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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.

Note that this list is heavily condensed; look out for the ‘recommended badge’ in our reviews as well.
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Samsung C24FG70

Samsung C24FG70

 

Good for:

Gaming on both PC and games consoles, movies, all-round desktop use.

Panel used:

Samsung Curved VA (23.5″, 70-144Hz 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) Quantum Dot LED backlight (sRGB+ colour gamut)
  • 1ms MPRT response time
  • DP 1.2a (supports Adaptive-Sync), 2 HDMI 1.4a ports (supports Adaptive-Sync), 3.5mm audio out
  • Fully adjustable stand with hinged-arm design. VESA adaptor plate included.


Why choose this monitor:

The Samsung C24FG70 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, aided by Quantum Dot technology, but not excessive (beyond sRGB, but not wide gamut like Adobe RGB). This delivers a vibrant but quite faithful shade representation. Movies, games and images on the desktop are given 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.

A key headliner for this model is the responsiveness, with 144Hz refresh rate plus support for Adaptive-Sync (70-144Hz, but LFC also supported for lower frame rates). Fortunately the panel isn’t bound by the usual pixel responsiveness restrictions that accompany VA technology, with plenty of rapid pixel transitions and no obvious ‘smeary trailing’ at high refresh rates. There is a bit of overshoot (inverse ghosting), particularly at around 100Hz, so we’d advise referring to the review for full analysis of this. Input lag is also very low and a highly effective strobe backlight setting called ‘Impulsive Scanning’ also features to offer extremely low levels of perceived blur. Because the strobe backlight function works on Nvidia cards and the performance on this monitor is best at high frame rates (ideally 144fps) we’d recommend this equally to Nvidia and AMD GPU users. The monitor also performs admirably at 60Hz, leaving other VA models in the dust for pixel responsiveness, which will come as welcome news to console gamers.

Further reading:

Our C24FG70 review

A detailed comparison of IPS and VA, but note as above that the pixel responses are surprisingly fast for a VA model

Manufacturer product page


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Samsung C34F791

Samsung C34F791

 

Good for:

Gaming, movies and all-round desktop use.

Panel used:

Samsung LTM340YP04 (34″ 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 Adaptive-Sync), DP 1.2a (supports Adaptive-Sync), 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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BenQ BL3201PH

BenQ BL3201PH

 

Good for:

General use, CAD/CAM, photography, films and high resolution PC gaming.

Panel used:

AU Optronics M320QAN01.0 (32” AHVA, 60Hz).

Screen surface:

Very light matte anti-glare (some may call it ‘semi glossy’) with strong vibrancy and clarity for a matte surface but still 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
  • DP 1.2, MiniDP 1.2, Dual-Link DVI-D, 2 x HDMI 1.4, SD card reader, 5 USB 3.0 ports (plus upstream), 3.5mm headphone jack and 3.5mm line-in
  • 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 BL3201PH is quite simply one of the best ‘4K’ UHD models we’ve used. The large screen size compliments the resolution very nicely, allowing those with strong 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 with beautifully rich and varied colours, good contrast (with surprisingly low ‘glow’ for an IPS-type screen of this size) and a pleasingly light matte screen surface. 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.

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. Adaptive-Sync (and hence AMD FreeSync) is also supported, with a variable refresh rate range of 48 – 60Hz. The build quality of the screen and fully adjustable stand is also impressive, as is the comprehensiveness of the OSD (On Screen Display). 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 a well-rounded package.

Further reading:

Our BL3201PH review

Manufacturer product page


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Dell U2515H and U2715H

Dell U2515H and U2715H

 

Good for:

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

Panel used:

LG Display AH-IPS (25” and 27″, 60Hz).

Screen surface:

Very light matte anti-glare (some may call it ‘semi-glossy’) for strong vibrancy and clarity whilst handling glare effectively.

