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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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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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Acer XB271HU

Acer XB271HU

 

Good for:

Gaming, colour-critical work and general desktop use.

Panel used:

AU Optronics M270DAN02.6 (27” AHVA, 30 – 165Hz variable with G-SYNC).

Screen surface:

Very light matte, providing good glare reduction characteristics whilst preserving strong 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
  • DP 1.2 (with G-SYNC), HDMI 1.4, 4 USB 3.0 ports, 3.5mm audio input and 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 Acer XB271HU of the company’s Predator range provides an excellent mixture of image quality, responsiveness and gaming-oriented features and capabilities. An AHVA (Advanced Hyper Viewing Angle) panel is used, which is essentially panel manufacturer AUO’s take on LG’s popular IPS (In Plane Switching) technology. With fairly minimal tweaking, the monitor delivers vibrant but accurately represented and consistent colours from a wide range of viewing angles. Support for 10-bit colour reproduction (8-bit + FRC), 100% sRGB coverage and a range of image presets are combined with a very light matte screen surface to give very pleasing colour output that’s good for both work and play. The interpolation process is also good when running the monitor at non-native resolutions such as 1920 x 1080 – making it suitable for console gaming as a secondary use, for example.

The attractive attributes of this monitor certainly don’t stop there. It offers a 165Hz refresh rate and well optimised pixel responses to deliver a compelling experience at such refresh rates without unsightly inverse ghosting (overshoot). This keeps the level of perceived blur nice and low during high frame rate gaming. This is coupled with very low input lag and support for Nvidia G-SYNC for compatible Nvidia GPUs, eliminating the stuttering and tearing associated with frame rate and refresh rate mismatches. For those who can sustain a frame rate matching the refresh rate and value the lowest possible levels of perceived blur, an alternative strobe backlight setting called ULMB is also offered to users with compatible Nvidia GPUs.

Further reading:

Our news piece of this model and the XB271HUT with Tobii

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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LG 27UD68

LG 27UD68

 

Good for:

General usage, high resolution image editing, movies and gaming on both the PC and ‘4K-ready’ games consoles such as the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X.

Panel used:

LG Display LM270WR2-SPA2 (27” AH-IPS, 40-60Hz variable with Adaptive-Sync).

Screen surface:

Light matte anti-glare with a fairly smooth surface texture, providing a good level of clarity and vibrancy potential.

Additional specifications:

  • 3840 x 2160 (‘4K’ UHD) resolution
  • PWM-free (flicker-free) WLED backlight (sRGB+ colour gamut)
  • 5ms grey to grey response time
  • DP 1.2a (supports Adaptive-Sync), 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Screen is fully adjustable with integrated 3W speakers. 100 x 100mm VESA holes are included


Why choose this monitor:

The LG 27UD68 is a modern-looking monitor, with a shapely black brushed-effect stand (‘P’ model) and very slender bezels. The bezels use a dual-stage ‘cinema screen’ design, which combines a hard outer bezel and slim panel border – beware of potentially misleading media shots that seem to miss this slim panel border out. The image performance is very solid overall, with a 3840 x 2160 (‘4K’ UHD) resolution spread across a 27″ area for a tight 163.18 PPI (Pixels Per Inch). The panel is a well-calibrated AH-IPS part, with pleasing gamma handling and colour setup out of the box, 10-bit colour support and strong viewing angle performance. This is coupled with a light matte screen surface and generous (a little beyond sRGB) colour gamut for a consistently vivid and enticing image. The LG provides good accuracy for design work, image and movie editing as well as an appealing image for games and movies. ‘Low Blue Light’ settings are also featured to further enhnace viewing comfort – and provide a welcome relief from high levels of stimulating blue light in the evening, for example.

Responsiveness is also good, as far as 60Hz models go. The pixel overdrive solution is well-implemented to reduce perceived blur to levels that are about as low as you’ll see on a 60Hz monitor. This is coupled with a DAS (‘Dynamic Action Sync’) low input lag mode which minimises input lag without compromising image quality. Another party trick is the presence of Adaptive-Sync, which allows compatible AMD GPUs (for example) to employ FreeSync for a variable refresh rate range of 40 – 60Hz on this model. We see this very much as a ‘free addition’ or bonus as this model is excellent for Nvidia users as well. What’s more, it is one of a fairly slender selection of UHD models sporting HDMI 2.0 – meaning it can drive ‘4K-ready’ consoles such as the PS4 Pro at up to 3840 x 2160 @ 60Hz.

Further reading:

Our news piece. Note the images are from the ‘W’ rather than ‘P’ model (silver stand and white back, otherwise identical).

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″ 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 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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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, 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 C27F591FD review

A detailed comparison of IPS and VA

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 complements 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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Samsung C24FG73

Samsung C24FG73

 

Good for:

High frame rate gaming on the PC, 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 C24FG73 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.

Further reading:

Our C24FG70 review. Identical to the C24FG73 apart from the stand design (plus the CFG73 guarantees a ‘relatively new revision’).

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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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.


Need help deciding? Head on over to the forum and we’ll be happy to assist.