Gaming Monitors

As with all things in the wonderful world of displays, subjectivity is key and no monitor is perfect. The sort of experience somebody seeks will depend on the type of games they play, the level they play at, the power and capabilities of the system and of course their own personal preferences. Some will seek vibrant colours, some prefer strong contrast and others will specific features in mind such as HDR (High Dynamic Range) capability. A powerful PC will be able to make good use of high refresh rates and high resolutions at the same time. But if budget is more restricted or you’re gaming on a less powerful system it might be best to compromise on refresh rate, resolution or perhaps both of these. For consoles you’re more restricted when it comes to system capability. The likes of the Sony PS5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X/S support a 120Hz maximum refresh rate, which is generally considered a welcome upgrade over 60Hz.

 

Our key up to date recommendations are given in the table below, grouped by size.

 

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~24 inches27 inches~32 inches34 inches

Dell Alienware AW2521HF (24.5″ 240Hz IPS, 1920 x 1080)

 
Dell Alienware AW2521HF

Dell Alienware AW2521HF

 
Key aspects:

  • 24.5″ IPS panel (AUO M250HAN01.7 AHVA)
  • 1920 x 1080 (Full HD or 1080p)
  • 240Hz (48 – 240Hz VRR, FreeSync Premium + G-SYNC Compatible)
  • 120Hz support for the Xbox Series X/S and PS5
  • 1ms grey to grey response time


Additional points:

  • Medium matte anti-glare screen surface
  • PWM-free (flicker-free) WLED backlight
  • ~sRGB colour gamut and 400 cd/m² peak luminance
  • DP 1.2a, 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, 4 USB 3.0 ports, 3.5mm headphone jack, 3.5mm audio line-in
  • Screen is fully adjustable with 100mm VESA support


Why choose this monitor:

The Dell Alienware AW2521HF combines high speed with pleasing colour quality. The monitor delivers a rich and natural image with excellent consistency and shade variety, from its IPS-type panel. With a little extension beyond sRGB in the colour gamut, it offers a lick of extra vibrancy without strong oversaturation. The contrast is much in-line with expectations for the panel – passable but not the main strength. This model is fast with little to no overshoot at high refresh rates, with low input lag helping deliver a strong ‘connected feel’. Adaptive-Sync is also supported including AMD FreeSync Premium and Nvidia’s ‘G-SYNC Compatible Mode’, getting rid of tearing and stuttering from frame and refresh rate mismatches. The pixel responsiveness is particularly impressive for very high refresh rates such as 240Hz using the ‘Extreme’ setting – although Adaptive-Sync must be active, otherwise extreme overshoot is introduced. The ‘Fast’ setting works well throughout the VRR range or with Adaptive-Sync disabled.

The monitor also offers a ‘ComfortView’ Low Blue Light (LBL) setting for more comfortable extended gaming sessions. This proved ineffective on the unit we tested, but the easily accessible and fully customisable presets made it easy to create our own effective LBL setting instead. This flexibility can also be nice if you like to use different sets of settings for different games or other applications and quickly switch between them. The monitor offers creative but in our view tasteful styling, like a prop from a sci-fi film. And it has a good solid and premium feel to it, too. ‘AlienFX’ RGB LED lighting is included for some customisation opportunity as well, whilst the monitor offers full ergonomic flexibility. So certainly not a style over substance approach. The monitor doesn’t offer a strobe backlight setting, but it’s competitively priced in the segment and offers a nice mix of speed and image quality – with attractive styling on top.

This monitor is now known as the AW2521HFA in the UK and EU. The AW2521HFL is the ‘Lunar Light’ version, identical to the ‘HF(A)’ but with lighter colour plastics used.

Further reading:

Our review

Manufacturer product page

Acer XB253Q GP (24.5″ 144Hz IPS, 1920 x 1080)

 
Acer XB253Q GP

Acer XB253Q GP

 
Key aspects:

  • 24.5″ IPS panel (AUO M250HAN01.3 AHVA)
  • 1920 x 1080 (Full HD or 1080p)
  • 144Hz (48 – 144Hz VRR, FreeSync via DP + G-SYNC Compatible)
  • 120Hz support for the Xbox Series X/S
  • 60Hz ‘4K’ UHD (downsampling) support for the Xbox Series X and PS5
  • 2ms grey to grey response time
  • VESA DisplayHDR 400


Additional points:

  • Medium matte anti-glare screen surface
  • PWM-free (flicker-free) WLED backlight
  • ~sRGB colour gamut and 400 cd/m² peak luminance
  • 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, DP 1.4, 4 USB 3.0 ports (plus upstream), 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Screen is fully adjustable with 100mm VESA support
  • 2 x 2W speakers


Why choose this monitor:

The Acer XB253Q GP‘s IPS-type panel offering strong colour consistency, ‘rich and natural’ throghout the screen with good shade variety. The colour gamut extends a little beyond sRGB for a slight bit of extra vibrancy without the stronger saturation of wide gamut models. An effective sRGB emulation setting is included if you wish to restrict things so they sit even closer to the sRGB colour space. The monitor provides a reasonable contrast experience, better than some IPS-type models and slightly exceeding the specified 1000:1. But with the usual IPS-type characteristic of ‘IPS glow’. The responsiveness is strong, particularly at ~144Hz where things are particularly well-tuned. It provides an experience that many will find highly competitive with 144Hz TN models, with snappy pixel responses and low input lag. Adaptive-Sync is supported, allowing AMD FreeSync and Nvidia’s ‘G-SYNC Compatible Mode’ to be used.

As an alternative to Adaptive-Sync, a strobe backlight mode called VRB (Visual Response Boost) can be used to minimise perceived blur. This worked very effectively to minimise perceived blur without strong strobe crosstalk in the centre of the screen. Low Blue Light (LBL) settings promote enhanced viewing comfort. The monitor is VESA DisplayHDR 400 certified, but only provides a very basic HDR experience and falls short of what’s required for a true HDR experience. A wider colour gamut and effective local dimming, for example. The monitor offers quite a solid construction and full ergonomic flexibility, with a premium feel to the sturdy powder-coated metal stand.

Further reading:

Our review

A comparison with some competing models using a 23.8″ Panda IPS-type panel.

A comparison with the BenQ EX2510.

Manufacturer product page

BenQ EX2780Q (27″ 144Hz IPS, 2560 x 1440)

 
BenQ EX2780Q

BenQ EX2780Q

 
Key aspects:

  • 27″ IPS panel (Innolux M270KCJ—K7B AAS IPS-type)
  • 2560 x 1440 (WQHD or 1440p)
  • 144Hz (48 – 144Hz VRR, FreeSync Premium + G-SYNC Compatible)
  • 120Hz 1440p support for the Xbox Series X/S
  • 120Hz 1080p and 60Hz ‘4K’ UHD (downsampling) support for the Xbox Series X and PS5
  • 5ms grey to grey response time
  • VESA DisplayHDR 400


Additional points:

  • Light matte anti-glare screen surface
  • PWM-free (flicker-free) WLED backlight
  • ~95% DCI-P3 colour gamut and 350 cd/m² (SDR) peak luminance
  • DP 1.4, 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, USB-C (10W PD, DP Alt Mode and upstream data), 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Screen is tilt only with 100 x 100mm VESA support
  • 2 x 2W speakers plus 5W integrated subwoofer included


Why choose this monitor:

The BenQ EX2780Q features an IPS-type panel with WQHD resolution, giving an edge in detail and clarity compared to the Full HD resolution. The colour gamut extends a fair way beyond sRGB (~95% DCI-P3), injecting a good amount of extra vibrancy into game scenes. An effective sRGB emulation setting with adjustable brightness is included for those preferring a more subdued look. This is combined with an IPS-type panel, delivering strong shade variety and consistency. A light matte anti-glare screen surface complements this, keeping brighter elements free from strong graininess and preserving vibrancy better than ‘stronger’ matte surfaces. The contrast edges out competing models with Nano IPS panels, but is not the main strength of this model. The monitor offers a competent 144Hz performance overall, with low input lag and well-tuned pixel overdrive to get the most out of the panel. Adaptive-Sync is supported, including AMD FreeSync Premium and Nvidia’s ‘G-SYNC Compatible Mode’ – with both technologies working as intended to remove tearing and stuttering from frame and refresh rate mismatches.

The monitor also offers basic HDR support (VESA DisplayHDR 400), putting the colour gamut to good use alongside the use of 10-bit colour processing for a more natural look, vibrancy where intended and a nuanced shade variety. This is only basic HDR support, though, without any contrast advantage or local dimming and a relatively limited peak luminance by HDR standards. The monitor provides a fairly unique look, which we feel looks more subtle and less distinctive than it appears in most images. The bottom bezel is a key feature from the front, with a reddish brown speaker-grille covering integrated stereo speakers. And an IR sensor for the included OSD remote. An accompanying subwoofer is located at the rear, ensuring a fuller and more bass-rich sound output than most integrated monitor speakers. Easily accessible and well-balanced Low Blue Light (LBL) settings are also included and the monitor has a shifted (less energetic) blue peak, promoting greater viewing comfort.


