The 10 Best 4K Monitors to Buy in 2018

See what the fuss about ultra-high-definition graphics is all about

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Manufacturers have been boasting about 4K technology for years now, but it’s only recently become relevant because 4K content is more readily available. Netflix, for one, is creating all of its original programming in 4K, so if you like to binge-watch, a 4K monitor will make it well worth your time. To help you pick the right one for you, we compiled a list of our favorites. We sifted through the bestselling options and sent a few out to our at-home testers, who noted things like picture quality, audio quality, and design.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: LG 27UD58-B 27-Inch 4K

4.9

Available with FreeSync technology (this means it extends the refresh rate to avoid screen tearing), the LG 27UD58-B 27-inch 4K monitor is the best you can get without spending an arm and a leg. Designed with gamers in mind, the 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution offers more than four times the resolution of Full HD and has more than 8.3 million pixels on the screen. Beyond gaming, multitasking lovers will find a use for Screen Split 2.0, which allows for the display of multiple windows at once, including four different picture-in-picture (PIP) options.

Best for Media Design/Creative Types: BenQ PD3200U 32-Inch 4K

4.4

Made with creative types in mind, the BenQ PD3200U is a beautiful 32-inch 4K monitor that features vivid colors and ideal viewing angles. With modes such as Darkroom, computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) and Animation, the BenQ has a unique set of display settings that can provide a more efficient work environment, all with stunning color precision. Past the different modes, the BenQ also allows users to display and control content on two separate PC systems on one monitor with just one keyboard and mouse. Moreover, the ergonomic design is made for tilting, pivoting and swiveling the monitor to find the perfect orientation in both vertical and horizontal mode. Well equipped with ports and a strong stand, the BenQ is a creative’s dream monitor.

Best Versatility: LG 4K UHD 27U88-W

Whether you’re gaming, editing photos, or filling out Excel spreadsheets, the LG 27UD88-W is the monitor that can fit nearly any need. Elegant and versatile, the 4K monitor is a little pricier than other offerings, but it seeks to justify the price tag with a sleek, minimalist appearance and a bright, colorful display. It covers 97.6 percent of the sRGB spectrum, boasts a low 1.7 Delta-E color accuracy, and its brightness sits at 229 nits.

The display is well fitted to both work and play, keeping up with frame rates of 30 and 120 frames per second for visually engaging gaming. Graphic designers can make use of the dozens of options to alter colors, including individual yellows, cyans, and magentas. On the back, the monitor has two HDMI ports, one DisplayPort, two USB 3.0 ports, and one USB-C port, one of the few monitors currently to possess this. The screen is easy to rotate, including into a vertical portable mode.

 

Best for Gaming: Acer Predator XB271HK 27-Inch 4K

If you're looking for some serious gaming street cred, check out Acer Predator XB271HK 27-inch 4K monitor. There are two speakers already built-in (each have two watts), so users can make use of the on-board audio or provide their own third-party speaker experience for truly immersive gaming. Beyond audio, the ErgoStand offers an ergonomically-friendly design with pivot, tilt, swivel and up and down movement for finding the most comfortable viewing angle. Ergonomics aside, the inclusion of NVIDIA’s G-Sync technology helps synchronize the Acer’s refresh rate with that of the computer GPU to eliminate input lag for smoother gameplay. Additionally, gamers will appreciate the 4ms response time, as well as  Acer’s EyeProtect for helping reduce eye fatigue during marathon gaming sessions.

Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best high-end gaming monitors

Best for Mac: ViewSonic VP2780 27-Inch 4K

Equipped with a 27-inch 4K display, the ViewSonic VP2780 is an ideal monitor choice for Apple fans. Offering advanced color technologies such as 14-bit 3D, the ViewSonic supports over 1.07 billion colors. It's built with creative types in mind and the superior color accuracy is ideal for content creation, graphic design and other professional applications. For Mac owners, the loss of Apple’s own Thunderbolt-ready monitors left a gaping hole that ViewSonic is helping to fill with DisplayPort 1.2a and future-proofed HDMI 2.0 connectivity at a 60Hz frame rate for smooth screen performance. Extra options such as multi-picture functionality means that four simultaneous video sources can displayed at one time (there's also picture-in-picture here, too).

