNC).

Screen surface:

Light matte anti-glare, for good glare handling without obvious graininess.

Additional specifications:

  • 2560 x 1440 (WQHD) resolution
  • PWM-free (flicker-free) WLED backlight (sRGB colour gamut)
  • 1ms grey to grey response time
  • DP 1.2 (with G-SYNC), HDMI 1.4, 4 USB 3.0 ports (plus upstream), 3.5mm headphone jack, 3.5mm audio input
  • Screen offers full ergonomic flexibility. There is also VESA 100 support


Why choose this monitor:

The Dell S2417DG features a WQHD resolution (2560 x 1440) and true 8-bit colour reproduction. A flicker-free (PWM free) backlight is included to enhance viewing comfort. This resolution provides good detail in gaming environments whilst providing a good amount of useful work space without necessitating scaling. Once calibrated the screen provides colours which appear rich, whilst the lack of ‘IPS glow’ will certainly please fans of more atmospheric dark scenes. Theis model features an unfussy modern design without extra fripperies and ‘cool gaming features’ (not everybody likes such things, of course) and offer an HDMI port for console connectivity as well.

Key to the experience, though, is the 165Hz refresh rate and the very snappy (yet effectively overshoot-free) pixel responses. This provides excellent motion fluidity at high frame rates for PC gaming with very little input lag. The monitor also supports Nvidia G-SYNC, allowing compatible Nvidia GPUs to dynamically alter the monitor’s refresh rate (between 30 – 165Hz) to match the content’s frame rate. This eliminates stuttering and tearing related to frame rate and refresh rate mismatch and offers reduced latency compared to VSync. For those who value ‘CRT-like’ motion clarity, ULMB (Ultra Low Motion Blur) is also supported on compatible Nvidia GPUs. Nvidia 3D Vision (1 and 2) is also supported.

Further reading:

Our review of this model

Manufacturer product page


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BenQ PD3200U

BenQ PD3200U

 

Good for:

General use, CAD/CAM, photography, films and high resolution PC gaming. Also suitable for’4K-ready’ games consoles such as the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X.

Panel used:

AU Optronics M320QAN01 variant (32” AHVA, 60Hz).

Screen surface:

Very light matte anti-glare, retaining good clarity and vibrancy compared to many matte surfaces. Still provides effective glare-reduction.

Additional specifications:

  • 3840 x 2160 (‘4K’ UHD) resolution
  • PWM-free (flicker-free) WLED backlight (sRGB+ colour gamut)
  • 4ms grey to grey response time
  • 2 x HDMI 2.0 ports, DP 1.2, MiniDP 1.2, Dual-Link DVI-D, SD card reader, 4 USB 3.0 ports (plus 2 upstream for KVM), 3.5mm headphone jack and 3.5mm audio input
  • Screen is fully adjustable with VESA mounting included. Dedicated remote included for intuitive menu navigation plus 2 x 5W speakers


Why choose this monitor:

The BenQ PD3200U is an excellent showcase of ‘4K’ UHD capability. The large screen size complements the resolution very nicely, allowing those with decent eyesight to get by without relying on scaling. Meanwhile the excellent pixel density brings with it that lovely crisp, clear ‘4K’ look to games and compatible movie content. But this monitor isn’t just about the pixels. The image quality is excellent from the AHVA (Advanced Hyper-Viewing Angle) IPS-type panel. It outputs beautifully rich and varied colours, good contrast (with surprisingly low ‘glow’ for an IPS-type screen of this size) and has a very light matte screen surface to help retain strong vibrancy and clarity. The excellent colour consistency offered by the panel type aids the general image viewing experience whether on the desktop, in game or watching movies. It also makes the monitor a strong candidate for photo editing and other colour-critical tasks. To complement such uses, 10-bit colour is supported (8-bit + FRC) whilst the factory calibration is one of the best we’ve seen.