Further reading:

Our review. Note that our ‘recommended badge’ was not awarded simply due to high pricing at time of review – price is now more competitive.

Some thoughts on how this model compares to competing models using LG Nano IPS panels.

A thread looking at some alternatives.

Manufacturer product page

Dell Alienware AW2721D (27″ 240Hz IPS, 2560 x 1440)

 
Dell Alienware AW2721D

Dell Alienware AW2721D

 
Key aspects:

  • 27″ IPS panel (LG Display LM270WQB variant Nano IPS)
  • 2560 x 1440 (WQHD or 1440p)
  • 240Hz (G-SYNC Module + FreeSync via DP)
  • 120Hz 1080p support for the Xbox Series X/S and PS5
  • 1ms grey to grey response time
  • VESA DisplayHDR 600


Additional points:

  • Very light matte anti-glare screen surface
  • PWM-free (flicker-free) WLED backlight
  • ~98% DCI-P3 colour gamut and 350 cd/m² (SDR) peak luminance
  • 600 cd/m²+ HDR peak luminance
  • DP 1.4, 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, 4 USB 3.2 ports, 3.5mm headphone audio output and 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Screen is fully adjustable with 100mm VESA support


Why choose this monitor:

The Dell Alienware AW2721D features a Nano IPS panel combined with a WQHD resolution, for detailed game worlds and consistent colour output. With 98% DCI-P3 coverage, there’s a healthy dose of extra vibrancy and saturation compared to the sRGB colour space. This is complemented by a very light matte anti-glare screen surface with a smooth finish, allowing relatively direct emission of light and giving a good ‘clean’ look to lighter content. The contrast is as you’d expect from the panel type – stronger than lower refresh rate Nano IPS panels of the size, but not as strong as some IPS models. The monitor offers a competent 240Hz performance – rapid overall pixel responsiveness without strong overshoot. And a ‘set and forget’ response time setting due to variable overdrive from the G-SYNC module. The G-SYNC module also provides a seamless VRR experience across a very broad range of refresh rates, doing its thing to remove tearing and stuttering from what would otherwise be frame and refresh rate mismatches. Input lag is very low, whilst FreeSync is also supported for AMD GPUs via DisplayPort.

The monitor supports VESA DisplayHDR 600, including brightness pulses of over 600 cd/m² and 32 dimming zones for a situational edge in contrast. The experience is a lot more dynamic than most monitor HDR experiences. The colour gamut is also put to good use, whilst 10-bit colour processing is supported. A ‘ComfortView’ Low Blue Light setting is included for more comfortable viewing in the evenings, or other times you may enjoy reduced blue light output. Signature Alienware styling is employed – a creative but in our view tasteful design with a good solid and premium feel to it. ‘AlienFX’ RGB LED lighting is included for some customisation opportunity as well, but this isn’t bright enough to be used as a bias light to enhanced perceived contrast. In our view this model is quite competitively priced in most regions for the performance and feature set offered, with unique appeal over competing models. Some comparisons are drawn in the threads linked below.


Further reading:

Some user feedback on how this model and some comparison with various competitors.

A focused comparison with the Gigabyte AORUS FI27Q-X.

Manufacturer product page

Philips 288E2UAE/288E2E (28″ 60Hz IPS, 3840 x 2160)

 
Philips 288E2UAE (288E2E)

Philips 288E2UAE (288E2E)

 
Key aspects:

  • 28″ IPS panel (Innolux M280DCA-E3B AAS IPS-type)
  • 3840 x 2160 (‘4K’ UHD)
  • 60Hz (40 – 60Hz VRR, FreeSync + G-SYNC Compatible)
  • 60Hz ‘4K’ UHD for the Xbox Series X and PS5
  • 4ms grey to grey response time


Additional points:

  • Light to very light matte anti-glare screen surface
  • PWM-free (flicker-free) WLED backlight
  • ~87% DCI-P3 colour gamut and 300 cd/m² peak luminance
  • DP 1.4, HDMI 2.0 (x2 for ‘E2E’), 3.5mm audio output, 4 USB 3.2 ports (‘E2UAE’ only)
  • Screen includes tilt and height adjustment with 100 x 100mm VESA support included
  • 2 x 3W speakers (‘E2UAE’ only)


