The best computer monitor
Odds are, you stare at your computer monitor for more hours each day than anything else. As such, you want to be sure you're using one that doesn't cause eye strain or other difficulties that could hinder your work. With so many monitor options, and more entering the market daily, it can be difficult to know which one is best.
That's why we compiled the following buying guide: to help you find the right computer monitor amidst the huge sea of options. We also provide reviews of a few of our favorite models, including our pick for Best of the Best, the LG 27-inch 4K UHD IPS Monitor. Owners love the beautiful screen.
Considerations when choosing computer monitors
Whether you use your computer monitor for personal browsing, work, or gaming will impact the type of monitor you choose. While monitors for work and personal use are often similar, those used for gaming will be different. Gaming monitors need to have a fast refresh rate for accurate movement capture.
Glossy vs. matte screen
Some computer monitors have a glossy screen; others have a matte screen finish. While it's not often easy to see a glossy screen due to glare, some people prefer them because they like the aesthetics of a glossy screen over a matte screen.
The most common screen resolutions for monitors are as follows:
1,920 x 1,080 pixels (HD or UXGA)
2,560 x 1,440 pixels (WQXGA)
3,840 x 2,160 pixels (4K or UHD)
A higher number means more pixels. In turn, this means higher resolution.
Keep in mind that you will need certain ports available on your computer monitor when using them with other devices. There are three common types of ports used by most people with their monitors. These ports are HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface), DisplayPort (a video-only competitor to HDMI), and VGA. VGA is an analog video that is not as crisp as the other two.
Most computer monitors fit the 16 x 9-inch widescreen format. Now, though, you can purchase what's called an "ultra-widescreen" monitor. These monitors measure 21 x 9 inches, which is great for gaming and doing work on spreadsheets and other wide-format programs. If you think you might need to use an ultrawide computer monitor, it will be worth the extra money.
Some monitors come with a built-in USB hub. These hubs can contain up to four USB ports and allow you to keep more devices and accessories plugged into your monitor at one time.
The purpose of a curved screen monitor is to mimic the curvature of the human eye and create a wider field of view. This type of monitor makes better use of your peripheral vision. However, not everyone enjoys using a curved screen.
Most computer monitors cost between $150 and $800. Within that range, there are different sizes and features available. Assess your needs for your preferred use, then determine the best set of features for those needs.
Q. Are curved screen monitors always a better choice than flat ones?
A. Not necessarily. Although curved screens have become more popular in recent years, their reviews are mixed. Personal preference plays a bigger role than anything else when it comes to satisfaction with curved screen computer monitors.
Q. Is it OK to use my computer monitor as a TV set?
A. Yes. However, keep in mind that your monitor may not include speakers. This means you might have to hook up additional speakers to the monitor to get the accompanying sound.
Computer monitors we recommend
Best of the Best: LG 27UD68-W 27-inch 4K UHD IPS Monitor
Our take: Sharp image and an anti-glare screen make this a winner for gamers.
What we like: Colors are accurate, and the matte finish makes everything easier to see.
What we dislike: Some had difficulty using more than one monitor with this model.
Best bang for your buck: ASUS VS228H-P 21.5-inch Full HD Back-lit LED Monitor
Our take: A dependable choice for the budget-conscious buyer.
What we like: Easy setup and highly portable design make this one of the most user-friendly models.
What we dislike: The monitor sometimes displays a bluish tint.
Our take: One of the most vibrant, all-around gaming monitors you can buy.
What we like: The monitor has a blazing refresh rate of 144 Hz. The display is bright enough to make gaming enjoyable, rather than frustrating.
What we dislike: The monitor height is not adjustable.
Adam Reeder is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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