Responsiveness is as strong as we’ve seen from a ‘4K’ model, with very little input lag to speak of and well-tuned pixel responsiveness that makes good use of the 60Hz refresh rate. The build quality of the screen and fully adjustable stand is also impressive, as is the comprehensiveness of the OSD (On Screen Display) and accuracy of the gamma settings offered there. To make navigating this as simple as possible a dedicated remove is also included, which sits comfortably in a dedicated holder in the centre of the stand base. Alternatively this can be placed somewhere more convenient – it is attached to the monitor with a slender cable. The range of ports included on the monitor is also excellent, so overall it’s a well-rounded package.

Further reading:

Our review of this model

Manufacturer product page


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Dell U2518D(x)

Dell U2518D(x)

 

Good for:

All-round use including gaming, movies, photography/design work and general desktop use.

Panel used:

IPS-type (25”, 60Hz).

Screen surface:

Very light matte anti-glare for strong vibrancy and clarity whilst handling glare fairly effectively.

Additional specifications:

  • 2560 x 1440 resolution
  • PWM-free (flicker-free) WLED backlight (sRGB+ colour gamut)
  • 5ms grey to grey response time
  • HDMI 2.0, DP 1.2, mDP 1.2, DP 1.2 output (for MST daisy-chaining), 3.5mm audio output, 4 USB 3.0 downstream ports (one with fast-charging) and 1 USB 3.0 upstream port
  • The stand is fully adjustable with 100mm VESA support included for alternative mounting


Why choose this monitor:

The Dell U2518D(x) is a well-packaged monitor with a slick but unassuming design. The 25″ screen and 2560 x 1440 resolution provides a pleasing pixel density, providing a good level of detail, clarity and work space for a rang eof tasks. The exceptionally well-calibrated IPS-type panel delivers a stunning range of rich and natural-looking colours, with strong colour consistency and excellent sRGB gamut coverage. The very light matte screen surface also aids the clarity and vibrancy of the image, ensuring it doesn’t have the graininess associated with stronger matte screen surfaces. This is a capable monitor for both work and play – including photography and design work where colour accuracy is important. Meanwhile, the flicker-free backlight and additional features such as ‘ComfortView’ and ‘Color Temp. 5000K’ settings (reduced blue light output) help provide a comfortable viewing experience. This is particularly useful in the evening, where exposure to blue light should be minimised to aid a restful night’s sleep.

Not only is the colour quality and pixel density pleasing for gamers, but the combination of low input lag and good overall pixel responsiveness ensure a pleasant 60Hz experience. The exceptionally slender ‘InfinityEdge’ bezels at all sides increase suitability for a multi-monitor setup, but are also considered attractive for a single-monitor setup. The level of ergonomic flexibility and port selection tick further boxes. The monitor also ‘supports HDR’, but it is made quite clear in our review that this is not a selling point in this particular case. Note: The U2518Dx is exactly the same monitor as the U2518D, bundled with an HDMI cable instead of a MiniDP-DP cable.

Further reading:

Our review of this model

Manufacturer product page


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Samsung C27F591FD

Samsung C27F591FD

 

Good for:

All-around use, movies and some gaming on the PC or games consoles as well.

Panel used:

Samsung Curved VA (27″, 48-72Hz variable with Adaptive-Sync).

Screen surface:

Light matte with smooth texture, delivering an essentially grain-free image whilst cutting down on glare.

Additional specifications:

  • 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) resolution
  • PWM-free (flicker-free) WLED backlight (sRGB+ colour gamut)
  • 4ms grey to grey response time
  • DP 1.2a (supports FreeSync), HDMI 1.4a (supports FreeSync), VGA, 3.5mm audio in and out, 5W stereo speakers
  • Stand offers tilt.


Why choose this monitor:

The Samsung C27F591FD features a curved VA panel – the curve is noticeable but still quite subtle. This helps add to the immersion when gaming or watching films without making the experience feel unnatural, even on the desktop. The strong contrast performance (3000:1) and smooth and light screen surface combine to provide a good deep look to darker shades with brighter shades that ‘pop’ out nicely. The colour gamut is generous but not excessive (beyond sRGB, but not wide gamut like Adobe RGB) which delivers a vibrant but quite faithful representation. This gives movies, games and images on the desktop a vivid yet natural look. The colour consistency is as good as we’ve seen from a VA model of this size, too, meaning that this vibrancy is maintained to a good degree throughout the screen.