Why choose this monitor:

The Philips 288E2E (288E2UAE) includes a ‘4K’ UHD resolution spread across a 28″ screen. This delivers an excellent pixel density, giving a clear and detailed look to your favourite content. The IPS-type panel delivers strong consistency, whilst the 87% DCI-P3 colour gamut delivers a good dose of extra vibrancy without a strongly oversaturated look. Our unit was set up very well straight from the box with respect to gamma, white point and brightness – although individual units and preferences differ. The light to very light matte anti-glare screen surface provides fairly direct light emission, avoiding the layered look of some matte surfaces. Contrast performance was as expected for the panel, not its key strength but slightly beyond what some IPS models deliver.

The monitor provides decent 60Hz responsiveness, without obvious overshoot or clear weaknesses using its optimal ‘SmartResponse’ pixel overdrive setting. This is coupled with fairly low input lag and Adaptive-Sync support, including AMD FreeSync and Nvidia’s ‘G-SYNC Compatible Mode’. A range of Low Blue Light (LBL) settings are included to aid viewing comfort. The simple home-office styling will appeal to some more than the fussier styling of some models, whilst height adjustment is included for good measure. We feel this monitor offers a good all-round performance for the price, despite lacking any HDR capability (which would be very limited at this price anyway) and having a more limited brightness adjustment range than some.

Further reading:

Our review

Manufacturer product page

Samsung C27G7xT Odyssey G7 (26.9″ 240Hz curved VA, 2560 x 1440)

 
Samsung C27G7xT Odyssey G7

Samsung C27G7xT Odyssey G7

 
Key aspects:

  • 26.9″ VA panel (Samsung CY-PT270PLLV1H SVA)
  • 1000R curve
  • 2560 x 1440 (WQHD or 1440p)
  • 240Hz (60 – 240Hz VRR, FreeSync Premium Pro + G-SYNC Compatible)
  • 120Hz 1440p support for the Xbox Series X/S
  • 120Hz 1080p and 60Hz ‘4K’ UHD (downsampling) support for the Xbox Series X and PS5
  • 1ms grey to grey response time
  • VESA DisplayHDR 600


Additional points:

  • Light matte anti-glare screen surface
  • PWM-free (flicker-free) QLED (Quantum Dot + blue LED) backlight
  • ~95% DCI-P3 colour gamut and 350 cd/m² (SDR) peak luminance
  • 600 cd/m²+ HDR peak luminance
  • 2 DP 1.4 ports, HDMI 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 ports, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Screen is fully adjustable with 100 x 100mm VESA support


Why choose this monitor:

The Samsung C27G7xT Odyssey G7 features a VA panel and WQHD resolution, providing good detail with an emphasis on strong contrast. With a specified 2500:1 static contrast ratio, the monitor may not be the strongest VA performer when it comes to contrast – but it handily outperforms other LCD panel types. Providing a more atmospheric look and extra depth to darker scenes, whilst helping brighter shades ‘pop’ against darker surroundings. With a fairly generous colour gamut (95% DCI-P3 specified) providing some extra vibrancy to the game environments. The monitor provides a strong 240Hz performance, leaving other VA panels in the dust. Whilst there are slight weaknesses for some transitions involving very dark shades, there is nothing like the traditional ‘smeary trailing’ seen on most VA models. Many transitions are performed even faster than competing IPS models. This is coupled with low input lag and Adaptive-Sync support via both FreeSync Premium Pro and ‘G-SYNC Compatible Mode’.

The includes VESA DisplayHDR 600 support, with pulses of brightness of 600 cd/m²+ and 8-zone local dimming. Quite a limited number of dimming zones, but enough to provide a situational edge in contrast. With this and the colour gamut put to use alongside 10-bit colour processing, the HDR experience is more dynamic than most models provide. The 1000R curve is a definite feature of this monitor, too, helping draw you into your favourite titles for a more immersive feel. Such a steep curvature isn’t for everyone, but some love it and others might find they can adapt to it just fine. An effective Low Blue Light (LBL) setting is included in the form of the ‘Warm2’ colour temperature setting. The monitor has quite ‘gamery’ styling, including customisable LED lighting elements that can be set to 5 different colours. Overall this is a truly unique product, delivering an experience some users will really enjoy.