Best Audio: Dell S2817Q 28-Inch 4K

Not only is the Dell S2817Q 28-inch 4K LCD monitor affordable, but its powerful nine-watt integrated speakers sound both crisp and rich. With built-in speakers, monitor buyers can rest assured the Dell is the full package with all the basics for 4K gaming matched by over eight million pixels for four times the screen content of Full HD resolution. The 2ms response time is ideal for both viewing sports and movies, plus blur-free gaming. Content can be viewed from two separate sources, thanks to both picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture display functionality. Connectivity options are plentiful, too, with two HDMI and two USB ports, as well as a single DisplayPort and mini DisplayPort for adding multiple devices at the same time. 

Best Big Screen: Philips BDM4350UC 43-Inch 4K

Boasting a 43-inch display with a 10-bit IPS panel, the massive Philips BDM4350UC 4K monitor is a great all-purpose option. Featuring a 5ms response time, there’s also a slew of connections, including fast charging, four USB 3.0 ports, two Display Ports, two HDMI 2.0 ports with MHL and audio in/out. The latter is most notable since the Philips includes dual seven-watt speakers built-in. Its large size is appropriately matched with MultiView, which enables the screen to be split into four separate Full HD displays (you can also utilize picture-in-picture mode for more ways to make use of the space). The 178-degree viewing angle allows the 43-inch display to be properly viewed from almost any side while still providing bright colors for photos, movies, Web browsing and professional applications where color accuracy is critical.

Best Design: Dell P2715Q 27-Inch Monitor

When it comes to computer manufacturers, few command as much respect as Dell, and this ultra-HD monitor gives you all the pixels you could ever need — plus a cool construction. The resolution is 3840 x 2160, and at 27 inches, that pixel density is right up there with some of the crispest displays around. There’s over 99-percent wide pixel coverage with an in-factory verification of the RGB color spectrum. The display even supports decent color spectrum at viewing angles as wide as 178 degrees. It’s compatible with the latest I/O included the interactive benefits of DisplayPort. But it’s the physical design features that really set this monitor apart. The clean, sleek arm offers seamless tilting and easy-to-adjust height. Dell has even taken measures to ensure the design is eco-conscious, with Energy Start status, an EPEAT Gold rating and TCO certification. 

Best Splurge: ViewSonic VX4380-4K Monitor 

For users who want maximum screen space, the ViewSonic VX4380 43-inch 4K monitor is a no-brainer. Whether you’re gaming or watching a movie, the 4K resolution (3840x2160) is beautiful. It adds 103ppi (pixels per inch) providing a sharp, crisp viewing experience with lifelike colors. The 178-degree viewing angles of the SuperClear IPS panel make it ideal to watch no matter where you are sitting in a room. Regardless of what you’re watching or reading, Flicker-Free technology and a blue light filter eliminate eye strain.

Designed with your multimedia needs in mind, the dual integrated 7W speakers significantly enhance audio. MultiPicture support allows simultaneous viewing of up to four video sources at once, each with immersive sound.

Capable of tilting between -5 and 12 degrees, the base is weighted to maintain full stability. The monitor is also VESA mount compatible, meaning it can also be removed from its base and fit onto a separately purchased monitor arm. Next to the VESA mount are dual HDMI 2.0 ports, three USB-A ports as well as DisplayPort 1.2 and mini DisplayPort 1.2 inputs. 