Additional specifications:

  • 2560 x 1440 resolution
  • PWM-free (flicker-free) WLED backlight (sRGB+ colour gamut)
  • 6ms grey to grey response time
  • 2 HDMI 1.4 ports (with MHL), DisplayPort 1.2, MiniDP 1.2, DP 1.2 output (for MST daisy-chaining), 3.5mm audio output, 5 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 U2515H and U2715H are amongst the most affordable monitors from a mainstream manufacturer to boast a 2560 x 1440 (WQHD) resolution. The smaller screen of the 25″ version helps minimise costs, without performance being compromised. They are highly capable all-rounders with well-tuned AH-IPS panels. They deliver 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. They are therefore capable monitors 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 ‘Paper’ mode (reduced blue light output) help provide a comfortable viewing experience.

Not only is the colour quality and pixel density pleasing for gamers, but the well-tuned pixel overdrive (grey to grey acceleration) and relatively low input lag ensure an experience that’s much in-line with the fastest 60Hz LCDs out there. No need to worry about high latency or lots of distracting trailing. Note: The U2515Hx is exactly the same monitor as the U2515H, bundled with an HDMI cable instead of a MiniDP-DP cable.

Further reading:

Manufacturer product page


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ViewSonic XG2401

ViewSonic XG2401

 

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
  • 2 HDMI 1.4 ports, DP 1.2a (supports Adaptive-Sync), 2 USB 3.0 ports, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Screen is fully adjustable with 100mm VESA support. 2 x 5W speakers are also included.


Why choose this monitor:

The ViewSonic XG2401 uses a fairly ubiqituous 144Hz panel, but puts it to excellent use. Unlike many competing models, average gamma is pleasing out of the box which makes the image look 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 well-tuned pixel responsiveness for 144Hz – the connected feel and and visual fluidity that this provides is excellent. Unlike many competing models, this model is overshoot-free using their 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 compliments the solid build quality of the monitor. We feel that this is an excellent 24″ 144Hz gaming monitors 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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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. The 27″ model has a particularly smooth (non-grainy) look.

Additional specifications:

  • 3840 x 2160 (‘4K’ UHD) resolution
  • PWM-free (flicker-free) WLED backlight (sRGB+ colour gamut)
  • 6ms grey to grey response time
  • HDMI 1.4 (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:

Dell P2415Q review

Manufacturer product page


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HP 25er and 27er

HP 25er and 27er

 

Good for:

All-round use including PC and console gaming, movies and image editing.

Panel used:

LG Display AH-IPS (25” and 27″, 60Hz).

Screen surface:
Glossy with ‘low haze enhancement’ treatment. This essentially maintains the vibrancy and clarity offered by glossy surfaces whilst significantly cutting down on reflections.


Additional specifications:

  • 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) resolution
  • PWM-free (flicker-free) WLED backlight (sRGB colour gamut)
  • 7ms grey to grey response time
  • 2 HDMI ports and VGA
  • Screen can be tilted, VESA mounting supported with optional adaptor


Why choose this monitor:

The HP 25er and HP 27er provide a strong performance in several key areas. The 25″ and 27″ AH-IPS panels are essentially glossy, but has a very low haze matte surface treatment. This doesn’t significantly interfere with the image quality and maintains that beautiful glossy ‘pop’, but is very effective in helping to reduce reflections – something of a ‘best of both worlds’ solution. Colour consistency and viewing angle performance is strong, as you’d hope for from a modern AH-IPS panel and the default colour setup is excellent with strong ‘2.2’ gamma tracking out of the box. Contrast is as good as you’ll see on an IPS panel as well, with the static contrast generally exceeding the specified 1000:1. The levels of ‘IPS glow’ are also significantly lower than you’d typically see on an IPS-type panel of the size, helping preserve more of those details in dark scenes. The flicker-free backlight (DC not PWM dimming) and flexible brightness adjustment range (with good low minimum level) help provide a comfortable viewing experience, too.

The monitors also include a well-tuned pixel overdrive feature. They’re able to provide a level of perceived blur that’s in-line with the fastest 60Hz LCD performers out there – there’s really no need to be put off by that potentially misleading 7ms specified response time. Input lag is also very low with negligible signal delay.

Further reading:

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 Adaptive-Sync), HDMI 1.4a (supports Adaptive-Sync), VGA, 3.5mm audio in and out
  • Stand offers tilt. 5W stereo speakers


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 C27F591FD review

A detailed comparison of IPS and VA

Manufacturer product page


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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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