As is usual for VA models there are some weaknesses with response times for some transitions, but most are performed rapidly. Coupled with low input lag, support for 72Hz and AMD FreeSync this model is certainly one of the more attractive ~60Hz options out there for gaming. Samsung claims that the curvature helps promote vieiwng comfort – we certainly found it comfortable, but perhaps that was for other reasons. Viewing comfort enhancements include a flicker-free backlight at all brightness ranges, a low minimum luminance and multiple ‘Low Blue Light’ settings to help produce a more ‘evening-friendly’ and relaxing screen environment.

Further reading:

Our review of this model

Manufacturer product page


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Dell P2415Q and P2715Q

Dell P2415Q and P2715Q

 

Good for:

General high-resolution computing including – photography/design work, text-based work, web browsing, PC gaming and movies.

Panel used:

LG Display AH-IPS (23.8” and 27″, 60Hz).

Screen surface:

Light matte, providing strong vibrancy and better clarity than some matte surfaces.

Additional specifications:

  • 3840 x 2160 (‘4K’ UHD) resolution
  • PWM-free (flicker-free) WLED backlight (sRGB+ colour gamut)
  • 6ms grey to grey response time
  • HDMI (with MHL 2.0), DP 1.2a, MiniDP 1.2a, DP 1.2a output, 4 USB 3.0 ports, 3.5mm audio out
  • Screen can be tilted, adjusted in height, swivelled and pivoted. There is also VESA support for alternative mounting


Why choose this monitor:

The Dell P2415Q and Dell P2715Q are some of the most affordable ‘4K’ monitors out there that don’t cut down on image quality. They have factory calibrated AH-IPS panels that provide vivid, accurate and pleasing colours with 10-bit precision. The pixel pitch is truly outstanding, particularly on the 23.8″ model. The 3840 x 2160 is packed into a 23.8″ or 27″ area, yielding an impressive 185.12 PPI (Pixels Per Inch) and 163.18 PPI, respectively. This delivers stunning detail to games, brings high resolution photographs to life and gives you an absolutely tremendous amount of useful ‘real-estate’ to work with on the desktop. As noted in our review, some elements are very small unless scaling is used – so be aware of that. Once you’ve got that sorted, viewing comfort is excellent. Both models have a flicker-free backlight (DC dimming) backlight with a strong luminance adjustment range and a dedicated ‘Paper’ Low Blue Light preset.

Other aspects of performance are also pleasing, with static contrast that’s as good as we’ve seen from a non-VA panel and responsiveness that’s much better than on most ‘4K’ models. The pixel overdrive (grey to grey acceleration) is very well tuned in the default setting to provide about as little motion blur as you can expect from a 60Hz monitor. Meanwhile input lag is relatively low and shouldn’t prove problematic for the majority of users. Another important consideration for ‘4K’ UHD monitors is the handling (interpolation) of non-native resolutions such as 1920 x 1080. On the 23.8″ model we reviewed that is done without the significant loss of sharpness you’d usually get compared to running that resolution natively on a monitor of similar size, which is a real bonus.


Further reading:

Our review of this model

Manufacturer product page


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BenQ (ZOWIE) XL2730

BenQ (ZOWIE) XL2730

 

Good for:

Fluid fast-paced PC gaming, general desktop use.

Panel used:
AU Optronics M270DTN01.0 (27” TN, 40 – 144Hz variable with Adaptive-Sync)..


Screen surface:
Medium matte anti-glare, strong glare handling.


Additional specifications:

  • 2560 x 1440 (WQHD) resolution
  • PWM-free (flicker-free) WLED backlight (sRGB colour gamut)
  • 1ms grey to grey response time
  • HDMI 2.0, HDMI 1.4, DP 1.2a+ (suppports FreeSync), VGA, Dual-Link DVI, 2 USB 3.0 ports (plus upstream), 3.5mm headphone jack, 2 x 3.5mm microphone jacks
  • Screen is fully adjustable. There is also VESA support


Why choose this monitor:

The BenQ (ZOWIE) XL2730 trumps the other members of the ‘XL’ series when it comes to image quality. Not only does the enhanced resolution (2560 x 1440) help bring more detail to games and extra space to the desktop, but it’s also possible to get a nicely balanced and rich image using just a few OSD tweaks. The design includes aluminium alloy touches and an ‘S-Switch Arc’ remote controller for easy and convenient control of the menu system and key features. A 3.5mm microphone jack and USB 3.0 functionality have also been included. But it is really the responsiveness that people are interested in with the ‘XL’ series. A key selling point is of course the 144Hz refresh rate, which provides excellent motion fluidity at high frame rates and very low latency. The monitor also supports Adpative-Sync (AMD FreeSync), allowing compatible AMD GPUs to dynamically alter the refresh rate of the monitor to match their frame rate (between 40Hz and 144Hz). This eliminates stuttering and tearing related to frame rate and refresh rate mismatch and offers reduced latency compared to VSync.

The monitor is flicker-free (PWM free backlight), which is good news for users who suffer visual discomfort from the use of PWM or who dislike ‘PWM artifacts’ during motion. A ‘Low Blue Light’ setting is also included for even more relaxing viewing, especially useful in the evenings where blue light levels should be restricted to help aid a restful night’s sleep. The pixel responsiveness is excellent on this model which allows it to take full advantage of its high refresh rate and give very low levels of trailing at high frame rates. Input lag is also exceptionally low and won’t get in the way of an enjoyable and super-smooth experience. Another key feature of this model is the ‘Blur Reduction’ strobe backlight mode which is very effective in significantly reducing motion blur and allowing for sharp focus on the game world even during the fastest pace of action.

Further reading:

Our review of this model

Manufacturer product page


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ViewSonic XG2402

ViewSonic XG2402

 

Good for:

Fluid fast-paced PC gaming. This monitor can still be used for console gaming as a secondary use, but be aware that consoles are restricted to 60Hz and relatively low frame rates – that doesn’t give these monitors a chance to shine.

Panel used:

Twisted Nematic (24″, 48-144Hz variable with Adaptive-Sync).

Screen surface:

Medium matte anti-glare.

Additional specifications:

  • 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) resolution
  • PWM-free (flicker-free) WLED backlight (sRGB colour gamut)
  • 1ms grey to grey response time
  • HDMI 1.4 (supports FreeSync), HDMI 2.0 (supports FreeSync), DP 1.2a (supports FreeSync), 2 USB 3.0 ports, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Screen is fully adjustable with 100mm VESA support. 2 x 2W speakers are also included


Why choose this monitor:

The ViewSonic XG2402 uses a fairly ubiqituous 144Hz panel, but puts it to excellent use. The OSD (On Screen Display) offers excellent flexibility, including various ‘Gamma’ settings to help users achieve an image that appears rich overall rather than washed-out. It certainly doesn’t skimp on responsiveness, either. This model sports exceptionally low signal delay (low input lag) and excellent 144Hz pixel responsiveness – the connected feel and and visual fluidity that this provides is excellent. Unlike many competing models, this model is overshoot-free using the optimal response time setting so there is no unsightly inverse ghosting to get in the way of the experience. This is also bolstered by support for AMD FreeSync, eliminating the stuttering and tearing that ensues from the usual refresh rate and frame rate mismatches.

Other aspects of interest include a range of useful ‘Low Blue Light’ settings to promote more relaxing viewing, particularly useful in the evening. The backlight is also flicker-free at all brightness levels to help aid viewing comfort. The included stand is fully adjustable and complements the solid build quality of the monitor. We feel that this is an excellent 24″ 144Hz gaming monitor for both Nvidia and AMD GPU users It also supports games consoles as a secondary use via HDMI, but they are restricted to a maximum of 60Hz.

Further reading:

Our review of this model

Manufacturer product page


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Note that this list is heavily condensed; look out for the ‘recommended badge’ in our reviews as well.

 
Disclosure of affiliation:

Amazon.co.uk/.de/.fr/.it/.es: Adam Simmons of PCMonitors.info is a participant in the Amazon Europe S.à.r.l. Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk/.de/.fr/.it/.es.

Amazon.ca: Adam Simmons of PCMonitors.info is a participant in the Amazon.com.ca, Inc. Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.ca.

Amazon.com: Adam Simmons of PCMonitors.info is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.


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