Further reading:

A balanced look at this unique model.

A comparison with the Dell Alienware AW2721D.

Manufacturer product page

Gigabyte M27Q (27″ 170Hz IPS, 2560 x 1440)

 
Gigabyte M27Q

Gigabyte M27Q

 
Key aspects:

  • 27″ IPS panel (Sharp LQ270T1JG08)
  • 2560 x 1440 (WQHD or 1440p)
  • 170Hz (48 – 170Hz VRR, FreeSync + G-SYNC Compatible)
  • 120Hz 1440p support for the Xbox Series X/S*
  • 120Hz 1080p and 60Hz ‘4K’ UHD (downsampling) support for the Xbox Series X and PS5
  • 0.5ms MPRT response time
  • VESA DisplayHDR 400
  • *Firmware version F02 or later. If update is required, this can be done by the user using OSD Sidekick (requires Windows PC to perform update).


Additional points:

  • Light to very light matte anti-glare screen surface
  • PWM-free (flicker-free) WLED backlight
  • ~93% DCI-P3 colour gamut and 350 cd/m² (SDR) peak luminance
  • DP 1.2a+ (HDR feature set), 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, USB-C (10W PD, DP Alt Mode and upstream data), 2 USB 3.0 ports (plus upstream), 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Screen includes tilt and height adjustment with 100 x 100mm VESA support


Why choose this monitor:

The Gigabyte M27Q features a WQHD resolution (2560 x 1440). The screen offers good coverage of both the Adobe RGB and DCI-P3 colour spaces (95% recorded), providing a rather vibrant look to things. The IPS-type panel offers strong consistency, ensuring this extra ‘pop’ is maintained throughout the screen. The light to very light matte anti-glare screen surface, meanwhile, prevents a layered appearance in front of the image. Whilst keeping brighter elements free from obvious graininess. The monitor offers a well-rounded experience when it comes to responsiveness. A 170Hz refresh rate is supported with well-tuned pixel responses putting this to good use. Furthermore, Adaptive-Sync is supported and works well with both AMD FreeSync and Nvidia’s ‘G-SYNC Compatible Mode’ to get rid of tearing and stuttering from frame and refresh rate mismatches. A single pixel overdrive setting can be used throughout the Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) range, without strong overshoot being introduced as refresh rate dips.

The monitor also offers basic HDR support (VESA DisplayHDR 400), putting the colour gamut to good use alongside the use of 10-bit colour processing for a more natural look, vibrancy where intended and a nuanced shade variety. It does not boost contrast by using local dimming, whilst peak brightness is quite restrictive by HDR standards. The monitor also includes a very comprehensive OSD, controllable using a joystick or OSD Sidekick Software. KVM functionality is included, allowing easy sharing of USB peripherals connected to the monitor between systems. Effective Low Blue Light (LBL) settings are also included. The monitor has a simple design without flashy design elements or RGB LED lighting, but offers tilt and height adjustment. This model provides a good all-round performance and some attractive features, for a highly competitive price.


Further reading:

Our review

Some thoughts on how this model compares to various competing models

Manufacturer product page

BenQ EX2710 (27″ 144Hz IPS, 1920 x 1080)

 
BenQ EX2710

BenQ EX2710

 
Key aspects:

  • 27″ IPS panel (AUO M270HAN03.2 AHVA)
  • 1920 x 1080 (Full HD or 1080p)
  • 144Hz (48 – 144Hz VRR, FreeSync Premium + G-SYNC Compatible)
  • 120Hz support for the Xbox Series X/S and PS5
  • 60Hz ‘4K’ UHD (downsampling) support for the Xbox Series X and PS5
  • 1ms grey to grey response time
  • Basic HDR10 support


Additional points:

  • Light matte anti-glare screen surface
  • PWM-free (flicker-free) WLED backlight
  • ~sRGB colour gamut and 400 cd/m² peak luminance
  • 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, DP 1.2a+ (HDR feature set), 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Screen offers tilt, height and swivel adjustment with 100mm VESA support
  • 2 x 2.5W speakers


Why choose this monitor:

The BenQ EX2710 has an IPS-type panel with colour gamut just a touch beyond sRGB. This provides just a hint of extra vibrancy, whilst retaining quite a faithful look to content created with this colour space in mind. The light matte anti-glare screen surface with relatively smooth finish offers more direct emission of light and a less grainy look than stronger matte surfaces. A solid 144Hz experience is provided, with good pixel responsiveness and well-tuned and flexible pixel overdrive (AMA). Adaptive-Sync works well for both AMD (FreeSync Premium) and Nvidia (‘G-SYNC Compatible Mode’) users, removing tearing and stuttering from frame and refresh rate mismatches. An alternative is also provided – a ‘Blur Reduction’ strobe backlight setting, which is quite effective in performing its core function and better-implemented than some settings of this nature.