Best Value: Refurbished - HP Envy 27" 4K UHD IPS Monitor

HP Envy 27" 4K UHD IPS Monitor
Courtesy of Walmart.com

If you seek top-notch quality but have a limited budget, consider a refurbished monitor. Doing so will save you money on this HP Envy monitor, and it looks and works as good as new. While it omits the Beats speakers present on earlier models, the IPS panel has the same minimalist design and delivers a stunning HD picture. With slim bezels and a short rectangular stand, you can tilt the panel to 30 degrees, but you, unfortunately, you can’t swivel, adjust the height or pivot. On the back, you’ll find two HDMI ports, one DisplayPort and one USB-C port, though it’s notably missing an HDMI 3.0 port.

Still, with 3860 by 2160 resolution, a 1,300:1 contrast ratio and peak brightness of 350 cd/m2, it produces a sharp picture with accurate colors.

Best for Business: Asus - PA328Q 32" IPS LCD 4K UHD Monitor - Black

Asus - PA328Q 32" IPS LCD 4K UHD Monitor
Courtesy of BestBuy.com

When the clock's ticking toward your deadline, you need a monitor that helps you get your work done efficiently. This 32-inch PA328Q has fantastic build quality and a screen that tilts and swivels to 178 degrees horizontal, which lets you view your spreadsheets or designs from a variety of different angles, all in the splendor of 4K Ultra HD 3840 x 2160 resolution. The anti-glare screen uses cold cathode fluorescent lamps to provide even backlighting across the entire screen, which is vital when you’re working late into the night. On top of that, it has two HDMI ports, plus DisplayPort and Mini DisplayPort inputs to let you hook up to a variety of peripherals. It certainly demands its share of desk space, but when it comes to productivity, this monitor will impress.

Tested by

How We Tested

Our reviewers spent 153 hours testing the two most popular 4K monitors on the market. They used them at work and at home, all the while evaluating the most important features. We've outlined them here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

What to Look for in a 4K Monitor

Audio quality - Monitors are purely about picture quality, right? Wrong! Whether you’re watching a movie or playing a video game, great audio can elevate the experience. Some monitors have impressive built-in speakers with as many as 9 watts. If the monitor lacks speakers, you can always add a soundbar — though that’ll cost you.

Design - Depending on your setup, you might need a monitor that tilts, pivots and rotates. A thin bezel gives a more modern look and the stand construction dictates how much desk space it will need. Consider all these design factors before you make a purchase.

Price - 4K is known for being expensive, but prices have dropped in recent years as it becomes the norm. If you’re on a budget, don’t fret. There are plenty of good options that run less than $300.

Test Results: LG 27UD58-B 27-Inch 4K (Best Overall)

4.9

What we like

  • Impressive display

  • Setup was extremely easy

  • Screen rotates and tilts

What we don't like

  • Can’t move up and down

  • Stand seems cheap

Not sure if this monitor is for you? Just hear it from our testers: One person said, “I would definitely buy this monitor. It was incredibly easy to set up — I didn't even have to touch the instructions. And the display was really clear.” She said the monitor was “superior” to the one she currently had.

The only downsides our at-home reviewers experienced were with the quality of the plastic stand and the ability to adjust the monitor vertically. One tester wanted the monitor to sit a little higher on her desk, so she propped it up with books. She wasn’t sure if the stand would hold in that position over time though. Users concerned about the stand can should look into buying a separate one or opt for a VESA mount.

Test Results: BenQ PD3200U 32-Inch 4K (Best for Media Design/Creative Types)

4.4

What we like

  • Brilliant colors with different display modes

  • Sharp picture quality

  • Adjustable angles and pivots 90 degrees

What we don't like

  • Bulky and heavy

  • Sound quality could be better

Right off the bat, our reviewers praised the screen size and the display quality. “In terms of resolution and color range, this monitor has the best colors and sharpness I’ve seen on a monitor ever,” one person remarked. “I like that I could adjust the settings to my liking. In both dark and fairly bright environments, I could still see things on screen easily.”

This monitor has built-in speakers, but some of our testers weren’t impressed with their sound. They suggested connecting your own external speakers or picking up a pair of high-quality headphones if audio is a really important factor to you.