The brightness adjustment range is good, the OSD offers a range of innovative features (including well-implemented Low Blue Light settings) and the stand offers good flexibility. The monitor provides basic HDR10 support, but lacks a sufficiently generous colour gamut, backlight dimming precision or the stunning brightness required for a true HDR experience. The screen size and resolution combination won’t be for everyone, but it’s a sacrifice some will be willing to make given the overall price and performance. And indeed the extra immersion or being able to sit a bit further back compared to smaller screens of the resolution. If you like the sound of this monitor but would prefer something slightly cheaper and smaller with a bit of a tighter pixel density, we’d recommend the BenQ EX2510.

Further reading:

Our review

Manufacturer product page

Acer XB323U GP (32″ 170Hz IPS, 2560 x 1440)

 
Acer XB323U GP

Acer XB323U GP

 
Key aspects:

  • 32″ IPS panel (AUO M320DAN02.2 AHVA)
  • 2560 x 1440 (WQHD or 1440p)
  • 170Hz (55 – 170Hz VRR, FreeSync + G-SYNC Compatible)
  • 120Hz 1080p support for the Xbox Series X/S
  • 60Hz ‘4K’ UHD (downsampling) support for the Xbox Series X and PS5
  • 1ms grey to grey response time
  • VESA DisplayHDR 600


Additional points:

  • Very light matte anti-glare screen surface
  • PWM-free (flicker-free) QLED (Quantum Dot + blue LED) backlight
  • ~95% DCI-P3 colour gamut and 400 cd/m² (SDR) peak luminance
  • 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, DP 1.4, 4 USB 2.0 ports, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Screen includes tilt, height and swivel adjustment with 100 x 100mm VESA support
  • 2 x 2W speakers


Why choose this monitor:

The Acer XB323U GP offers a 32″ IPS-type panel and 2560 x 1440 (WQHD) resolution. This provides good immersion and a reasonable pixel density. Whilst not as tight as a 27″ WQHD model in terms of pixel density, it’s similar to 24″ 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) model in that respect which many users are happy with. The IPS-type panel offers excellent colour consistency, whilst the Quantum Dot backlight solution offers an exceptional gamut that expands even beyond the generous Adobe RGB space. Strong vibrancy is delivered, alongside excellent consistency from the IPS-type panel. The monitor is well tuned for a highly fluid 170Hz experience, delivering low input lag and surprisingly rapid pixel responses without strong overshoot. The monitor also supports Adaptive-Sync via DP only, including both AMD FreeSync and Nvidia’s ‘G-SYNC Compatible Mode’ to combat tearing and stuttering.

The monitor offers a more compelling HDR experience than most, with VESA DisplayHDR 600 support alongside 16 reactive dimming zones and high brightness exceeding 730 cd/m² in our testing. This delivers a definite situational contrast advantage, whilst the generous colour gamut is put to excellent use for the display of natural-looking shades alongside highly vibrant elements. The monitor has a solid and, due to the metal base, quite premium feel to it with excellent ergonomic flexibility. The OSD (On Screen Display) is quite feature-rich, but we wouldn’t recommend relying on the integrated speakers as they’re very much bottom of the pile in terms of sound quality. The balanced spectral output from the backlight can enhance viewing comfort, with Low Blue Light (LBL) settings offering further assistance in that respect.

Further reading:

Our review

User feedback and further discussion

Manufacturer product page


BenQ EW3280U (32″ 60Hz IPS, 3840 x 2160)

 
BenQ EW3280U

BenQ EW3280U

 
Key aspects:

  • 32″ IPS panel (AUO M320QAN02.1 AHVA)
  • 3840 x 2160 (‘4K’ UHD)
  • 60Hz (40 – 60Hz VRR, FreeSync + G-SYNC Compatible)
  • 60Hz ‘4K’ UHD for the Xbox Series X and PS5
  • 5ms grey to grey response time
  • VESA DisplayHDR 400


Additional points:

  • Very light matte anti-glare screen surface
  • PWM-free (flicker-free) WLED backlight
  • ~95% DCI-P3 colour gamut and 350 cd/m² (SDR) peak luminance
  • 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, DP 1.4, USB-C (60W PD, DP Alt Mode and upstream data), 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Screen is tilt-only with 100 x 100mm VESA mounting supported
  • 2 x 2W speakers plus 5W integrated subwoofer


Why choose this monitor:

The BenQ EW3280U features an IPS-type panel with 32″ 3840 x 2160 (‘4K’ UHD) resolution. This provides an engrossing experience, with excellent clarity and detail for high resolution content. The IPS-type panel offers excellent colour consistency, which when combined with the generous colour gamut offers vibrant shade output throughout the screen. The very light matte screen surface aids this vibrancy and clarity, with a relatively smooth finish keeping things free from obvious graininess. Well-tuned pixel overdrive delivers fast overall pixel responses without strong overshoot, whilst input lag is low. Adaptive-Sync removes tearing and stuttering from frame rate and refresh rate mismatches, via both AMD FreeSync and Nvidia ‘G-SYNC Compatible Mode’ on compatible systems and GPUs.

The screen is also VESA DisplayHDR 400 certified, providing a basic HDR experience – no contrast enhancement or local dimming, but appropriate use of the colour gamut and 10-bit colour output for enhanced tone mapping and shade variety. The monitor has a fairly unique (‘rustic’) aesthetic, which we found quite charming in person. Whilst the tilt-only stand won’t appeal to everyone, VESA mounting is supported and a few extra additions like integrated subwoofer and IR remote are nice little touches. Flexible and easily accessible Low Blue Light (LBL) settings help promote a restful viewing experience, without the strong greenish yellow tint of some implementations.

Further reading:

Our review

A post exploring alternatives and explaining our preference for this model

Manufacturer product page

Philips 328E1CA (31.5″ 60Hz curved VA, 3840 x 2160)

 
Philips 328E1CA

Philips 328E1CA

 
Key aspects:

  • 31.5″ VA panel (TPV TPM315WR1-FP01.S Samsung SVA)
  • 1500R curve
  • 3840 x 2160 (‘4K’ UHD)
  • 60Hz (48 – 60Hz VRR, FreeSync + G-SYNC Compatible)
  • 60Hz ‘4K’ UHD for the Xbox Series X and PS5
  • 4ms grey to grey response time


Additional points:

  • Light matte anti-glare screen surface
  • PWM-free (flicker-free) WLED backlight
  • ~122% sRGB colour gamut and 250 cd/m² peak luminance (>300 cd/m² measured)
  • 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, DP 1.2a, 3.5mm audio input, 3.5mm audio output
  • Screen is tilt-only with 100 x 100mm VESA mounting supported
  • 2 x 3W speakers


Why choose this monitor:

The Philips 328E1CA offers an immersive experience from its curved 31.5″ screen. We found the curve easy to adapt to, drawing into the image a bit without feeling unnatural. Something that is certainly exaggerated in photos and videos of the screen. The 3840 x 2160 (‘4K’ UHD) resolution offers a pleasing pixel density, with a screen of this size widely considered the sweet spot for the resolution. The high-contrast VA panel, some extension beyond the sRGB colour space and excellent colour consistency for the panel type help to deliver quite a vibrant image with pleasing shade variety.

The monitor also offers decent pixel responsiveness for the panel type and a low level of input lag. Although not marketed as a ‘gaming monitor’, it can certainly offer an enjoyable 60Hz experience for both PC and console gaming. Adaptive-Sync is also supported (FreeSync and ‘G-SYNC Compatible Mode’) to help smooth out drops in frame rate a bit below 60fps. Additional features of note includes effective Low Blue Light (LBL) settings to aid viewing comfort. This is a competitively priced model which offers a lot of monitor for your money, with a nod towards strong contrast.

Further reading:

Our review

A post summarising our thoughts on this model in the context of some alternatives

Manufacturer product page

LG 34GP83A (34″ 160Hz curved IPS, 3440 x 1440)

 
LG 34GP83A

LG 34GP83A

 
Key aspects:

  • 34″ IPS panel (LG Display LM340UW6 Nano IPS)
  • 3440 x 1440 (UWQHD – 21:9 UltraWide)
  • 160Hz (48 – 160Hz VRR, FreeSync Premium + G-SYNC Compatible)
  • 120Hz 1080p support for the Xbox Series X/S and PS5
  • 1ms grey to grey response time
  • VESA DisplayHDR 400

Additional points:

  • Light matte anti-glare screen surface
  • PWM-free (flicker-free) WLED backlight
  • ~98% DCI-P3 colour gamut and 350 cd/m² (SDR) peak luminance
  • DP 1.4, 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, 2 USB 3.0 ports, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Screen offers tilt and height adjustment with 100 x 100mm VESA support


Why choose this monitor:

The LG 34GP83A (34GP83A-B owing to the mainly black stand and rear) provides a vibrant and immersive gaming experience. It uses a 34″ 3440 x 1440 (21:9 aspect ratio) Nano IPS panel with 1900R curve. This combines the numerous advantages of 21:9 with an extended colour gamut, very close to DCI-P3. This offers high levels of vibrancy, whilst the IPS panel keeps colours rich and consistent throughout the screen. The contrast is decent, largely as expected for the panel type, whilst the smooth and light matte screen surface provides a ‘clean’ look to the image without obvious graininess.

A 160Hz refresh rate is supported, a bump up from the 144Hz of the previous generation. Pixel responsiveness is improved as well, allowing the monitor to put the refresh rate to good use without strong overshoot or obvious trailing. Input lag is low and Adaptive-Sync is supported, including certification for both FreeSync Premium ‘G-SYNC Compatible Mode’. VESA DisplayHDR 400 support allows the colour gamut and 10-bit colour processing to be put to work for HDR10 content. But this is a basic HDR experience, with relatively limited peak luminance and no local dimming. We feel this is a well-rounded UltraWide, offering a good mixture of colour quality and responsiveness with a smart design.

Note this model is just a slightly cheaper refresh of the 34GN850 and isn’t available globally. We recommend considering the 34GN850 instead if the 34GP83A is unavailable in your region. The only apparent difference between the two, aside from price and availability, is a minor aesthetic change at the rear.

Further reading:

A thread exploring this model and its predecessors.

An article exploring the 3440 x 1440 resolution

Manufacturer product page

Acer XV340CK P (34″ 144Hz IPS, 3440 x 1440)

 
Acer XV340CK P

Acer XV340CK P

 
Key aspects:

  • 34″ IPS panel (BOE MV340VWB-N20 ADS-IPS)
  • 3440 x 1440 (UWQHD – 21:9 UltraWide)
  • 144Hz (48 – 144Hz VRR, FreeSync + G-SYNC Compatible)
  • 1ms MPRT response time
  • Basic HDR10 support

Additional points:

  • Light matte anti-glare screen surface
  • PWM-free (flicker-free) WLED backlight
  • ~sRGB colour gamut and 250 cd/m² (SDR) peak luminance
  • 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, 2 DP 1.2a ports, 3.5mm audio output, 2 USB 3.0 ports
  • Screen is tilt only with 100 x 100mm VESA support
  • 2 x 3W speakers


Why choose this monitor:

The Acer XV340CK P offers a budget UltraWide IPS experience. This includes a flat 34″ 3440 x 1440 (21:9 aspect ratio) BOE IPS-ADS panel, offering UltraWide immersion without the curve. The colour gamut sticks closer to sRGB than any wider standard, keeps things looking ‘rich and natural’ rather than oversaturated. Colour consistency is superior to VA alternatives, although not quite as good as LG Nano IPS technology in that respect. Brightness is also somewhat limited in comparison and the screen surface isn’t quite as smooth. Both aspects will be fine for most users, however. The monitor offers very basic HDR10 support, with a luminance and colour gamut that’s far too limited and no local dimming. Enough to give a bit of variety and a different look to things, but nothing approaching a true HDR experience.

The overall response performance is competent, with a 144Hz refresh rate put to good use. With good pixel responsiveness, well-tuned pixel overdrive without strong overshoot and low input lag. Pixel responsiveness isn’t quite up to the level of the newer generation Nano IPS alternatives, but is far superior to VA UltraWides. A strobe backlight setting (VRB) is included, but this offers very limited brightness and has quite a bit of overshoot so is something of an acquired taste. Low Blue Light (LBL) settings are included to aid relaxing viewing. Whilst somewhat cut down compared to more expensive IPS models, the price to performance ratio of this one is certainly compelling. Making it an attractive budget high resolution and high refresh rate IPS UltraWide.

Further reading:

Manufacturer product page

Confused about the terminology? Check out our dedicated guide on the topic.

 

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